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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

4S President’s message – July 2017


Mullins and Edge Prize Announcements

It is my great pleasure to announce the two recipients of this year’s Mullins and Edge prizes!

Kellie Owens (Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, US) is the winner of the 2017 Nicholas C. Mullins award for her paper ‘Too Much of A Good Thing?: American childbirth, intentional ignorance, and the boundaries of responsible knowledge.’ The Mullins Prize is awarded for an outstanding piece of scholarship by a graduate student in the field of Science and Technology Studies.

Click here for the extended announcement of the Mullins Prize award.

Stephen J. Collier (Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School, Public Engagement, US) and Andrew Lakoff  (Department of Sociology and Communication, University of Southern California, US) are the winners of the 2017 David Edge prize for their article, ‘Vital Systems Security: Reflexive Biopolitics and the Government of Emergency, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 32, no. 2 (2015), pp. 19-51.The Edge prize is awarded for an outstanding article in the area of science and technology studies.

Click here for the extended announcement of the Edge Prize award.

My warmest congratulations to Kellie, Stephen, and Andrew!  I would like to extend heartfelt thanks as well to the 2017 Mullins Prize Committee members Oscar Maldonado, Linköping University, Sweden  (Council Member) Sara Wylie, NortheasternUniversity, USA  (Council member), and Monamie Bhadra Arizona State University, USA (2016 recipient), and 2017 Edge Prize Committee members Gwen Ottinger, Drexel University, USA (Council Member, chair), Kristoffer Whitney, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA (2016 Winner), and Margarita Rayzberg, Northwestern University, USA (Student Representative to Council)

This and other awards will be presented in the Presidential Awards Plenary in Boston on Thursday, August 31st.

4S Council election results

I’m delighted as well to announce the results of the recent elections for 4S Council:

4S Members of Council:  Lesley Green (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Noela Invernizzi (Federal University of Paraná, Brazil), Roopali Phadke (Macalester College, USA), and Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (Linköping University, Sweden)

4S Student Representative: Aadita Chaudhury (York University, Canada)

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who so graciously agreed to run for election, resulting in an outstanding slate of candidates.  It was clear from the results that there was membership support for all candidates, across the board, and those who didn’t win in this election have expressed their enthusiasm for continuing engagement with 4S, for which President-elect Kim Fortun and I are deeply grateful.  Thanks also to current Council and Nominations Committee members Anita Say Chan and Shobita Parthasarathy, and to 4S Secretary Steve Zehr, who shepherded the election process with thoughtfulness and care.

Registration news and Preliminary Program for 4S 2017

By the end of the early registration period on 23 June, 1200 people had registered for the 4S conference from 30 August to 2 September in Boston.  With tremendous, ongoing thanks to Heather Paxson (who among many other tasks placed 1100+ individually submitted and accepted papers in sessions and roundtables) and members of the organizing committee, details of scheduling, room allocations and conference plenaries are now available in the Preliminary Program on the conference website. 

Support for non-US Travelers to 4S 2017   

As the date of the 4S 2017 conference in Boston draws nearer, we continue to monitor US policy regarding international visitors and to assess its impact on 4S members.  With thanks for the suggestions that we’ve received from members to this point, the Ad Hoc Committee in Support of non-US Travelers (Kim Fortun, Anita Say Chan, Shobita Parthasarathy, Tania Pérez-Bustos, Sara Wylie and myself) is assembling information and organizing contacts to facilitate smooth arrivals for 4S conference participants traveling to Boston from outside the United States.  We’ll be issuing a full update on this very soon – for letters in support of Visa applications contact

regards to all,