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Society for Social Studies of Science

What is 4S?

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is an international, nonprofit scholarly society founded in 1975. 4S fosters interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship in social studies of science, technology, and medicine (a field often referred to as STS). Membership in the society is open to anyone interested in understanding developments in science, technology, or medicine in relation to their social contexts.

All About 4S Membership

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

4S News

4S President’s message – September 2017


As many of you have have heard me say before, I deeply appreciate the diverse places from which STS comes, and think STS knowledge has great theoretical as well as practical relevance in the contemporary world.  I hope to help build 4S community and organizational capacity that supports STS teaching, research and practice in different contexts, while continuing to build STS across borders of many kinds.


4S President’s message – August 2017


Infrastructure and Mentoring Award Announcements, Mentors needed in Boston, 4S 2017 Welcome Demonstration, Expert Review call, IPCC Special Report on Global Warming


4S President’s message – July 2017


Mullins and Edge Prize Announcements. 4S Council election results. Registration news and Preliminary Program for 4S 2017. Support for non-US Travelers to 4S 2017   .


4S Sydney 18 Announced


The theme of the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science—Transnational STS – encourages presentations, panels, and other events that deepen and extend the transnational character of the Society itself.



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

A Yolngu matha translation for 4S Sydney

Reflections / Michaela Spencer

title Michaela Spencer reports back on her experience of creating with Yirriṉiṉba ‘Yinin’ Dhurrkay an abstract in Aboriginal language – and a potential opening within 4S for Yolngu epistemic sensibilities to be listened to and respected.

The Anthropocene in Chile: notes from an experimental thinkshop

Report-backs / Manuel Tironi

Meeting to propose different ways of thinking and discussing the anthropocene in Chile

Provincializing STS: an EASTS Forum on how East Asia complicates the STS Landscape

Report-backs / Wen-Hua Kuo

A synthesis of Provincializing Forum its reflections and contributions available until 2 September.

The Third Year of #QueerSTS4S and Call for 2018 Organizers

Projects / Mitali Thakor and Stephen Molldrem

title We continue to conceptualize these meetups as part of a much broader set of activities focused on building queer approaches within STS and supporting the emotional labor of individuals who are actively involved in this work.

Doing ethnography of and with rocks

Report-backs / Alison Marlin

title Alison Marlin uses two ethnographic encounters with rocks – by Helen Verran and Sophia Roosth – to reflect on the stories these seemingly unlively objects may hold.

Self-driving cars with Nassim JafariNaimi: New Research in ST&HV

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

Professor Nassim JafariNaimi discusses her recent ST&HV article, "Our Bodies in the Trolley’s Path, or Why Self-driving Cars Must *Not* Be Programmed to Kill."

We are all Eric Cartman now

Reflections / David Banks

title Inverse has a short thing about the precipitous decline of reported close encounters with extra-terrestrials following the widespread adoption of smartphones. Author Ryan Britt asks, “How come there have been fewer reports of flying saucers and alien abductions in the age of the camera phone?” David Banks finds in his contribution to "Cyborgology" another answer.

In the Moment: Notes from a Graduate Student Conference

Report-backs / Madeleine Pape

title Madeleine Pape asked the three organizers – Savina Balasubramanian, Omri Tubi, and Kevin Baker – of the graduate conference "Science, Technology, and the Politics of Knowledge" to share their insights in organizing such an event.

Book Review: Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920

Reviews / Dr Jonathan Silver

According to Jonathan Silver, "Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic" makes a significant contribution to the global history of cotton and our understandings about the long durée of capitalism.

What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences

Reflections / Jess Auerbach

It’s not often that you get to create a new university from scratch.

New in...

Building for Biology: A Gene Therapy Trial Infrastructure
By Samuel Taylor-Alexander, Courtney Addison
The Ethics of Translational Science: Imagining Public Benefit in Gene-Environment Interaction Research
By Sara L. Ackerman, Katherine Weatherford Darling, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Robert A. Hiatt, Janet K. Shim    

New in...

Technoscience Updates

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


New issue of Tecnologia e Sociedad/Technology and Society Journal (September-December 2017)
New edited volume: Intercultural Communication and Science and Technology Studies (2017, Springer)
Invitation: Expert Review IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C


Royal Musical Association Study Day: Identity and Vinyl Culture
The STS Conference Graz 2018
Second Colombia National Colloquium in STS: MAKING PEACE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD

Calls for Papers

CFP, edited volume: Before Representation: The Camera as Actor
World War I and the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council:  A Research Competition
Genetic Genealogy


Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Women’s & Gender Studies, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Assistant Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology, Purdue University

Fellowships & Postdocs

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship
2 Postdoctoral Positions for Academic Years 2018-2020, Institute for Practical Ethics, UC San Diego
Postdoc in science, technology and innovation policy and strategy, UNICAMP, Brazil