Nature & Extents of STSE Actions
Because governments have not tended to adequately address many of the numerous STSE Harms, apparently because they often prioritize interests of capitalists over those of general populations, it seems essential that community members critically analyze STSE relationships and develop & take altruistic actions – like those in the video at right/below – to overcome harms they identify. This page provides discussions, with examples, of different kinds of actions – including coordination among them.
Kinds of STSE Actions
People and groups that choose to develop and/or take sociopolitical actions to overcome STSE Harms have numerous choices of action types – some of which are depicted in the schema at right/below. Their decisions may, for example, be based on opportunities, but also on factors like their expertise (e.g., as educators vs. engineers) and direction of actions (e.g., comprehensive vs. targeted or direct vs. indirect [e.g., over social media]) or level of violence, etc. Among many considerations, a very important one seems to be the extent of authoritarianism of leaders. Gramsci suggested, for instance, that leaders in purported democratic states may need to change, but it also would be essential for actions to focus on changes to general public knowledge, values, skills, etc.
Research-informed & Negotiated Actions
People and groups sometimes make action decisions perhaps largely based on pycho-social reasons, as suggested in this hoax. It may seem obvious to say, but choices about actions should be based on valid & reliable research – and on social negotiations to help minimize personal biases. The STEPWISE project has, accordingly, been promoting such ‘RiNA’ projects. Civic actors should, nevertheless, exercise ‘prudence’ (e.g., skepticism) about research & social negotiations – remembering, for instance, that much secondary (e.g., Merchants of Doubt) & primary (e.g., Corrupted Science) research may be biased, as generally seems the case with (socially-influenced) ‘personal’ choices.
Although more ‘singular’ actions, such as presenting a slideshow to a class, putting up posters or designing and developing ecojust engineering products, as we have seen among student RiNA projects, may be considered highly positive, their influences on large-scale changes may be limited. As indicated in the video at right/below, it is apparent we live in networked societies. Indeed, based on actor-network theory, Gaia Theory and others, we all are embedded in a global (at least) network of (natural & human-made) living, non-living & symbolic (semiotic) actants. Power/influence across such networks is, however, not balanced. Rather, it is apparent that it is concentrated – able to form dispositifs; that is, assemblages of actants mainly worked towards common goals – such as prioritizing leadership. Much such power is, apparently, held by capitalists who – in neoliberal forms – assembled diverse actants like governments, technologies, scientists, educators, and mind-sets of citizens into pro-capitalist dispositifs that have concentrated wealth at expense of myriad and severe STSE Harms.
Assuming we are embedded in a global (more or less) dispositif favouring wealth concentration and large-scale personal, social & environmental harms, it seems imperative that civic actions be networked – multi-pronged efforts to spread ideologies promoting social justice & environmental sustainability across myriad living & non-living actants.