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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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4S News

STS Infrastructure Award – Call for Nominations


The STS Infrastructure Award Committee (co-chaired by Geof Bowker and Kenji Ito) welcomes nominations for the recipient of the first award, to be presented at EASST/4S 2016 in Barcelona. Please submit nominations.


President’s Message January 2016


As I mentioned in my brief remarks in Denver, over the next year I hope to convene a discussion around what it means for 4S to be an international association that is administratively based in the United States. A rough survey of our membership database (with apologies for all of the differences within that are erased by the categories) suggests that 676 or just over one half of 4S members are...


REMINDER:  Call for papers and closed sessions for EASST/4S 2016


4S and EASST have issued a a call for papers and closed sessions for the 2016 Joint Meeting that will take place from August 31st to September 3rd in Barcelona  The deadline for submission of individual papers and closed session proposals is 21 February 2016.

Titled 'Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures,’ the...



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

Top of the Heap: Elly Teman

/ Hannah Gibson

title I like to show Zippi Brand Frank’s 2009 HBO documentary Google Baby about gestational surrogacy in India as it clearly maps out the movement across national borders, social classes, and bodies involved in transnational surrogacy arrangements.

Apuntes desde EXPLORA-CONICYT y la visibilidad de la ciencia y tecnología escolar en Latinoamérica

Report-backs / Gloria Baigorrotegui

title Children and young people from schools throughout Chile and school representatives from three Latin American countries: Mexico, Peru and Argentina met from 24 to 26 November 2015 in the city of Valparaiso to present their scientific projects in the final of the XVI School National Congress School of Science and Technology. 53 projects were selected in three categories: i) Natural Sciences, ii) Research in engineering and technology and iii) Social Sciences. Gloria Baigorrotegui tells us her experience as an external evaluator of this initiative.

Building DIY citizen science technology to see invisible marine plastics

Projects / Max Liboiron

title Ninety-three percent of all marine plastics are smaller than a grain of rice (Eriksen et al 2014). This summer I made a research voyage through one of the world’s five gyres, huge slow-moving currents in the middle each of the world’s five oceans that tend to accumulate floating debris, including plastics.

A construção de uma rede de engenharia popular

Report-backs / Rede de Engenharia Popular Oswaldo Sevá

title The engineering subject is rarely connected with issues such as inequality, poverty, alternative development projects and society. The connections, however, are many and very important. Brazil is an unequal country, where much of the population has no access to basic rights such as housing, sanitation, etc. But these are not the only difficulties these people face. Lack of access to public universities, to the engineering courses and to developed technologies are added to the immense challenges that poor people, on the outskirts of the cities or the countryside, have faced daily.

4S Backchannels Seeks Graduate Student Assistant Editors

Projects / Jen Henderson

We are looking for graduate students to join our efforts as interns for Backchannels, our blog. While these positions are unpaid, the 4S Council has agreed to waive the annual conference registration fee for those who volunteer.

Revisando la universidad

Report-backs / Fabian Prieto

title Over two years, the Learning to see systems group has worked in an interdisciplinary approach around the question of how to make visible the values and epistemologies embedded in scientific and technological complex systems. With this ambitious goal, teachers and students have followed a path that connected communication studies, art history, social studies of science and technology and artistic practice. Learning to see system emerged in 2013 from a proposal endorsed by the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, within the program INTERSECT. Under the leadership of Kevin Hamilton, Professor of Art and Design, the group made progress in its discussions from a curriculum that included four doctoral level courses and participation in workshops designed by the group itself. This is the case of the workshop "Revising the University", which had place on May 27, 2015.

#QueerSTS4S: A Meetup at 4S for Scholars at the Intersection of LGBTQ Studies and STS

Projects / Mitali Thakor and Stephen Molldrem

title We are thrilled to announce #QueerSTS4S: A Meetup at 4S for Scholars at the Intersection of LGBTQ Studies and STS, which will take place at 4S this November; specifically, on Thursday, November 12th from 8-10pm at the Sheraton Director’s Room E. There will be refreshments and a cash bar.