by Sci-Tech Asia International Research Network

TechnoViews features interviews with humanities and social science scholars on a wide range of topics at the intersection between science, technology, and society in the 21st century. Our podcast episodes provide a more in-depth understanding of the major challenges of living in a world that is increasingly dominated by global articulations of technoscience. Available in all major podcast platforms, including Spotify, Google ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • TechnoViews #15. 'Prototype Nation' | Silvia M. Lindtner (U. of Michigan)

    TechnoViews #15. 'Prototype Nation' | Silvia M. Lindtner (U. of Michigan)

    Silvia LINDTNER, interviewed by Joseph BOSCO on 25 October 2022ABOUT THIS PODCASTIn this podcast, Dr. Lindtner explains what is the “maker” movement, and why she focused on this phenomenon. She discusses how she conducted ethnographic research in companies that can often be wary of outsiders, especially foreigners. She also discusses how making was appropriated by the Chinese Communist Party as part of the state’s tactics of hegemony, functioning not by coercion but by promising happiness. She explains two key concepts in the book, the “socialist pitch” and the term for maker, chuangke 创客, which has slightly different implications in Chinese. She also talks about the assumption many people make that there is something particularly Chinese about making, and how it has to become part of makers’ pitch for investors.FEATURED AUTHORDr. Silvia LINDTNER is the author of the book Prototype Nation: China and the Contested Promise of Innovation (Princeton University Press, 2020), winner of the 2021 Francis L.K. Hsu Book Prize from the Society for East Asian Anthropology, and the 2022 Joseph Levenson Prize for China Scholarship from the Association for Asian Studies. Dr. Lindtner is an anthropologist, and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information, and Director of the Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing (ESC).AUTHOR WEBSITEUniversity website: website:

  • TechnoViews #14. ‘Chinese Village Life Today’ | Gonçalo Santos (University of Coimbra)

    TechnoViews #14. ‘Chinese Village Life Today’ | Gonçalo Santos (University of Coimbra)

    Gonçalo SANTOS, interviewed by Jun ZHANG on May 26, 2022ABOUT THIS PODCASTThis podcast discusses village life in China today after more than four decades of radical programs of urbanization and modernization. As China became a predominantly urban and industrial society with increasing levels of affluence, the government expanded its capacity to implement large-scale programs of development aimed at turning “backward” Han Chinese peasant populations into modern “civilized” subjects more aligned with global and national standards of modernity. In this podcast, anthropologist Gonçalo Santos discusses this technocratic transition from the perspective of impoverished rural communities, drawing on two decades of longitudinal field research in one rural township in Guangdong Province. Santos shares his views on what has changed in rural communities over the decades and why the countryside will continue to play a central role in the future of China.FEATURED AUTHORGonçalo Santos is an anthropologist and a leading international scholar in the field of China studies. He is an Assistant Professor of Socio-cultural Anthropology in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra. He is also the Coordinator of the Research Group “Technoscience, Society, and Environment” at CIAS — Research Center for Anthropology and Health, University of Coimbra. He held previous positions at the London School of Economics, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Chinese Village Life Today (University of Washington Press, 2021) and the co-editor of Transforming Patriarchy (University of Washington Press, 2017). He is involved in the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University, and is the founder and the director of the International Research Network Sci-Tech Asia.AUTHOR’S WEBSITE

  • TechnoViews #13. ‘Life, Death, and Ghosts in Urbanizing China' | Andrew Kipnis (Chinese U. of Hong Kong)

    TechnoViews #13. ‘Life, Death, and Ghosts in Urbanizing China' | Andrew Kipnis (Chinese U. of Hong Kong)

    Andrew KIPNIS, interviewed by Jun ZHANG and Gonçalo SANTOS on October 28, 2021ABOUT THIS PODCASTThis podcast discusses urbanization in China through the lens of changing funerary practices. It examines how spatial reorganization during Chinese urbanization problematized death, and how newly emerged forms of familial organization, stranger sociality, and economic restructuring were reflected in changing funerary rituals and the rise of the funerary industry. It also discusses some of the unique features of Chinese patterns of governing death and how existing frameworks of governance influence and are influenced by everyday practices of urban memorialization. Finally, it considers moral debates on the commercialization of death and the place of secularization and ghost stories in contemporary urban China.FEATURED AUTHORAndrew B. Kipnis is a professor in the Dept. of Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His latest book is The Funeral of Mr. Wang: Life, Death, and Ghosts in Urbanizing China. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (2021, available for free here: He is also the author of From Village to City: Social Transformation in a Chinese County Seat (University of California Press 2016), Governing Educational Desire: Culture, Politics and Schooling in China (University of Chicago Press 2011), China and Post Socialist Anthropology (Eastbridge 2008), and Producing Guanxi (Duke University Press 1997). From 2006-2015 he was co-editor of The China Journal and he is currently co-editor of Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.AUTHOR’S WEBSITE

  • TechnoViews #12 'Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China' | Lena Kaufmann (U. of Zurich)

    TechnoViews #12 'Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China' | Lena Kaufmann (U. of Zurich)

    Lena KAUFMANN, interviewed by Joseph BOSCO on 9 Sept 2021ABOUT THIS PODCASTIn this podcast, Dr. Kaufmann discusses what she means by the term “sociotechnical,” and “paddy field predicament,” the fact that in the area she researched, paddy fields need to be continuously planted or they become damaged and less productive. We also discuss her argument that technology is not simply a matter of linear progress, and whether her argument is really different from the “appropriate technology” argument of the 1960’s and ‘70s. Furthermore, given that her data covers almost a decade, she discusses whether what she describes is just a transitional situation of multiple technologies, and whether there is a strong tendency for labor saving technology. We also talk about deskilling, and what she calls the “skill turn.” At the end, we talk about how her book was published “Open Access.”FEATURED AUTHORLena KAUFMAN is the author of the book Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China published in 2021 by Amsterdam University Press (available for download open access from the publisher here: or from JSTOR here: WEBSITE RESOURCESYou can also watch a webinar presentation by Dr. Kaufmann on 'The Agriculture-Migration Nexus in China' (Sci-Tech Asia Webinar #10, 27 April 2021) here:

  • TechnoViews #11 Animal Disease and Global Health at China's Pandemic Epicenter | Lyle Fearnley (SUTD)

    TechnoViews #11 Animal Disease and Global Health at China's Pandemic Epicenter | Lyle Fearnley (SUTD)

    Lyle FEARNLEY, interviewed by Jun ZHANG on 11 August 2021.ABOUT THIS PODCASTIn this podcast, we discuss how virus surveillance systems identified China as an "epicenter" or source of pandemics, and discusses how these scientific approaches drive a broader "geography of blame." Drawing on Fearnley's book on avian and pandemic influenza science in China, we explore why wet markets, wild animal foods, and China's rural farmers are repeatedly blamed for the emergence of new diseases.FEATURED AUTHORLyle FEARNLEY is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He is the author of Virulent Zones: Animal Disease and Global Health at China's Pandemic Epicenter (Duke University Press, 2020), which is now available open-access on the OAPEN platform.AUTHOR WEBSITE: