Organic Metaphors in Technoscience

Sep '16

Organizers: Atsuro Morita, Liv Nyland Krause and Wakana Suzuki

From innovation ecosystems to business incubation to digital ecology, terms from biological and ecological sciences are now widely used to denote practices and organizational processes of business and technoscience.

This workshop tries to extend anthropology’s longstanding interest in organic metaphors by focusing on the material practices of making analogies between processes of life and other domains. Many of the recent organic metaphors used in fields such as robotics or industrial design aim not only to understand social processes by means of language, but also to create artifacts and social organisms. In other words, in these practices, metaphors are taking material forms. By focusing on the performativity of metaphors, the presenters explore an emerging intermingling of the mechanical and the organic, the imaginary and the material, and institutions and ecologies.


Date: Friday, September 16th at 14:00-17:40

Venue: Common Room, Department of Anthropology, UvA


Tentative Program:

14:00-14:10  Introduction by Atsuro Morita (Osaka University)

14:10-14:50  The biology of innovation: creating nurturing ecosystems for business startups by Liv Nyland Krause (Osaka University)

14:50-15:30  Cognitive Robotics and the Modeling of Human Cognition by Asli Kemiksiz (Osaka University)

15:30-15:50  Break

15:50-16:30  Ecology of cells: An ethnography of iPS cells and regenerative medicine in a Japanese laboratory by Wakana Suzuki (Osaka University)

16:30-17:10  Worlding with the Metabolism. Or how to “put” Japanese medications into Hungarian bodies? by Gergely Mohácsi (Osaka University)

Comment by Emily Yates-Doerr

17:10-17:30  Wrap-up discussion