Looking at Science & Technology, Together.

The Binocular Conference is an annual graduate conference jointly organized by the York University Science and Technology Studies (STS) department and the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST).

While STS and HPST often have different methodologies, concerns, styles, and goals, both disciplines train their sights on science and technology. The Binocular Conference is an opportunity for the graduate communities of the University of Toronto and York University to intentionally bring these “lenses” together, to mutually benefit from each others’ perspectives and scholarship.

This year’s theme is “Environments of Science.” 

Information about previous years’ conferences, and links to those conferences’ sites, can be found below!


2017: Environments of Science


Keynote: Jennifer Light (MIT)

April 20-21, 2017

“Science, like all human endeavours, is a situated affair. Scientists approach their respective objects from within particular social, cultural, religious, economic, and institutional contexts. These environments of science shape science’s methods and direction, its goals and values. But the activity of science also leaves its mark on these environments, affecting everything from particular cultural climates to the global climate of planet Earth itself.”

2016: Looking at Junk


Keynote: Max Liboiron (Memorial University)

April 29-30, 2016

“The recent explosion of Discard Studies points towards a world in which it is increasingly accepted and encouraged to look at not just what is successful, useful or present, but also what is unsuccessful, useless, or discarded. The material focus of Discard Studies is one way to understand this tendency, but there are also discarded ideas, useless theories, and tracks that research just doesn’t take in the course of its formation. There is also knowledge that is deliberately obfuscated or ‘junked,’ as Proctor and Schiebinger’s Agnotology and Oreskes and Conway’s Merchants of Doubt detail. This call for papers is therefore focused on bringing to the foreground that which has, out of necessity or choice, been relegated to the background.”