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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.

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

4S News

President’s message #20 June 2015


First 4S Mentoring Award goes to Maureen McNeil.
Contribute suggestions for the 4S statement of purpose!


eSTS Call for Papers


Check out the 4S Open Access journal at


President’s message #19 May 2015


2015 John Desmond Bernal Prize! Speakers for the Opening Presidential Plenary in Denver? Council action proposed resolution. U.S. members: proposed 45% cut to social sciences at NSF. Denver!



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

Expandindo fronteiras: V Reunião de Antropologia da Ciência e da Tecnologia

Report-backs / Guilherme Sá

title The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) - Porto Alegre (RS) - received from May 20-22 , 2015 the V Anthropology Meeting of Science and Technology, or, simply put, the V ReACT, as already known the main meeting of anthropologists researching and discussing science and technology in Brazil (Entry in Portuguese)

How the Ocean Cleanup Array Fundamentally Misunderstands Marine Plastics and Causes Harm

Reflections / Max Liboiron

title The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Ocean Cleanup array, designed to clean plastics from the ocean like a baleen whale, is one of these good intentions: experts in marine plastics, including myself, say it’s a bad idea.Technological fixes like the Array do harm to the larger project of ending plastic pollution, which is a complex social, environmental, and economic problem. It is also going to damage and kill marine life.

Diásporas, Espacios Híbridos y Redes Corpusculares. Presentación de la Red Española de Estudios Soci

Reflections / Maria González Aguado

title The Spanish Network of Science & Technology Studies (Red esCTS) is a precarious, immaterial and fluid locus where almost two hundred students, activists, artists, researchers and “affected citizens” collaboratively re-think, experiment with and push STS forward.

Disaster Mobilities: Staying in the Trouble

Projects / Katrina Petersen

title To illustrate the complexities of entanglements between human, technology, and world that STS theory highlights, three projects at Lancaster University facilitate collective embodied engagement and experience.

Primer Coloquio Colombiano de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la tecnología

Report-backs / Yuri Jack Gómez-Morales

title This field of STS is not new in Colombia; starting at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in the early 1990s the number of practitioners has increased in recent years in several epicentres across the nation. Colombian practitioners regularly attend international conferences abroad such as the 4S, EASST, and ESOCITE conferences, the CYTED meetings, the summer schools for postgraduates, and the RICyT congress. Paradoxically, there are few local opportunities for extending academic and research contacts among practitioners and schools. The goal of the First National STS Workshop was precisely tackling this paradox by putting together colleagues from all around the country in Bogotá in April 2015. (Entry in Spanish and English)

The Science of Science Maps

Reflections / Isabella E. Wagner

title In scientometrics, visualisations perform in a political environment since they form a colourful reality of an abstract construct that is a product of a long series of previous representation and translation steps

Continuity and Change in the Social Science of Risk, Hazards, and Disasters

Report-backs / AJ Faas and Tess Kulstad

title The Risk and Disaster Topical Interest Group within the SfAA addresses risk and disaster-related topics with wider, multi-field appeal.

CTS en América Latina: ¿Hacia un ‘Programa comprometido’?

Reflections / Pablo Kreimer

title Pablo Kreimer reflects upon how the development of the STS field in Latin America is structured from a tension, which varies over successive generations, between the political commitment, or the attempts to public intervention, and the creation of a 'rigorous' academic field. He presents some of the main landmarks on the origins of the field in the region, argues that this tension is similar to certain processes that have taken place in North América, and suggests that to create an engaged STS field in the region is still a long journey.

Report on the 3rd CPERI Workshop, San Diego, March 2015

Report-backs / Kean Birch

title A report on the 3rd Changing Political Economic of Research and Innovation (CPERI) Workshop held at UC San Diego in March 2015, and organized by Charles Thorpe and Martha Lampland from the Science Studies Program there. Originally started by David Tyfield in 2012, the CPERI workshops are an attempt to reinvigorate or renew interest in the political economy of science, research and innovation.

Textile Waste and Audiovisual STS

Projects / Hanna Rose Shell

title A contribution to a material archeology of waste. A heap of ground-up textile waste is the starting point for a book and a series of interconnected short films and interactive media in progress.