March 2020 – Current

RSK - Refused Scientific Knowledge

I’m currently involved in a national PRIN project aiming at understanding the social factors and processes that lead to the circulation and acceptance of knowledge rejected by the scientific community. On the basis of a theoretical framework that is placed at the crossroads between social studies on science and technology, sociology of culture and media studies, the consortium is studying four “refused knowledge communities” (or RKCs) active in Italy and their organizations practices, their questioning of the monopoly of institutional science, their prevailing discourses and shared imaginations, and their relationships with scientific communities and public institutions. With the onset of the pandemic, the project was refocused by the UniCatt unit to investigate how the ontological instability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is fuelling, activating or soliciting alternative scientific knowledge building and sharing practices within the No-5G community. Through interviews, web ethnographies, and focus groups, within the project I specifically dedicate myself to the following goals:

#1 Goal

Exploring the figure of the “catalysts of dissent against institutional science”, that is a public figure with no scientific background – usually a politician, an influencer or a media professional – who spreads populist narratives related to science. The study explores how this figure can facilitate changes in terms of adoption of populist narratives and institutional formalization within RKCs.

📕 Bory, P., Giardullo, P., Tosoni, S., Turrini, V. (accepted). “We will multiply the fires of resistance”: The catalysts of dissent against institutional science and their interplay with refused knowledge communities. Public Understanding of Science [Classe A area 14/C2].


🗣️ Turrini, V., Bory, P., Giardullo, P., Tosoni, S. (2021). We Will Multiply the Fires of Resistance”: the Catalysts of Dissent and Their Relationship with Refused Scientific Knowledge Groups During the Italian Pandemic Crisis. 4S Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting. Online, 6-9 October 2021.

🗣️ Bory, P., Giardullo, P., Tosoni, S., Turrini, V. (2021). Catalysing dissent against the “health dictatorship”. An online ethnography on refused knowledge communities and science-related populism in Italy. 15th ESA Conference. Barcelona, 31 August-3 September 2021.

🗣️ Tosoni, S., Bory, P., Giardullo, P., Turrini, V. (2021). The Catalysts of Scientific Dissent: The Rise of Scientific Populism in Italy During the Pandemic Crisis. Cybersecurity threats – Covid-19 and disinformation, War studies University of Varsavia and Swps University of Varsavia, 14 April 2021.

#2 Goal

Examining bottom-up narratives about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic that have emerged within the online media ecosystem and how these narratives can be made available in daily life to manage health and well-being.

📕 Crabu, S., Picardi, I., Turrini, V. (under second round review). Counter-knowledge on care and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: mobilising self-experienced knowledge and experiential expertise in the shaping of refused knowledge–based style of thought. Science as Culture [Classe A area 14/C2].

#3 Goal

Mapping and analyzing the practices of circumvention of the regulatory measures and content moderation of social media platforms. In particular, we intend to shed light on how certain social practices are performed to disseminate alternative scientific knowledge online and, at the same time, on how infrastructures evolve and change as a result of how users adapt their activities according to limits and opportunities they meet.

🗣️ Turrini, V., Tosoni, S. (2022). Circumventing the new gatekeepers. Online practices of resistance to platforms’ content moderation in Italian alternative-scientific-knowledge groups (ASKG) during the pandemic crisis. Colloque ResisTIC: Critiques et contournements des contrôles et de la surveillance sur Internet. Online, 31 March-1 April 2022.

#4 Goal
Studying how RKCs deal with or resist forms of patchwork storytelling and epistemological syncretism in their narrative ecosystem. By epistemological syncretism we mean the process in which communities merge their diverse – often contradictory – belief systems and schools of thought into a single coherent narrative that combines more or less controversial scientific knowledge, folklore, new age spirituality, and science fiction (similar to how practitioners in postmodern religious movements mix content from different epistemic sources such as movies, mythologies, music, etc. to build their own beliefs).

