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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

4S President’s message – May 2017


Bernal Prize Announcement

It is my pleasure to announce that the 2017 recipient of the John Desmond Bernal Prize for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of STS is Argentinean anthropologist Hebe Vessuri, whose contributions have been fundamental to the consolidation of the STS community in Latin America.  Professor Vessuri is currently an emeritus researcher at the Center for Social Studies of Science in the Institute of Scientific Research in Venezuela (IVIC), and a research collaborator at the Director’s Office, Research Center of Environmental Geography (CIGA), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).  Her research focus is on science in world peripheries, the internationalization of the social sciences, and relations between higher education, scientific research and, other modes of knowledge making.

Click here for the full announcement and Professor Vessuri’s acceptance.

My warmest congratulations to Hebe!  Please join me as well in thanking 2017 Bernal Prize Committee members Kim Fortun, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA (4S President-elect, Chair) Tania Perez-Bustos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (member of Council), Wen-Hua Kuo, National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan (former member of Council) Erika Szymanski, University of Otago, New Zealand (student representative), and Mike Lynch, Cornell University, USA (2016 Bernal Prize winner). 

Registration now open for 4S 2017 conference

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Heather Paxson and members of the program committee, the review process for 4S 2017 is close to completion, with approximately 1500 papers accepted.  Registration is now open, with June 23 being the last day to register at the early discount rate (scroll down on the meeting home page for details).  Application for travel grants is now open as well, with a first round deadline of 15 May.

The meeting page will continue to provide updates on plans for associated plenaries and affiliated events, and the preliminary program will be available later this month. We are responding to inquiries and communications from those who will be traveling to Boston from outside of the US, as well as several participants who have decided not to travel to Boston, for whom we’ll be making provisions for remote participation. 

Finally, we’ve received a warm response to the call for Pluralizing Languages, with translations now posted in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.  Further offers of translation help will be gratefully received; please email Maurizio Meloni at

4S sponsorship of March for Science

4S Council was happy to endorse last month’s March for Science, which mobilized more than 600 marches around the world on April 22nd.   4S Council issued its own statement in support of this movement’s aims, emphasizing the importance of government support and active citizen involvement in scientific research, education, and culture, and expressing our concerns regarding the escalating suppression of research data, censorship of results, and defunding of education, research, and other vital scientific infrastructure. We are heartened by the surge of citizen activism that has been mobilized internationally, in response to policies that jeopardize a continued commitment to the place of evidence in knowledge making across the social and natural sciences.

warm regards to all,
Lucy Suchman, 4S President