Guest lecture: "From Margins to Mainstream: Locating Frugal Innovations in Science Diplomacy Discourse"

Björn Bosserhoff's picture
May 19, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Economic History / Studies, Political Science, South Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies

The Chair of Science, Technology and Gender Studies (STGS) at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, headed by Prof. Maria Rentetzi, invites you to virtually attend its next guest lecture:

Prof. Saradindu Bhaduri
“From Margins to Mainstream: Locating Frugal Innovations in Science Diplomacy Discourse”'
Thursday, May 19, 2022, 18:00 (CEST) 

To join via Zoom please register here:

In recent decades, science diplomacy has gained much currency in global discourse for its perceived potential to foster regional and international cooperation around various ‘grand’ challenges facing the international community. Situated primarily at the intersection of S&T policy and international affairs, science diplomacy practices have emerged as a panacea for generating relevant knowledge and feeding new ideas into diplomacy to serve global public goods. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the surface what was until now a ‘below the radar’ activity, largely limited to the economies of the global South. It has exposed severe limitations of extant production-innovation-distribution systems and their insistence upon formalized tools and protocols in regulation and governance. The pandemic prompts us to explore alternative knowledge pathways that seek to occupy the innovation space amidst extreme uncertainties. Citizens and ‘non-experts’ (or unrecognized experts) are often the critical drivers of such a frugal innovation wave and thus should receive more recognition in contemporary science diplomacy discourse. By recombining existing materials, knowledge, and skills in creative ways, such cooperation can help foster globalized interactions and generate relevant solutions. Strengthening such organic human-centered technology governance against the highly technocratic paradigm institutionalized by the contemporary economic order can be central to reshaping science diplomacy strategies in the post-COVID era. Recognizing the crucial role frugal responses play could be the first step for science diplomacy to strengthen its role in policymaking.

Saradindu Bhaduri is an economist and Associate Professor at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In 2015–17 he held the Prince Claus Chair in Frugal Innovation for Development and Equity at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Among his latest publications are the co-edited collection Informal Sector Innovations: Insights from the Global South (Routledge, 2017) and the article “RRI Beyond Its Comfort Zone: Initiating a Dialogue with Frugal Innovation by ‘the Vulnerable’” in Science, Technology and Society (2020).

Contact Info: 

Dr. Björn Bosserhoff
Project Manager ERC project “Living with Radiation” (HRP-IAEA)
Chair of Science, Technology and Gender Studies
FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

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