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Society for Social Studies of Science

What is 4S?

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is a scholarly society founded in 1975 with an international membership of over 1200. Its main purpose is to bring together those interested in understanding science, technology, and medicine, including the way they develop and interact with their social contexts.

All About 4S Membership

For renewals, the member directory, and meeting registration, visit the Member Portal.

4S News

President’s Message, July 2016


Mullins and Edge Prize Announcements. David Hakken Fund, Meeting News, 4S Statement of Purpose, President and Council Elections


President’s Message, June 2016


Carson and Fleck Prize Announcements

It is my great pleasure to announce the two recipients of this year’s 4S book prizes!

Gabrielle Hecht (University of Michigan, US) is the winner of the 2016 Rachel Carson Prize for her book Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade (2012 MIT Press). The Carson Prize is awarded for an outstanding book length work of social or political relevance...


President’s Message, May 2016


Bernal Prize to Michael Lynch. In Memoriam: David Hakken



Backchannels provides an outlet for alternative-format scholarly communications, publishing shorter, timelier, media-rich communiques of interest to the global STS community.

4S Preview: Situated Meanings of ‘Good’ Care and Science ‘Worth Doing’

Projects / Katherine Weatherford Darling, Natali Valdez, Emily Vasquez, Christoph Hanssmann, and Melissa Creary

title Are projects that focus explicitly on the gendered and raced forms of subjectivity and lived experience within technoscientific domains seen as "STS enough"?

What is the Mediterranean Diet?: Marketing Science and Regional Taste

Reflections / Xaq Frohlich

title This summer when you attend the 4S Conference in Barcelona, I recommend a visit to La Boquería food market just off La Rambla. You might notice that much of the food there is not actually Mediterranean, but rather “ethnic” immigrant foods. I encourage you to read the label of that “extra virgin” olive oil bottle on your table when you dine out, to see whether it is from local Arbequina olives in Catalonia, or the more fiery Picual variety from Andalusia. Partake of the very Mediterranean tradition of “sobremesa,” socialising with others at the dinner table, a significant lifestyle factor some diet scientists worry isn’t accounted for in nutrition studies of the Mediterranean diet. And you should enjoy the “pintxos” from the Basque country or “jamónserrano" from interior regions of Teruel and Extremadura. And as you do, you can ask yourself, is this the Mediterranean diet? And if so, does that make it good for me? Whether or not it is, I promise you, it tastes good.

4S Preview: Postphenomenology

Projects / Don Ihde

Barcelona marks the ninth year for postphenomenology research panels at 4S. Don Ihde highlights the research that will be presented in Barcelona this year.

Bending Genres at ESTS

Projects / Katie Vann and Daniel Lee Kleinman

title Engaging Science, Technology, and Society offers two new genres of peer-reviewed scholarly work––Critical Engagements and Considering Concepts––that allow scholars to speak to STS issues and audiences in new ways.

Handbook for the Ages: Peeking into the forthcoming 4th Edition of the STS Handbook

Projects / Yelena Gluzman

title The Fourth Edition of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies is coming. Here, the editors reflect on putting it together, and give a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.

No se puede hablar de una ciencia para la paz sin saber qué ciencia se ha hecho en tiempos de guerra

Reflections / Lina Pinto-García

title Based on the work of six researchers, this text suggests that the field of social studies of science and technology (STS) can contribute to exploring the relationship between science and the Colombian armed conflict, investigating the kind of scientific knowledge that has been produced in the context of the war, and thinking about the type of science that needs to take place in order to build a peaceful and equal society

Big data’s ‘streetlight effect’: where and how we look affects what we see

Reflections / Mark Moritz

title The streetlight effect is one factor that prevents big data studies from being useful in the real world – especially studies analyzing easily available user-generated data from the Internet.

STGlobal Consortium: By students, for students

Report-backs / Mel Jeske and Derek Parrott

The STGlobal Consortium is an STS conference by students, for students. Melanie Jeske and Derek Parrot report back on STGlobal 2016.

With Equitable Partnerships, African Scientists Will Struggle Far Less

Reflections / Janny Chang, PhD

title Being part of today's scientific world poses great challenges for all scientists given its complex system of merit allocation and the high competition for jobs and research funding. Janny Chang from Africa's "Next Einstein Forum" discusses the implications for African scientists and their struggles with the current system inequalities in the light of Africa's colonial legacy.

Where are the Humans in Climate Change Solutions?

/ Myanna Lahsen

title Myanna Lahsen analyzes the re-envisioning processes that gave rise to a new international research program which seeks to bring the social sciences into the center of research on global environmental change

New in...

Positioning the Field: STS Futures (Introduction), Steven Epstein, Guest Editor 
Catching Our Breath: Critical Race STS and the Carceral Imagination, Ruha Benjamin 
Situating STS and Thinking Ahead, Adele E. Clarke
Seizing the Digital, Janet Vertesi
Discursive Contextures of Science: Euro/West-Centrism and Science and Technology Studies, Amit Prasad 
But Is It Sociology? Monica J. Casper
Bridgework: STS, Sociology, and the “Dark Matters” of Race, Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz 
The Floating Ampersand: STS Past and STS to Come, Sheila Jasanoff

New in...

Technoscience Updates

The most recent postings to the Profession pages, emailed monthly to 4S members.


New Book by Laura Mauldin: Made to Hear (University of Minnesota Press, 2016)
New Book by Doug Hill, Not So Fast: Thinking Twice about Technology, U of Georgia Press, forthcoming
New Book by Jennifer Gabrys: Program Earth (University of Minnesota Press, 2016)


AAAI Fall Symposium: AI for Human-Robot Interaction (AI-HRI)
Call for Applications to Attend Workshop on Overcoming Challenges
Diploma in Strategic Design of Technologies for Social Inclusive and Sustainable Developmen

Calls for Papers

Visual Data as Accountability, Resistance, and Surveillance
Narratives and storytelling in energy and climate change research
Special Issue on Exploring the Anthropology of Energy: Ethnography, Energy and Ethics


Asst/Assoc Professor in Islam and Gender, Department of Communication, Stanford University
Lecturer Wage Positions in STS at University of Virginia
Visiting Assistant Professor, Environmental Communication (SUNY-ESF)

Fellowships & Postdocs

Postdoc on NASA’s organizational and fiscal history with Janet Vertesi, Princeton University
2 PhD positions in Science Studies and History of Science, ETH Zurich
Research Position at the IMEW Berlin