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Science is about the production, advancement, criticism, and reflection of knowledge. From a gender and diversity perspective, it is necessary to ask whose knowledge is regarded as relevant in science and how this subsequently determines scientific and technological discourses. In addition, science makes statements about people and human capabilities and is thus also involved in the production of knowledge about gender and other social categories. Seemingly stable knowledge about gender characteristics and values can be found in the history of many disciplines. However, this knowledge often proves to be a norm which is produced rather than the actual experience of many.

Reflection questions

  • Are there findings in disciplines like Gender Studies , Black Feminism, Critical Race Studies, Disability Studies, Health and Nursing Sciences that might inspire our research?
  • How can we integrate findings from social science concerning the work or application domain, activities, and social structures in our analysis?
  • What kinds of and whose knowledge will we use for our research and development? (e.g., common knowledge, the knowledge of the target group, scientific knowledge)
  • In which ways might new knowledge (from other cultures, various life domains, new application areas) inspire our research and development? And how are we giving credit to these cultures and areas of expertise?
  • How can we acquire knowledge about the application area? How do we include the domain expertise of potential users in our research and development project?
  • What techniques for participatory analysis and design might help us? (e.g. ethnographic observation and analyses, interviews and focus groups with users.)
  • What are the key concepts and terms in our research field? Do assumptions concerning gender, race, class, dis/ability, or other social categories underlie these concepts and terms?
  • How do we combine knowledge and findings from different disciplines?
  • How do we include the domain expertise of potential users in our research and development project?
  • In computing, “ knowledge has to be formalised”. We will encounter limits of formalisation - how do we deal with them?
  • How customisable will our product be? And by whom?
  • How do we integrate evaluation results in product revisions?
  • How do we support user groups with diverse levels of expertise in the introduction stage?
  • How about using a variety of media to make our material available, e.g., audio-visual material or interactive help?
  • How can the insights we gained be used in the future?
  • Does our research generate new questions or starting points for further research, in particular for interdisciplinary cooperation?