STS Underground

This group aims to discover and refine what it means to approach mining, burial, and subterranean exploration from an STS (science, technology, and society) perspective. We are interested in how questions about extraction and burial are posed and deliberated, the politics of the technologies and infrastructures that support subterranean work, and how the consequences of extraction and burial are addressed. Underlying each of these areas are issues of knowledge, expertise and power that STS is uniquely positioned to explore.

On this website you will find information about our February 2017 workshop at the Colorado School of Mines, the August 2018 workshop in Australia, the organizers, our network of scholars, and available resources, including bibliographies and syllabi. The 2017 and 2018 workshops are generously funded by the Science, Technology and Society Program at the National Science Foundation (Award 1632651).


4S New Orleans: Panels + Symposium

Join us for three STS Underground panels Wednesday, September 4, from 1:15 – 5:30 pm in the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Fifth Floor, Grand Ballroom E. Check the online program for final time and location details.

Then join us offsite on Thursday, September 5, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm for STS Underground Symposium: Petrochemicals and Citizen Science.

How does “citizen science” help people understand and document the environmental and health impacts of the oil industry? Join us for a stimulating discussion with four panelists who will speak about their experiences with participatory, community-based research relating to oil and petrochemicals in Louisiana. The speakers include:

  • Barbara L. Allen, a professor in Virginia Tech’s department of Science, Technology, and Society and author of Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor Disputes (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003).
  • Shannon Dosemagen, Executive Director of Public Lab, co-organizer of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) and Chair of the U.S. EPA National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT).
  • Gwen Ottinger, author of Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges (New York: NYU Press, 2013), who teaches in Drexel University’s Department of Politics.
  • Jeffrey K. Wickliffe, a Tulane University environmental toxicologist who engaged in community-based research following the BP oil spill.

For more details, and to reserve a free ticket, please visit the Eventbrite page.




New sts underground special issue of


Engaging Science, Technology, and Society


We are pleased to share a special thematic collection of papers on mapping and modeling from our 2017 STS Underground workshop.

The introduction and all articles are available open access from the journal.

Click for Table of Contents, with links to pdf downloads.