jueves, 15 de junio de 2017

Green economy and Capitalism, our last POBICS meeting

This week we held another feedback and paper's discussion meeting. In this case, the topic was introduced by Jokin, one of our Master student; the topic was about green economy and Capitalism, specifically. 

Jokin presented a complete paper that was about to be delivered as master's dissertation, so we limited to give him some feedback in order to improve his analysis and his manuscript. 

Jokin has done several interviews with "bio" and green-food sellers in order to analyse if this kind of food is really an alternative to the mainstream markets options or instead, it is another "side" about the contemporary Capitalism. The thing is, it is a very insteresting work and we hope Jokin could publish it soon in order to share with all of you his analysis!

Photo Credit: torbakhopper

martes, 6 de junio de 2017

Digital epidemiology, a new meeting by POBICS

This week we have held another POBICS meeting. In this case, the topic was about digital epidemics, alternative actors and the "meeting point" between experts (physicians, nurses, scientifics...) and lay people or non-experts. About this concerns, epidemiology is a topic in which they are developing quickly. Some theories and concepts from Foucault and Actor-Network Theory are very relevant: subjetifier and subjectivity, actants and hybrids...

This issue is being carried out by our colleague Mariana Gavris. Although she has not to defend her doctoral dissertation until 2018, she is making great progress, and these two papers are a real proof of it. 

These papers are very close to completion, so we expect to read them soon published on journals. 

Photo Credit: Penn State

jueves, 1 de junio de 2017

Last May meeting: Fear and Panic. New doctoral defense in POBICS.

This Tuesday we held the last May meeting by POBICS. In this occasion, we discussed and
commented a draft paper by Swen, our postdoc member. He is working on fear and panic within current epidemics. From a psychosocial view, Swen explain in this paper how governance is exercised throughout fear. We gave him some ideas and advises, mainly about empirical data. We think this is a good work, and we hope it will be published soon.

On the other hand, Enrique, one of our PhD students is finishing his doctoral dissertation as we announced last weeks. He is currently carrying out the last administrative tasks, and, if all is ok, we will defend the dissertation last July days or September. Thesis name is “Surveillance and Security. Life’s management in the 21st Century”. The topic is about how life is understood upon some events occurred in the beginning of the 21st Century (H1N1 and ebola outbreak, anthrax attacks, 11-S, controversies like genetically modified food or DNA developments…), and their implications in life surveillance’s and security’s terms. Defense will be opened to anywhere, so we will publish the exact day when we it would confirmed.

Photo Credit: PRO Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

martes, 23 de mayo de 2017

Summer is coming! POBICS is reviewing papers and projects

This week, in POBICS, we have started reviewing papers from our staff: masters students, PhD students and colleagues. In this case, we have reviewed the master dissertation by Sebastian, our Chilean mate. 

Sebastian is trained in veterinary medicine, but he is currently ending the Psychosocial Research Master in our university. His work is about the bond between humans and animals. He is about to end, so today we have given him some feedback. 

Next week we will review another paper by Swen, our postdoc member. His work is about fear and emotions, so we are expecting read it and comment. Details about this season are in our webpage: www.pobics.com. Remember our seminary is open and you are invited freely!

Next month we have the same planning until Tuesday, 13th. The final two weeks will be scheduled soon. It is possible we will choose one reading a one review, probably the doctoral dissertation by Enrique, one of our future doctors!

Photo Credit:  Michał Kosmulski

miércoles, 10 de mayo de 2017

Luhmann's seminary: Trust

Yesterday we held a new meeting in order to read and discuss the book by the German Sociologist, Niklas Luhmann: "Trust".

This book produced an interesting debate because we found it is very connected with the scenario analysis we are currently carrying out. Because of this, we will show here some of the most interesting conclusions we reached:

In the more simple analysis, Luhmann is proposing two elements: environment and system. If system wants to understand and aprehend environment, we (as a part of the system) need to simplify environment, because it is very complex (this scheme is very simple, but is the core in the Luhmann's theory).  But in a wide sense, we find more element, like familiarity. 

