J. Antonio Ballesteros Figueroa's profile
Name

J. Antonio Ballesteros Figueroa

SPS Department

Science, Technology & Innovation Studies

Address

1.04 Old Surgeons Hall

High School Yards

Edinburgh, UK

EH10 4LZ

Antonio is a native of Mexico where he carried out his undergraduate studies at Universidad de las Américas Puebla. He graduated with a degree in Political Science (B.A.) in 2015. He obtained an MSc by Research (Merit) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh in 2017. 

Before arriving at Edinburgh, Antonio worked as research assistant in the construction of the Global Impunity Index. He has also been a visiting Research Fellow at the  Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany.

His PhD focuses on analysing how environmental indicators are constructed not only using 'objective' methodologies but also through social events that go from mundane daily activities to formal academic events. His PhD has as theoretical perspective Social Shaping of Technology using concepts like 'black box', 'stabilisation', 'standardisation' and 'objectivity'.

Qualifications

MSc by Research Science and Technology Studies The University of Edinburgh (2016-2017). Dissertation on: “Opening the Black Box of Indicators: An STS approach to the Social Construction of Environmental Knowledge.” Main Supervisor Dr Eugenia Rodrigues. Second Supervisor Dr Gian Marco Campagnolo.

B.A.  Political Science -Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico (UDLAP, 2010-2015). Dissertation on “The recruitment process in Autonomous Organisms: The case of the National Human Rights Commission”.

Awards and Funding

PhD Science and Technology Studies funded by the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (100%) 3 years

Master by Research Science and Technology Studies funded by the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (90%) 1 year

Master by Research Science and Technology Studies funded, 90%, by the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Department, The University of Edinburgh (10%) 1 year

MSc by Research Science and Technology Studies (Awarded with Merit)

Visiting Research Fellow Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. (2 months, 2016).

Further Information

University Experience

Tutor for International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond (undergraduate course) Semester 1 2017-2018

Secretary of the Mexican Society, Edinburgh University Students' Association (2017 -2018)

Class Rep MSc by Research Science and Technology Studies (2016-2017)

Research Interests

Science and technology studies Environmental Sociology Social Shaping of Technology Policy Indicators Democracy and Social Indicators The politics of transparency and accountability Sociology of Knowledge sociology of scientific knowledge

Research Activities

Research assistant for the Global Impunity Index - Mexico 2015 (CIESIJ, coordinated by Le Clercq Ortega, Juan  and Sanchez Lara, Gerardo.)

J. Antonio Ballesteros Figueroa has not added any teaching activity to this section yet.

PhD Title

Analysing the black box of indicators: An STS approach to the construction of environmental knowledge

PhD Supervisors

Dr Eugenia Rodrigues

Dr Sarah Parry

PhD Overview

The use of indicators as a technology for measuring but also for comparing and guiding the creation of public policy has increased over the last decades. The democratisation of the production of policy-related knowledge has brought about a sharing of a powerful resource such as statistics. Nowadays the state is not the only actor using quantitative information to govern. Non-State Actors (i.e. NGOs, and universities) have been producing indicators that allow us to observe the performance of different countries on a wide variety of issues. For example, respect for human rights is measured, through an annual index, by Human Rights Watch; Yale and Columbia Universities have been producing the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), an econometric tool that ranks countries’ performance on different environmental issues, for almost 20 years. These indexes do not only measure and compare countries but also give recommendations or “guidelines” about how to achieve better scores.

Part of the trust on these tools is based on the objectivity that they claim to have as quantitative technologies. However, little is known about the social processes around their production. This research is focused on analysing how indicators become trusted tools, stabilised. My research aims to spend a period of time at the organisations in charge of producing the EPI. A participant observation will allow me to analyse how the mundane daily activities of an organisation, together with formal events (i.e. workshops, seminars, etc.) may, or may not, influence the production of indicators beyond the black-box encapsulated within a quantitative methodology.

J. Antonio Ballesteros Figueroa has not added publications to this section yet.