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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

President’s message #13


Help Council select a name for the new 4S blog—Nov 21 deadline!

The Interim 4S Web Committee has been hard at work redesigning the user interface of the 4S website, to make it a dynamic site for information, communication, and scholarship. The goal is to have several new content features available by early December.

One such feature is a 4S blog.  The Committee has proposed two possible names to Council – “Back Channels” and “Coordinates.” 

Council invites you to vote for one of these names, suggest other names, and offer comments.  Comments must be received by Friday, November 21. 

The Committee consists of Ali Kenner, 4S Web Design Editor; Daniel Breslau, 4S Web Content Editor; Jen Henderson, 4S Web Assistant Editor; and Steve Coffee, 4S Webmaster.

//Council finalizes 4S Mentoring Award procedures!

Council amended and approved a 5-part proposal from the 4S Mentoring Award Committee to finalize procedures.  On the advice of the Committee, Council established (1) a standing 4S Mentoring Award Committee; (2) a formal description for the award; (3) procedures for nominating candidates; (4) detailed criteria for selecting awardees; and (5) procedures for deliberating and selecting winners.  All of this will appear on the updated 4S website.

Many thanks to members of the Committee: Kim Fortun, Leandro Rodriguez Medina, Kaushik Sunder Rajan*, Sharon Traweek*, and Sally Wyatt (* co-chairs)!

Council begins holding quarterly electronic meetings

Using WebEx, Council and Officers successfully held our first quarterly electronic meeting in October.  The software facilitated remarkably intimate discussion and deliberations.  Council decided to conduct votes anonymously by electronic ballot following formal meetings. 

At this writing, Council is voting on the name for the new electronic journal.  More on this next month!

Planning for Denver

Daniel Breslau (Virginia Tech) is now developing the call for submissions, taking into account the results from our Buenos Aires survey.  Because communication among relevant parties is moving smoothly, I have decided not to charge an annual meeting review committee.  Among other things, Daniel is clarifying procedures for open access panels, and the final program will be released early enough for attendees to plan travel accordingly. 

One significant issue involves how to increase travel support for graduate students.  Because this issue is linked to ongoing deliberations over the status and organization of 6S, our student section, I postponed formation of a committee devoted specifically to student travel.  More on this in future months.

Many respondents indicated a preference for a 4-day meeting with fewer parallel sessions over a 3-day meeting.  Our contract with the Denver hotel for a 3-day meeting, however, is in place and cannot be changed.  We will revisit this issue for the 2017 meeting.

Planning for EASST/4S in 2016

The EASST Council has indicated it will commit to a city for our 2016 meeting by the end of 2014.

One possibility is Barcelona!  More asap.

Begin planning for Denver in November 2015!

       Gary Downey