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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

4S President’s message – June 2017


Carson and Fleck Prize Announcements

It is my great pleasure to announce the two recipients of this year’s 4S book prizes.

Adia Benton (Northwestern University, US) is the winner of the 2017 Rachel Carson Prize for her book HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone. (2015, Univ Of Minnesota Press). The Carson Prize is awarded for an outstanding book length work of social or political relevance in the area of science and technology studies.

The Committee would also like to award an honorable mention to a book that was a very close second, Lundy Braun’s Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics (2014, Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press).

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

Judy Wajcman (London School of Economics, UK) is the winner of the 2017 Ludwik Fleck prize for her book Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism  (2015, University of Chicago Press).  The Fleck Prize is the oldest 4S book prize, awarded to an outstanding book across the breadth of science and technology studies.

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

My warmest congratulations to Adia and to Judy!  Please join me as well in thanking 2017 Carson Prize Committee members Daniel Breslau, Virginia Tech, USA (Council Member and chair) Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan, USA (Council member), and Tania Pérez-Bustos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia (Council member) and 2017 Fleck Prize Committee members Abby Kinchy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA  (Council member and chair); Sulfikar Amir, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Council member), and Claire Waterton, Lancaster University, UK (Council member).

See the online program for scheduling of the Author Meets Critics Sessions in Boston.


Registration is now open for the 4S 2017 conference at  Be sure to register by the 23rd of June, before the fees go up by USD 100! 

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Heather Paxson and the Program Committee, the Preliminary Program is now available online or as a downloadable pdf.  Scroll down the meeting page for links.

Ongoing developments in US policy

A reminder to those traveling from outside the US to begin your Visa applications as soon as possible, if you haven’t done so already.  We are glad to provide a formal letter of invitation if that’s helpful – please send requests to We continue to monitor the situation regarding the current court stays on the US travel ban (on citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen), as well as enhanced visa requirements and border practices affecting a wider range of international travelers. We’ll be providing further advice for travelers to the US over the coming months.

Many of us are dismayed by the news that President No. 45 has withdrawn from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, a move that has further marginalized the United States in the international community.  At the same time, these developments arguably increase the need for us to come together as STS researchers, and as you’ll see from the listing of program and auxiliary events, 4S 2017 will address issues of evidence-based environmental governance and climate justice in multiple forums. There is more heartening news as well from our local hosts, as both the Mayor of the city of Boston and the Governor of the state of Massachusetts have joined with other local and state leaders across the US to pledge continuing adherence to the Climate Agreement.

4S Council Election

This month we’re holding elections for 4 new members of the 4S Council. Please note that there was an error in the deadline indicated in your invitation email – the deadline for casting your vote is the 30th of June 2017.  As you’ll see there’s a wonderful slate of candidates, for which special thanks go to Anita Say Chan, University of Illinois, USA (Council member, Chair) and Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan, USA (Council member) for their work on the Nominations Committee.

warm regards,