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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

4S President’s message – August 2017


Infrastructure and Mentoring Award Announcements

It is my great pleasure to announce the recipients of the 2017 Infrastructure and Mentoring Awards.

The Infrastructure Award for 2017 goes collectively to the editors of the four Handbooks of Science and Technology Studies:

1st Edition  (1977, Sage)                    Ina Spiegel-Rösing and Derek de Solla Price
2nd Edition (1995, Sage)                    Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald Markle, James C. Petersen, and Trevor Pinch
3rd Edition (2008, MIT Press)            Edward J. Hackett, Olga Amsterdamska, Michael Lynch, and Judy Wajcman
4th Edition (2017, MIT Press)            Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark A. Miller,  and Laurel Smith-Doerr

The STS Infrastructure Award honors exemplary contributions of STS scholars to building and maintaining the institutional and intellectual infrastructures that permit our field to sustain itself, and to grow appropriately.
Click here for the extended announcement of the Infrastructure Award.

The 2017 Mentoring Award goes to Andrew Webster, Professor of the Sociology of Science and Technology, Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) at York University in the UK, and Co-Chair (with Professor Robin Williams of the University of Edinburgh) of the UK Association for Studies of Innovation, Science, and Technology (AsSIST-UK).

The 4S Mentoring Award implements an expansive conception of mentoring, recognizing the wide range of ways that effective mentors share scholarly insights, practices, and support across generations and domains of practice. It recognizes mentoring through pedagogy, assistance in professional development, support of work-life relationships, and other appropriate practices.

Click here for the extended announcement of the Mentoring Award.

My warmest congratulations and thanks to the Handbook editors and to Andrew! 

Please join me as well in thanking 2017 Infrastructure Award Committee members Geof Bowker, University of California, Irvine, USA (Chair); Kenji Ito, Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Sokendai, Japan (member); Gwen Ottinger, Drexel University, USA (Council member); Jane Summerton, VTI, Sweden (member); Sally Wyatt, WTMC/Maastricht University, Netherlands (2016 recipient), and 2017 Mentoring Award Committee members Leandro Rodriguez Medina, Universidad de las Americas Puebla, Mexico (Chair); Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago, USA (member); Sharon Traweek, UCLA, USA (member); Anita Say Chan, University of Illinois, USA (Council member); Arie Rip, University of Twente, Netherlands (2016 recipient).

These and the other 4S awards will be presented during the Presidential Awards Plenary in Boston, on Thursday, August 31 from 6:00 to 7:30pm.  We’ll follow the format developed last year in Barcelona to ensure that the plenary is both congratulatory and substantive, and to invite the recipients to engage with each other in conversation. For all of you who’ll be at 4S 2017, please come and celebrate with us!

Mentors needed in Boston

The 4S Mentorship Program is in its 12th year! We have a real shortage of mentors this year. If you have been to 4S at least once before, please consider signing up to be a mentor in Boston. A mentoring relationship involves meeting with a less experienced scholar during the conference, and ideally continues with a few email or phone exchanges in the following 12 months. You'll be matched with a scholar based on your research interests. It's a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and help a less experienced scholar develop their career.

Visit the Mentorship Program registration page for more information and to sign up:

4S 2017 Welcome Demonstration

As part of our initiative to welcome international conference participants to Boston, a group of us will be staging a Welcome Demonstration at Boston’s Logan Airport on Tuesday August 29th, from 5:30-7:30pm.  We’ll be positioned outside International Arrivals (Terminal E), with the following message:

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Welcomes International Conference Participants*

*Rather than what would be a rather large banner, we’ll have pieces of this message on 6-8 separate and smaller placards and arrange ourselves accordingly.  This will make the logistics more flexible.

If you’ll be in Boston and are interested in participating, please email me at with the subject line ‘Welcome Demonstration.’  I’ll be providing further details to participants in the weeks to come. 

While this welcome will be enacted on Tuesday evening, it is meant symbolically for all international travelers to 4S 2017, whenever you arrive, as a supplement to the travel partners being arranged by the Ad hoc Committee in Support of non-US Travelers.  If you might be arriving at Logan during this time period, do look for us! 

Expert Review call, IPCC Special Report on Global Warming

The International Council for Science (ICSU), of which 4S is a member, has passed along a call for prospective Expert Reviewers to comment on the International Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.  As the invitation explains, this is an IPCC special report “on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.”  See the Announcements section of the newsletter below for further details on how to participate.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Boston at the end of this month for what promises to be not only the largest 4S conference to date, but also an intellectually rich, challenging, and inspirational gathering of STS scholars.

all best wishes,