Main content for "Author: Robert Browder"

The STS Seminar Series returns to Athenaeum this week with the 14th annual Burian-McNabb Lecture. Please do join us!

Friday, Dec. 1, 1:303:30pm

Professor Laura Franklin-Hall (
Department of Philosophy
New York University

“The Animal Sexes and Natural Kinds”

Though biologists identify organisms as ‘male’ and ‘female’ across a broad range of animal species–in the pipefish, orb spider, quokka, and king quail–the particular traits enjoyed by males and females can vary almost without bound. This diversity has led some to conclude that the cross-animal sex categories—males, of whatever animal species, and females likewise—have “little or no explanatory power”(Dupré 1986: 447) and, as such, are not (in any substantive sense) natural kinds. This talk will explore possible reasoning for and against this conclusion, ultimately arguing that the cross animal sexes, despite their extreme diversity, are instances of type-level historical kinds, an unappreciated variety of natural kind that has an important scientific and explanatory calling.
Rider Foley—Assistant Professor, Science, Technology & Society, UVA
“From Engagement to Intervention: Reconstructing Two Events at the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund Site.”
Friday, November 3, 2017
Athenaeum (Newman Library 124)
Scientific knowledge and technological artifacts are built into a city’s urban fabric. Such knowledge and artifacts in turn affect the lived experiences of the city’s residents. From Jane Jacobs’s streetscapes to Lewis Mumford’s livable city, the constitution of power and authority can be seen in the city’s very infrastructure. Scholars have recently experimented with novel engagements intending to shift de facto power and authority arrangements between citizens and technical experts. However, those experimental engagements are rarely understood as interventions in urban techno-politics. This article aims to reconstruct two interventions in Phoenix, Arizona at the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund Site, the largest urban subsurface contamination zone in the United States. The research design aims to reconstruct two specific interventions through the use a semi-structured analytical framework. Findings suggest the interventions “opened up” technical decisions and government officials later repurposed the participatory technology assessment at their quarterly meeting. The other intervention influenced a binding decision by elected officials. These events suggests how roles and relationships allowed boundaries to be crossed and for experiential and empirical knowledge to be unified and thus influence decisions within the sphere of urban techno-politics. The pursuits of science, technology and society (STS) scholars, I argue, are well positioned to move from engagement to intervention.

Continue reading “Rider Foley – Friday, November 3rd, in the Athenaeum”

As many of you know, A.D. Carson, Assistant Professor of Hip and Hop and the Global South in the McIntire Department of Music at UVA, will be in the Libraries as a featured panelist for the Digital Literacy Symposium.
A.D. has further and graciously agreed to lead an informal workshop and open discussion, in Athenaeum the following morning, focused on new approaches to the production of knowledge and publication of scholarship. Please do join us for that discussion. Details:
Friday, November 3, 2017
Athenaeum Classroom (Newman Library, 124)
More on A.D.:

Are you a LaTeX user? Overleaf, the authoring tool that let’s you see the output results of LaTeX mark-up side-by-side with the editing screen, will be offering an “Advanced Features” workshop on Thursday, November 9th. There will be a morning session and an afternoon session. Both sessions of the workshop will be held in 3310 Torgersen Hall.

To sign up, please visit the registration page.

Ryan Looney – Overleaf Client Services Manager Presenting!

The workshop is free and you’ll be sure to learn more about Overleaf. We’ll dive into some of the most popular features available, and access the VT Graduate School thesis template. Overleaf Client Services Manager, Ryan Looney will be leading the workshop, answering your questions and providing valuable insight into using Overleaf for your thesis, research, and scholarly publications.

*Registration is recommended as spaces are limited.

Virginia Tech is working with Overleaf and ShareLaTeX to provide Overleaf Pro+ and Premium accounts to all VT students, faculty and staff. If you haven’t already signed up for your premium account, you can quickly do so here.

This post was contributed by Anita Walz, Open Education, Copyright & Scholarly Communication Librarian at Virginia Tech. This blog post is based in part on a presentation given at the Library Publishing Forum 2017, Baltimore, MD, entitled: “Adaptation? Derivatives? I thought we were just talking about Open Access.” and was originally published at the blog of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries:

This is an invitation to librarians, particularly those engaged in publishing, to explore current standards and practices, clear communication to non-librarians, and to prompt us to reflect about and discuss our values as libraries supporting access and creation of scholarly and learning resources.
Continue reading “But I thought we were just talking about OA”