Familiarity is the concept that most interested us: in this sense, scenarios about outbreaks, epidemics or bioterrorist attacks; are getting us acquainted with the elements of these scenarios (masks, vaccines, war, and a whole imaginary related with them) in order to know previously some of their elements, and thus, reduce uncertainty. 

But what if scenarios are not reducing uncertainty, but amplifying it? That is, familiarity does not have to be less complex: familiarity can be complex; it is a way to achieve continuity between what we already know and the uncertain future.

Another interesting question is about the concept "event". In a first moment, we were discussing about what does it means: It is an excepcional event? it is whatever  action that is never repeated? Swen was telling us that an event is produced at the same time that a state. State is that continuity, that "status" that we already know. So, in this sense, we always know our present, even our predictable future: I know that next month I will go to the cinema as I do every month, but each time I go to the cinema it happens new things, I am not the same: here we have events.

This idea is related with the work of Deleuze in his book "Difference and Repetition", what is repeated is the difference, not repetition.

Photo Credit: Ron

martes, 2 de mayo de 2017

May is here! News and POBICS events

After some odd days (festive days, work and paper meetings), today we have held the first May meeting. We have re-scheduled our calendar, so events have been updated (you can see them in our webpage). Last weeks we have focused on theoretical readings (Guattari, Deleuze...), so now, we want to focus on empirical work, or at least, in the work our students are developing. 

Because of this, this month we will have only a reading: the book "Trust" by Niklas Luhmann (next tuesday at 12.00 on Social Psychology department, UAB). 

The rest of weeks we will review, comment and discuss some of the works in progress by Mariana and Sebastián, two of our POBICS staff. 

Takind advantage of what we are commenting, we want to offer a brief notes about what we will discuss and comment next weeks. Remember that assitance is free to our seminaries:

  • We will be deepen about the Scenario's conception. We are using and commenting some theories like those proposed by Rancière or Deleuze. 
  • We will talk about actants and alternative actors. This is one of the most interesing ideas we exposed in the 4S/EASST Congress last summer.
  • We will take up the role of animals in a biopolitical and biorisk conception. Sebastian will teach us the draft of his master's final dissertation!
  • Finally, if we have time, we will discuss the (probable) next PhD thesis in our group: Bioactants and biopolitics in the biosurveillance logis in the European Union, by Enrique.
So this is our planning, but if we have some cancelling or re-schedule, we will inform you in our webpage. 

Photo Credit: Nomad YC

martes, 18 de abril de 2017

Coming back after Easter! New readings, projects and tasks

Today we have held our weekly meeting after the Easter' break. In this occasion, we had to end the book "La Revolution Moleculaire" by Félix Guattari. In addition, we have arranged some pending tasks after these days without work: our next data gathering throughout a mix between consensus conferences and focus group; and some scenarios collection

About Guattari's book, we have mainly discussed the last chapter of the book. In it, we have found some interesting concept (excuse us for the English translation): Assigning semiotics, Capitalism (again), axiomatics, faciality (Deleuzan concept) and what is, then, the Molecular Revolution.

We have agreed one of the main concept is the assigning semitiocs (sémiotiques asignifiantes) and we have tried to link it with our current work about scenarios: Assigning semiotics are ways whereby scenarios work, a diagramatization. It seeks to diagramatize the catastrophe, the uncertainty. 

About capitalism, it works in a same way like squizoanalysis: both deterritorialize issues and content. But, unlike squizoanalysis, capitalisms quickly territorialize again these issues through axiomatics, through codes. But not any code: those pertaining to capitalism, those that make equivalent any element to any other one.

And that's all! Next week we will discuss a very interesting (and complementary to this one) book: Aberrant Movements by David Lapoujade. You are invited to come!

Photo Credit: new 1lluminati