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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

4S President’s Message – January 2017


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

At least one thing that members of the field of STS can look forward to in the new year is the 4th STS Handbook, available from MIT Press in hardcopy beginning February 1st.  The latest in a series that began in 1977 (with subsequent volumes published in 1995 and 2008), the 2017 edition exemplifies work in a transdisciplinary field that is at once well established and in ongoing transformation. The 36 chapters of the Handbook are the product of the work of 121 authors – a rich set of collaborations that includes new as well as longstanding STS scholars.  4S’ agreement with MIT Press includes reasonably-priced access to pdfs of individual chapters, as well as to the full Handbook. Our hope is that this will facilitate the collection’s use as a resource for research and teaching.  To read more see my post in Backchannels.

Paper and closed panel submissions for 4S 2017 open January 15th

4S 2017 Program Chair Heather Paxson reports that we’ve received 132 open panel proposals for this year’s 4S conference in Boston on ‘STS (In)Sensibilities’ – many thanks to all of you who took the time before (and no doubt during) the holidays to make submissions.  The program committee is reviewing the proposals, and a full list will be posted when the link goes live for individual paper submissions on January 15th.  We’ll be inviting you to identify open panel sessions for which your paper is relevant, and we anticipate a rich selection from which to choose.  But we’ll also welcome individual paper submissions for ad hoc sessions.  Starting January 15th you’ll also be able to submit closed sessions (with 3-5 invited papers), organized around more specific themes.  See the conference site for full details.  The deadline for all submissions will be March 1, 2017.

Directory of Regional and Country STS Scholar Networks and Associations

Many thanks to Pablo Santoro and Arthur Arruda Leal-Ferreira, who have compiled an international directory of STS networks and associations, following a meeting at the Barcelona EASST/4S meetings.  You can download a PDF here..

Change to 4S Charter – Size of Council

Last but not least, 4S Council has approved an increase in the size of the Council from 9 to 12 members, pending ratification by the Society membership.  If ratified, this would be achieved through a progressive increase in candidates over the next three years. The rationale for the change is the increase in demands on Council over the past several years, including the expansion of 4S digital publications and two new prize committees.  The larger Council size would enable a more sustainable workload for members, as well as greater diversification in Council membership.

Our Charter requires that any amendments approved by Council be put to a mail ballot of the Society for ratification by a majority of those voting.  Please be on the lookout for a ballot, coming soon to your inbox.

Hoping for a 2017 that’s less prosperous for some, and more for all,