Day 2 Rotterdam August 20, 2008
I had opted to go on a
“field trip” with Wiebe E. Bijker and a busload
of STS'ers. Bijkerwrote a book called
Of Bicycles, Bakelte, and Bulbs, the first and
section of which I really enjoyed..especially
the chapter about the history of the bicyle.
He uses a theory called S.C.O.T., meaning
Social Construction of Technological objects.
Basically it uses an STS concept called symmetry,
meaning both people and objects are
equal actors in histories. and that objects are
and are the result of a lot of social interaction.
well when was the last time you wondered
who soldered the
components into your dvd player?
(uh, i do it all the time. joke)
Anyway,The Netherlands are a place where water
plays a large part in the lives, and history of
engineering of the
country. We visited a dam project called
the Delta Project, which was
conceived of after floods in the 1950s and
executed during the
1980's. The dams are normally open to accomodate
the tides, but close
when the water level reaches a certain point.
the beach around the Delta Dam
Bijker talked about
the political and social processes of determining
what the water level would be, and showed us the literal
line limit that was negotiated by the Dutch parliment,
balancing the interests of the
ecological interests and the
people who don't want to be flooded.
Wiebe Bijker giving us a tour inside the dam
We also went to a museum and theme park,
in which I saw a cool
3d movie that had nothing to do with the project.
The conference day ended with an open
bar at the city hall, where the mayor of Rotterdam
gave us a welcome speech which i thought was cool
(both open bar and mayor)
The rest of the day ended with a crazy walk to a
jazz club that didn't have much happenin with my
roomates Vicky and Lindal and a few others.
So Vicky, Lindal, and I had dinner at the
Cappodocia restaurant..awesome turkish food.
two different lines