Justine Grønbæk Pors, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School
Justine Grønbæk Pors is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. Her work concerns changes in public policy and the practices of public organizations and how these challenge professional and ethical values. She is interested in the contradictions inherent to contemporary policies and in questions about subjectivity, affect and ghosts. Currently, she is conducting two research projects: one investigates the gendered formations of educational interests and aspirations of young women; the other explores societal responses to biodiversity loss.
A lack of female candidates in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an increasingly pressing concern. As a result, local, national, and international policy actors have launched initiatives designed to motivate girls and young women to STEM education and careers. In this talk, Justine takes, as a point of departure, an ethnographic ‘moment’ where such ambitions of motivating young women were disrupted by the presence of a set of old, dusty taxidermic moulds inappropriately (re)appearing in a biology classroom. Justine takes this moment as an invitation to read the political STEM ambitions diffractively, through taxidermy. She unpacks the hauntological forces (un)resting in taxidermic moulds by reflecting on a visit paid to the workshop of a leading taxidermist and by considering the colonial pasts of taxidermy. This allows her to raise, for reflection and discussion, the question of whether current STEM campaigns motivate young people for ‘better, more diverse’, futures by conserving old ideas about human superiority over nature.
The paper on which Justine’s talk is based is co-authored with Jette Sandager.