Learning through research in (and after) CAST

In the FASoS research master programme Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), students learn about the intricate relation between the arts, science and technology and how they shape modern culture. Throughout the programme, students work closely together with the CAST teaching staff and become familiar with the latter’s ongoing research projects, while at the same time being encouraged to undertake research themselves.

The integration of research in CAST considerably facilitates the transition from master-level studies to PhD research. In 2017, after finishing the CAST programme, two students took up Post-Research Master Fellowships, enabling them to conduct pre-PhD research and write PhD proposals. Post-Research Master Fellows are also invited to attend lectures and participate in workshops offered by the FASoS Graduate School. The two former CAST students were well-prepared for grant proposal writing, since CAST students are taught how to write PhD proposals in the first year of the programme.

Lea Beiermann, one of the Post Research Master Fellows and former CAST student, is preparing to apply for an NWO PhD grant in 2018. Lea’s envisioned PhD project is informed by the research she undertook during CAST. She intends to look into how nineteenth-century new media – participatory microscopy journals – facilitated collaboration between amateur and professional microscopists in science, technology and medicine. taking into account how lay participation in present-day science is similarly facilitated by new media, such as online platforms, her research seeks to provide more general insights into how amateurs and professionals can successfully work together on participatory platforms. The planned PhD project combines a Science and Technology Studies perspective with rhetorical analysis, thus continuing the interdisciplinary approach taught in CAST.

The research conducted as part of the fellowship ties in with the Maastricht University Science, Technology and Societies research programme.