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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, 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


4S President’s message – April 2016


6S Workshop funded. 4S/ASIST collaboration. Campaign to ban lethal autonomous weapons.



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

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.

‘A Conference with Extraordinary Films’ – Ethnografilm returns to Paris

Report-backs / Lizzie Sayer

title The third edition of the Ethnografilm Festival took place from the 29th of March to the 2nd April 2016 at Ciné 13, Paris. With around 100 films and footage shot in a several dozen countries worldwide, the Ethnografilm Festival is a unique free festival for directors of documentary films that build understanding of social realities.

Enduring Effects of the Bhopal Disaster

Reflections / Rahul Mukherjee

title The Bhopal disaster remains present in the lives of Indian "chemical publics."

CRISPR dispute raises bigger patent issues that we’re not talking about

Reflections / Shobita Parthasarathy

title It’s time to consider a more nuanced approach to patents in biotech, one that disentangles innovation and the public interest from profits.

Moments, Movements, Scores: Reflections on Workshopping Ethnography

Report-backs / Yelena Gluzman

title At a recent ethnography workshop held by the Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design at UC Davis, organizers moved away from the materials of design and drew instead from the methods of theater.

The Box:  Commonplace artifacts in the Production of Scientific Knowledge

Projects / Maria Rentetzi

title Boxes usually bring to mind storage and transportation; the orderly arrangement of valuable museums and archives holdings. Boxes contain our lives’ innocent and guilty little pleasures: brownies, cookies, tobacco, cigarettes, forbidden letters.

Things Worth Categorizing

Reviews / Yelena Gluzman

title The cards were there to be peered at and handled, and mounted lights and magnifying glasses allowed for an intimate examination of the texture and detail in each. The mise-en-scène of the cards figured them as specimens, and us as naturalists. Yet the task of the naturalist—to organize specimens into coherent relations—was also the work being done by the cards themselves.

III Encuentro de la Red CTS-Chile

Report-backs / Gloria Baigorrotegui, Juan Felipe Espinoza & Martín Pérez Comisso

title During the 13 to 15 of January it was held, at the School of Business at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, the Third Meeting of the STS-Chilean Network. Given the public uprisings that have taken place since 2011 in Chile, and given the new forms of collective action seen in our country, we agreed to convene the meeting under the theme "Citizenship, Collective, Knowledge and Power: Achievements and Challenges for Science, Technology and Society Studies.

Some Thoughts on the “Egyptian Knowledge Bank”

Reflections / ElHassan ElSabry

title In November 2015, the Egyptian government announced an initiative to provide nationwide access to a multitude of knowledge resources (k-12 curricula, scholarly journals, eBooks, educational videos ... etc.) claiming that it is "“the biggest digital library in the world". ElHassan ElSabry, an Egyptian researcher in the field of scholarly communication and Open Access, provides some thoughts on the issue and the project's ability to fulfill its promise.

New in...

Ongoing Engagement of Science, Technology and SocietyDaniel Lee Kleinman, Katie Vann

Finding Political Opportunities: Civil Society, Industrial Power, and the Governance of Nanotechnology in the European UnionAnna Lamprou, David J. Hess

Tactics as Empirical and Conceptual objects: Patient Activism and the Politics of Thalassaemia in CyprusTheodoros Kyriakides

The WHO EMF Project: Legitimating the Imaginary of Global Harmonization of EMF Safety StandardsDavid Mercer

Lateral ConceptsChristopher Gad, Casper Bruun Jensen

STS and Researcher Intervention StrategiesBrian Martin

Care and Solidarity Are Conditions for Interventionist ResearchMax Liboiron

If Intervention Is Method, What Are We Learning? Teun Zuiderent-Jerak

STS Interventions: Preparing, Defending, LearningBrian Martin

New in...

Technoscience Updates

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


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)
New Book by Hugh Gusterson, Drone: Remote Control Warfare (MIT Press, 2016)


Call for Applications to Attend Workshop on Overcoming Challenges
Diploma in Strategic Design of Technologies for Social Inclusive and Sustainable Developmen
2nd National Congress of STS (Argentina).

Calls for Papers

Narratives and storytelling in energy and climate change research
Special Issue on Exploring the Anthropology of Energy: Ethnography, Energy and Ethics
Daily Dose: Adventures at the Intersection of Medicine and Literature


Assistant Professor of History, Swarthmore College
Assoc Dir of Education and Action Research, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Santa Clara U
Instructors for Science, Technology and Society Course, Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey

Fellowships & Postdocs

Research Fellow - Social Media and Sleep, University of Surrey
12 PhD Positions, Critical Infrastructures and Cities, Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany)
Research Fellow, Wiki Education Foundation