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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 – January 2017


Handbook of Science and Technology Studies to be released Feb 1. Submissions to open soon for the Boston meeting. Directory of Regional and Country STS Scholar Networks and Associations. Proposal to expand 4S Council.


4S President’s message – December 2016


Submit Open Panel proposals by Jan. 1. 4S 2017
Announcing the Presidential Plenary: ‘Interrogating “the Threat”’


2017 Prize Nominations Open


Nominations are sought for 2017 4S Awards. Please see the respective pages for details and procedures.

Nominations for the Bernal Prize are due 31 December. 

Nominations for the Infrastructure and Mentoring Awards are due 31 January. 

Nominations for the book prizes, Fleck and Carson, are due 1 February.



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

Obama’s legacy in science, technology and innovation

Reflections / Jonathan Coopersmith

title In office Obama was fundamentally an optimist about the potential of science and technology to improve society and safely expand the economy.

Digital Care with Susanna Trnka: New Research in ESTS

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

title Backchannels talks with Professor Susanna Trnka about her new research on young people's use of health apps.

Renewable energy for STS scholarship: the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies

Reviews / Lucy Suchman

title At least one thing that members of the field of STS can look forward to in the new year is the 4th STS Handbook. Its contents reflect the life of STS at this particular historical moment.

Killing Birds

Reflections / Kristoffer Whitney

title Christmas is coming, and with it—in birding circles anyway—comes the “Christmas Bird Count.”

Campo CTS na América latina e domínios psi: pequena crônica de encontros e desencontros.

Reflections / Jimena Carrasca Madarriaga and Arthur Arruda Leal Ferreira

Quanto aos domínios Psi, a proposta é de considerar simetricamente aos saberes e práticas estabelecidos, uma série de práticas fronteiriças menos reconhecidas e em busca de reconhecimento. Assim, serão considerados, por exemplo, estudos referentes aos conhecimentos e práticas das neurociências, psiquiatria, gestão, reabilitação, autoajuda, coaching, entre outros enquanto dispositivos de produção de subjetividades.

Betwixt and Between Augmentation and Automation: Some Reflections after Watching “Sully”

Reviews / Phaedra Daipha

title With insights from the new movie "Sully", Phaedra Daipha sheds light on the vanishing role of the human operator in high risk decision-making environments.

‘Hard’ Surveillance and ‘Soft’ Surveillance: The Quantified Self at Work

Reviews / Christopher O'Neill

title Firms like Humanyze and VoloMetrix have experimented with "white collar surveillance" technologies. Christopher O'Neill examines these and other forms of workplace surveillance in a recent article in ST&HV.

Georgia Tech Gender Equity Champion Reflects on Role as Pioneer of Gender in Science Studies

Reflections / Madeleine Pape

title "I continued in graduate study at the University of Michigan, and — intellectual fireworks! — found a vivid site for study: the case of science, specifically women and men in scientific fields."

Lo que nos enseñan los cuerpos muertos sobre la vida, la muerte, la ciencia y los cuerpos

Reflections / Julia Alejandra Morales y Santiago Martinez Medina

title ¿What can dead bodies teach to the living? In this entry the authors build on their ethnographic works to reflect on this topic. They also put forward possible lessons from the amphitheatre and anatomy classes in Colombia.

Cross-national Genetic Research with Klaus Hoeyer, Aaro Tupasela and Malene Bøgehus Rasmussen

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

Backchannels interviews Klaus Hoeyer, Aaro Tupasela and Malene Bøgehus Rasmussen about their recent ST&HV paper, “Ethics Policies and Ethics Work in Cross-national Genetic Research and Data Sharing: Flows, Nonflows, and Overflows.”

New in...

Building Better Ecological Machines: Complexity Theory and Alternative Economic Models
Jess Bier, Willem Schinkel
Digital Care: Agency and Temporality in Young People’s Use of Health Apps
Susanna Trnka
Drawing Out by Drawing Into: Representation and Partnership in a Design-Science Collaboration
Pablo Schyfter
Debating CRISPR/cas9 and Mitochondrial Donation: Continuity and Transition Performances at Scientific Conferences
Neil Stephens, Rebecca Dimond
Intractosoma: Toward an Epistemology of Complexity Based on Intra-acting Bodies
Sainath Suryanarayanan

New in...

Technoscience Updates

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


New Book from Shirley Sun: Socio-economics of Personalized Medicine in Asia
New book by David J Hess, Undone Science (2016, MIT Press)
New Book from Suryanarayanan and Kleinman: Vanishing Bees (2016, Rutgers University Press)


“Interdisciplinary Encounters: Exploring Knowledge-Making Across Boundaries”
NSF Workshop: Social Facets of Data Science
How online media are changing science communication

Calls for Papers

Global Infectious Diseases: New Challenges and Solutions
Call for papers: Edited collection on STS Approaches to Science Communication


Non-Tenure-Stream Position in Archives & Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
Non-Tenure-Stream Position in Data Stewardship, University of Pittsburgh
Research Scholar at The Hastings Center in Garrison, New York

Fellowships & Postdocs

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetics, Columbia University
3 Visiting Fellowships on Innovation and Innovation Society, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Post Doctoral Fellowship in the History of Science and Technology, NYU