📕 Tosoni, S., Turrini, V. (in progress). Syncretism and patchworking in the narrative ecosystem of Italian Refused Knowledge Communities (RKCs). In Manufacturing refused knowledge in the age of epistemic instability. Discourses, imaginaries and practices on the border of science.

October 2016 – October 2019


Ph.D. Dissertation project on the social construction of haptic interfaces, or technologies that provide tactile feedback, which are used in tele-robotics, education, entertainment, and training. This thesis aimed to deconstruct the digitized touch mediatized by the haptic interfaces as a socially constructed technological product. Using a STS and constructivist grounded-theory approach, the author participated in international conferences and visited laboratories in which knowledge about digitized touch is collectively created and shared. A multi-sited ethnography was performed in sites such as the Institut Des Systèmes Intelligents Et De Robotique (Isir) at Université Pierre Et Marie Curie in Paris, The National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (Inria) in Lille, and the Engineering Department of Università di Pisa.


📕 Mora, E., Noia, E., Turrini, V. (2019). “Practice Theories” and “Circuit of Culture”: Integrating Approaches for Studying Material Culture. Sociologica, 3 [Classe A area 14/C2].


🗣️ Turrini, V., (2021). Touch, engineered: haptic interfaces in virtual and augmented reality. 4S Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting. Online, 6-9 October 2021.

🗣️ Turrini, V., (2021). Digitizing touch: The social construction of haptic interfaces. 8th ECREA European Communication Conference 2021. Online, 6-9 September 2021.

🗣️ Turrini, V., (2021). Touch, engineered: the social construction of haptic interfaces. STS Italia conferenceDIS/ENTANGLING TECHNOSCIENCE” – panel “Disentangling technoscience and sensory experience”. Università degli Studi di Trieste, 17-19 June 2021.

🗣️ Turrini, V. (2019). L’artigiano post-umano. Strumenti “aumentati” e discorsi sull’automazione nella pratica dell’orologeria. SISCC conference “Transforming cultures, transforming societies”. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 4-5 July 2019.

🗣️ Turrini, V. (2018). Pubblico e privato nei processi di innovazione tecnologica: il caso delle interfacce aptiche. PIC- AIS conference “Divenire Sempre. Come cambia la ricerca”. Università degli Studi di Palermo, 15-16 November 2018.

October 2018 – Current

Practice theories

Practice theories in recent years have become increasingly influential in science and technology studies, media studies, subcultural studies, organizational studies, consumption studies, and others. These approaches are characterized by a distinct social ontology conceiving “the social” as «a field of embodied, materially interwoven practices centrally organized around shared practical understandings» (Schatzki, 2001). I carried out research that allowed me to test heuristic potentialities, methodological implications, and main risks and difficulties related to the adoption of practice-centered approaches.


📕 Tosoni, S., Turrini, V., (2018). Controlled disconnections: A practice-centred approach to media activities in women’s solo travelling. In Laura Peja, Nico Carpentier, Fausto Colombo, Maria Francesca Murru, Simone Tosoni, Richard Kilborn, Leif Kramp, Risto Kunelius, Anthony McNicholas, Hannu Nieminen, Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt (eds.), Current Perspectives on Communication and Media Research (pp. 283-302). Bremen: Edition Lumière.

📕 Mora, E., Noia, E., Turrini, V. (2019). “Practice Theories” and “Circuit of Culture”: Integrating Approaches for Studying Material Culture. Sociologica, 3 [Classe A area 14/C2].

📕 Tosoni, S., Turrini, V., (forthcoming). Doing things with media. Approaching media uses through the lenses of practices theories of second generation. In Handbook of Digital Social Science. Edgar Elgar Publishing.


🗣️ Turrini, V., Tosoni, S. (2018). Disconnessioni controllate: un approccio practice-centred alle attività mediali delle viaggiatrici solitarie. SISCC conference “What’s Next. La sociologia dei processi culturali e comunicativi oggi e domani”. Università di Bologna, 28-29 June 2018.

