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Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT) conference 2021

June 28, 2021 - June 30, 2021

Technologies are always more than the sum of their mechanical parts. Indeed, technologies are entangled in symbolic forms of a social and cultural nature. Technologies also contribute to the construction of new worldviews and new forms of life. Technological imaginaries are far more than phantasies detached from technological innovation. They are at the heart of innovation itself, of the invention as well as of the implementation and use of technology in our societies.

Technological imaginaries are embodied in the technologies themselves, as well as in norms and social and cultural practices. Technological imaginaries are often crystallized in scientific and non-scientific texts, documents, sounds, and images. They are always distributed on an axis that goes from ideology to utopia. At times, they serve to defend and strengthen the social and cultural status quo. At other times, they announce state of affairs that are not yet present – or never will be. In short, the notion of technological imaginaries places technologies within a wider world, made of nature and matter, but also language, images, ideas, institutions, symbols, intuitions, and dreams.


Dear colleagues,

The deadline to submit a proposal for the Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT) conference is only a month away: February 15th.

We are also very happy to announce the SPT co-winners of the lifetime achievement award: Carl Mitcham and Deborah Johnson! Both will be giving keynote addresses during the June 28-30 conference. The complete roster of keynotes is now:

Carl Mitcham Deborah Johnson
Sheila Jasanoff Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
Judith Sutz Pieter Vermaas

While we were hoping to be able to hold the conference in-person, the continuing health situation makes that too risky. Therefore, the conference will be held online this year, and we will take advantage of the benefits technology offers in order to offset the disadvantages of not being in person. One of the biggest benefits is the reduction of the cost by removing the price of travel and accommodation. Hopefully, this will make it possible for people to attend who couldn’t afford to attend in-person. We are also finding solutions that will aid in easily networking amongst participants during the conference.


We envision that most paper presentations will be pre-submitted short video recordings, with live Q & A following. People wishing to propose a panel around a specific topic should do so by February 15th. There are only a few 1 ½-hour panel slots available. Proposals must highlight how the subject is enhanced through the form of a panel rather than as separate presentations.

The updated conference structure will provide:

  • Later daily starts to help accommodate researchers wherever their geographic localization
  • A general presentation outline of a 15-minute presentation with 10 minutes of live Q&A following
  • Breakout rooms for networking, mentoring, socializing, workshops, etc.
  • An awards ceremony: celebrating the Lifetime Career Awards (for Carl Mitcham & Deborah Johnson) and the two research paper winners: The Early Career and the Graduate Student winners

New Timeline:

  • 15 Feb: Abstracts for individual presentations and panels due, as well as proposals for breakout rooms activities
  • 1 April: Notification of acceptance
  • 15 April: Papers due for best Early Career paper and best Graduate Student paper (see website for details)
  • 1 June: Registration deadline, winners of the Early Career and Graduate Student papers notified
  • 28-30 June: The SPT Conference

For detailed conference information, visit:  https://lillethics.com/spt-2021/

For information about the Society for Philosophy and Technology, visit: http://www.spt.org/

Direct any questions to:

On behalf of the organization committee,

Richard Lewis & David Doat


June 28, 2021
June 30, 2021
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