I was chuffed to be invited by the editors of Progress in Human Geography to write three short ‘progress reports’ on the field of ‘geographies of science and technology’. This is the first time reports have been commissioned in this area, which is a great reflection on the growing vibrancy of work in this area. That also made it a rather daunting task. While work on ‘geographies of science’ is pretty well-established and recognisable, work on ‘geographies of technology’ is more diffuse – indeed, try and find a piece of contemporary human geography where ‘technology’ isn’t a part of the picture! Things have started to cohere a bit recently, not least with the publication in 2017 of a Handbook on Geographies of Technology. But my hours of agonising over the boundaries of my task eventually led me to realise that I should focus on just that – boundaries. Struggles to define and police the distinctions of these things called ‘science’ and ‘technology’, studies of hierarchies of power and experiments in remaking them, and work which tries to trace the ideological power of the concepts of ‘science’ and ‘technology’. That led me to some rich pickings, and to some work by geographers which I might not otherwise have spotted.
Next year I’m thinking of taking as my theme ‘critical zones‘ – a concept from the environmental sciences which Bruno Latour has recently taken up as an alternative spatial imaginary to the Anthropocene.
You can find my first report here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0309132520969824