🗣️ Tosoni, S., Turrini, V. (2017). Solo Female Traveling: A Gendered Practice. Conference “Visuality 2017: Tourism vs Urban Heritage in the Creative City” (panel: ECREA TWG Media & the City). Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, 20-21 April 2017.

🗣️ Turrini, V. (2019). L’artigiano post-umano. Strumenti “aumentati” e discorsi sull’automazione nella pratica dell’orologeria. SISCC conference “Transforming cultures, transforming societies”. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 4-5 July 2019.

February 2020 – September 2021


Researcher for the project “The First Ninety Days of 2020. Media, Communication and Society during the Initial Stage of COVID-19 Pandemic”, in collaboration with Michigan State University. The UniCatt team coordinated by me was responsible for studying how one of the most important “generalist” newspapers, Corriere della Sera, told and represented the initial moments of the health, economic and social crisis that Italy is facing.


📕 Turrini, V., Bonifacio, F., Darelli, V., Zaffaroni, L. (submitted). Crisis as Revelation and Opportunity: The Italian Press Storytelling of the COVID-19 Pandemic First Phase. In edited book The First Ninety Days of 2020. Media, Communication and Society during the Initial Stage of COVID-19 Pandemic (eds. Chavez, M., Tarantino, M.).


🗣️ Turrini, V., Bonifacio, F.; Zaffaroni, L., Darelli, V. (2021). A threat and a trigger: the Italian press storytelling of Covid-19Workshop “The First Ninety Days of 2020. Media, Communication and Society during the Initial Stage of COVID-19 Pandemic”. Michigan State University and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Online, 10-11 June 2021.

November 2019 – December 2019

Invisible Influences

Data collection, coding, and analysis for the project “Invisible influences”. Project led by the Department of Communication and Performing Arts at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore for MediaCom with the aim of studying the forms of incorporation of smart speakers among Italian users, the imaginaries and expectations regarding vocal interfaces, and the trust relationship between users and voice assistants.


📕 Colombo, F., Scifo, B., Locatelli, E., Olivieri, M., Seresini, M., Turrini, V., (2019). Indagine esplorativa su smart speakers e influenza algoritmica. Research report for MediaCom.


🗣️ Turrini, V., Scifo, B. (2021). The social incorporation of smart speaker technology in the Italian context. 8th ECREA European Communication Conference 2021. Online, 6-9 September 2021

September 2020 – December 2021


Researcher and editor of the report for the project “FriENdly.Pro” financed by the Fashiontech regional fund. The study investigated process and product innovation in the fashion industry through the elimination of basic materials with a high environmental impact and their replacement with eco-sustainable solutions. My unit conducted a qualitative analysis of emotional and multisensory experiences carried out in the design, creation and use of fashion products treated with the innovative eco-sustainable finishes.


📕 Mora, E., Tosoni, S., Varini, M., Turrini, V. (2022). La percezione multisensoriale dei rivestimenti in PVD alla luce degli immaginari correnti sulla moda sostenibile: un’analisi qualitativa. Research report.

June 2021 – Current


Researcher for “CounteR”, a Horizon 2020 project aiming at preventing terrorist attacks from taking place. The UniCatt team is responsible for delineating which social and psychological factors influence the processes of radicalisation online and offline.

April 2017 – May 2017

TV consumption

Field researcher at OssCom (UniCatt research center on media and communication). Project funded by Sky Italia with the aim of analyzing the cultural consumption of Italian television using interviews and collection of consumer diaries.

January 2017


Coding activities for the comparative project led in UniCatt within the COST Action DigiLitEY. The analysis of representations of smart toys in media commentaries and in commercial advertisements has allowed to understand how the opportunities and risks of IoToys are socially constructed.

September 2021 – Current


Occasionally involved in the transdisciplinary project “Technique and human values” (Tecval). The team is involved in studying social robots in natural contexts, with a particular focus on the humanoid robot Pepper.