STS Researchers as ‘Technology’: Leveraging Positionality to Understand Interdisciplinary Dynamics
Science and technology studies (STS) researchers integrated in interdisciplinary research projects learn important lessons of collaboration dynamics by analysing the ‘lived experience’ of the research participants. Previous approaches of STS researchers included laboratory studies and reimagining the collaborative process as a research method. However, previous research on interdisciplinary projects repeatedly cite the same challenges, indicating that more sharing of this lived experience is needed. My research builds on previous STS ethnographies to conceptualise my role as an STS researcher into a producer of data and data collection tool, or a research ‘technology’. This account demonstrates how approaching my role in the collaboration as a ‘technology’ lead to understandings of power dynamics and what is understood as ‘good research’ across disciplines. These findings, revealed by the STS researcher as a producer of data, help us understand how individuals appraise interdisciplinarity, setting realistic expectations to address future interdisciplinary collaborations more deliberately.
Keywords: Interdisciplinary collaboration; reflexivity; research methodology; science and technology studies; autoethnography