Center for Interdisziplinary Research


Law, Science, and 'Society'

Date: July 7 - 9, 2005
Organizers: Alfons Bora (Bielefeld), R. Alain Pottage (London)

This conference brought into contact two scientific traditions; though established successfully on neighboring fields for a long time they have-apparently-taken hardly any notice of each other so far. In certain areas both Science of Technology Studies and Law and Society Studies deal with interactions between Law and Science; very roughly speaking, these are legal regulation of science, research and technology on the one hand and, on the other, scientific-technical expertise but also standardization and normativities. Both fields (law and science) are concerned with generating and applying normative and standardized factual knowledge, i. e. each field develops a particular form of normativity depending on its own images of social mechanisms and regularities (patterns), of its own conceptions of 'society' that correspond only to a limited extent. On this conference, these processes of developing norms and interdisciplinary approaches to a scientific description of the same were examined against the background of the sociology of science and legal sociology. Contributions from the fields of history, ethno-methodoloy, law and socioloy covered the different dimensions of the constitution of objects and subjects in the legal discourse and in practical application/experience of the sciences. Recent approaches of Science and Technology Studies (such as the 'aktant' or 'hybrid' networks of persons and objects) were in the focus of attention just as scientific-legal coproduction of new concepts of regulability within patent law and plant varieties protection law. These phenomena constituted the range of application of theoretical analysis/argumentation between concepts of the more recent systems theory, the actor-network theory and the discourse theory.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Alfons Bora, Universitšt Bielefeld, IWT, Postfach 100131, 33501 Bielefeld, Tel. +49.521.106.4673, E-mail:

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