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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

President’s message #10


Request for patience and goodwill at the Intercontinental Hotel

Approximately 1,000 people will participate in the ESOCITE/4S meeting, significantly more than the organizers had expected! Ours seems to be the largest meeting the hotel has ever hosted. Hotel staff are going overboard to accommodate this complex international meeting.

You may remember that we lost our second hotel. Replacing its rooms would have required contracting with multiple hotels, blocks away from the Intercontinental and in different directions. It would have been a nightmare. Instead, we added an extra day to the meeting.

This meeting has 14 parallel sessions, significantly fewer than the 25 parallel sessions at the 4S meeting in San Diego. The rooms are of decent size. All this bodes well for attendance. Between sessions, however, corridors will be crowded. We ask for your patience as you navigate them.

The challenges in putting this joint meeting/congress together reached unprecedented levels of complexity and flux. The organizers have been extraordinarily dedicated in bringing the meeting/congress to fruition. My 2,500 emails and cc’s are but one indicator that they have given their all.

The organizers include Pablo Kreimer and Leandro Rodriguez-Medina (co-program chairs), Wes Shrum (4S program officer), Wenda Bauchspies (4S exhibit and prize coordinator), Steve Coffee (registration and meeting support), Ezequiel Benito and Luciano Levin (local arrangements and plenary support), and Stefania Charitou (program support). All deserve our gratitude. They also hope you depart after the meeting/congress judging it to have been one of the best you’ve attended.

You will have the opportunity to share your assessment in a post-meeting survey.

Council approved the “Resolution to Avoid Overlap in Annual Meetings with Neighboring Academic Organizations”

Please comment on a committee report recommending a 4S Building STS Award

The 4S Building STS Award Committee has completed the “Building STS Award Committee Report and Proposal.” Council has approved the next step—seeking your comments. Note that the Committee is, at present, considering two candidate names: “4S Founders Award” and “4S Building STS Award.” Please review the background report and submit comments by August 31.

The Committee’s report includes a background description, justification for the award, guidelines for the award, and a proposed selection procedure.
Members of the 4S Building STS Award Committee include Kenji Ito (chair; Graduate University for Advanced Studies [Sokendai], Japan), Ed Hackett (Arizona State U, USA) Vivian Lagesen (NTNU, Norway), Jane Summerton (Linköping U, Sweden; U Oslo, Norway), along with Steve Zehr and myself (ex officio).

Update on open access journal and digital publications!

Daniel Kleinman (4S OA journal editor; U Wisconsin-Madison), Katie Vann (4S OA journal managing editor), and Kelly Moore (chair, 4S publications committee; Loyola U Chicago) met recently to outline actions and initiatives they will complete this fall to enable the journal to begin publication as early as possible in 2015!

Ali Kenner (member, 4S digital publications subcommittee; Drexel U) submitted a report to the digital publications subcommittee outlining initial low-cost steps the 4S could take to adapt its website to include new digital publications. Ali was supported by an undergraduate research assistant and worked with Steve Coffee, 4S webmaster, to think through the issues. The next steps include deliberation by the digital publications subcommittee chaired by Wen-Hua Kuo (National Yang Ming U, Taiwan) and the 4S publications committee, followed by a formal proposal or proposals to Council!

Submit proposed 4S resolutions and requests for 4S reports!

The Committee on Resolutions and Reports invites members to submit proposed resolutions, as well as requests to Council to establish ad hoc report committees. See the Guidelines on the website.

Bring dollars, euros, and reals to Buenos Aires, if possible

Already explained at the 4S meeting website. No further comment from me, but you’ll be happy you did.

Attendees from the U.S., Canada, and Australia: remember to pay the reciprocity fee before departure. You need a printed copy on arrival. Safe travels!

Gary Downey