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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

4S President’s message – December 2016


REMINDER 4S 2017 Open Panel Deadline – 1 January 2017

As term breaks approach, this is a reminder that the deadline for submission of open panel proposals for next year’s 4S conference in Boston, from August 30th to September 2nd is January 1st, 2017.  Our apologies for asking you to consider this over the holidays, but we want to have the full set of open panels out for individual paper submissions by January 15th, so the time is tight for the program committee’s work.

The open panel phase of the submission process provides an opportunity for you to frame a topic and send out an open call for papers that address it. Open panel proposals will be included in the conference program pending sufficient paper submissions (at least 5 papers for a single session, with a maximum of three sessions per panel stream). Co-organized open panels are welcome. 

Panel proposals should take the form of a paragraph up to 250 words describing the panel topic, including a brief discussion of its relevance to STS.  For more information see the meeting home page, and to submit your proposals go to

Submit Open Panel Proposals Now

Open panels will be announced for individual paper submissions by January 15, 2017; the deadline for closed sessions and individual abstracts is March 1st.

4S 2017 Presidential Plenary ‘Interrogating “the Threat”’

To inspire your thoughts about next year’s 4S meeting, I’m happy to offer news of a very exciting Presidential Plenary in the making, under the title ‘Interrogating “the Threat”.’ Our aim is to stage a critical conversation regarding contemporary figurations of what we should be concerned about, across domains of (post)colonialism, (in)security, multi-species environments, (anti)militarism, (im)migration, etc., as part of thinking and acting through the dominant narratives into new possibilities.  The session will be organized as more of a roundtable than a series of presentations, affording time for discussion both among the panelists and with the audience.  I’m delighted to announce the very wonderful line up of participants; Karen Barad (University of California, Santa Cruz), Steve Epstein (Northwestern University), Joe Masco (University of Chicago), Amade M’charek  (University of Amsterdam) and Kim Tallbear (University of Alberta).  Further details will be available early in the new year on the meeting website.

In addition to the Presidential Plenary, Heather Paxson and the program committee are generating further ideas for subplenaries and other conference events.  Inspired by the inventiveness of the Barcelona EASST/4S conference, the aim is to have a program that engages both with current developments in STS, and with related scholarly, artistic and activist happenings in the Boston/Cambridge area.

Wishing you happy holidays, in whatever form they take for you.