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Institute for Technoscience & Society

Our aim is to build a global hub of critical and interdisciplinary research and knowledge mobilization on the relationship between technoscience and society, especially the configuration of social power underpinning scientific claims, medical practices, emerging technologies, and sites of innovation. York has one of the largest concentrations of and internationally renowned experts working on these important societal issues and the ITS aims to support these researchers as they promote socially responsible and inclusive technoscience.

We recognize that many Indigenous Nations have longstanding relationships with the territories upon which York University campuses are located that precede the establishment of York University. York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat. It is now home to many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities. We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.

Kelly Bergstrom

Interim Director (2023-2024), Institute for Technoscience & Society (ITS)

Welcome to the Institute for Technoscience & Society!

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at York University. My research examines drop out and disengagement from digital cultures, with a focus on digital games and social media. I have recently embarked on a new project about how work/life balance has been transformed by the COVID pandemic.

I'm here to help ITS members, so please do get in touch:

Denielle Elliott

Deputy Director, Institute for Technoscience & Society (ITS)

Denielle Elliott is a socio-cultural anthropologist at York University where she holds a York Research Chair in Injured Minds. She is Deputy Director of the Institute for Technoscience and Society and Director of the Science and Technology Studies Graduate Program. Her research focuses on the anthropology of medicine, science and social suffering.

Kean Birch

Director (on sabbatical, 2023-2024), Institute for Technoscience & Society (ITS)

My name is Kean Birch. I’m a Professor in the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at York University, Canada. I’m really interested in how ‘things’ – ranging from personality through knowledge to personal data – are turned into assets; that is, into techno-economic entities whose value is derived from the capitalization of future revenue streams.


Our vision for the ITS is:

  • To create a hub of critical and interdisciplinary research and knowledge mobilization on the relationship between technoscience and society;
  • To support researchers at York in their publishing, grant applications, and knowledge mobilization;
  • To build a Canadian network of researchers who do research on technoscience and society;
  • To connect ITS researchers with international research centres and institutes around the world.

History & Mission

At ITS, we're building on a long tradition of excellent research at York on the relationship between technoscience and society. York was a key node in the SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Cluster (2007-2014) on Situating Science: Science in Human Contexts. York also has the only Department of Science, Technology & Society and the largest Graduate Program in Science & Technology Studies in Canada. The research on the relationship between technoscience and society goes far beyond these units with ITS including researchers from all of York's Faculties and campuses.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the ITS is made up of the following people:

  • Kean Birch, Director (on sabbatical, 2023-2024)
  • Kelly Bergstrom, Interim Director
  • Denielle Elliott, Deputy Director
  • Anna Agathangelou
  • Melanie Baljko
  • Conor Douglas
  • Eric Kennedy
  • Anthony Nairn