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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

President’s message #5


4S/ESOCITE Meeting/Congreso is on!

Submissions for the Buenos Aires gathering are strong in number and quality!  Nearly all arrived at the last minute, making some of us miss a few heartbeats.  The  program chairs report that "STS practices regarding deadlines are similar across South(s) and North(s)"!

The meeting/congreso is on!  See the summary below from the program chairs.

Thank you for completing the digital publications survey

Thanks to those members who responded to the digital publications survey last month.  Although the number of respondents is too small to call it a representative sample (n = 33), support for 4S "creating a new open access, peer-reviewed journal" is remarkably strong.  Twenty-nine respondents, or 88%, replied yes.  Of that number, 28 were willing to support the new journal via a small increase in membership fees.

We have also received a preliminary proposal from Sage for an open access journal partnership that would span the fields of STS and history and philosophy of science, paid for through author fees.   

Council will be considering various options at its March 21-22 meeting. 

A proposed 4S position statement

Council has received from a group of members a proposed position statement on an issue currently attracting widespread popular interest.

The Reports and Position Statements Committee has submitted draft procedures for vetting and deciding on proposed reports and statements.  Council will, hopefully, approve procedures either at its meeting or shortly thereafter.

4S Mentoring Award Committee

A committee is drafting a proposal for an award honoring members who have demonstrated excellence in mentoring graduate students to become STS scholars. 

Members considered including excellence in the scholarship of teaching in STS.  It proved too difficult to identify criteria and procedures that would fairly span our diverse membership.

Council will make a decision on any proposal only after seeking input from members.

4S Mentoring Award Committee (current members from Council; one more to come): Kaushik Sunder Rajan (chair, U Chicago), Leandro Rodriguez Medina (UDLAP, Mexico), Kim Fortun (Rensselaer), Steve Zehr and Gary Downey (ex officio).

3rd chance!: nominate speakers for the Joint Presidential Plenary

"What Is STS For? What Are STS scholars For?: Mapping STS Today" is the title of the opening Joint Presidential Plenary in Buenos Aires.  

24 STS scholars (12 each from 4S and ESOCITE) will have 3 minutes each to respond to these prompts by describing what they do, how and why they do it, and what they seek to accomplish in the process. Speakers will present in one of the three official languages, accompanied by slides translating their presentations into the other two languages.

Here's your third chance to suggest to me one or more potential 4S presenters (other than yourself) who can share a line of STS scholarship that you find valuable, and do so powerfully, passionately, and persuasively.  Although not essential, I welcome your identifying yourself so I know from where the suggestion comes. I am seeking counsel from many directions.


Come to Buenos Aires August 20-23 for the joint ESOCITE/4S congreso/meeting!  And bring your books to display and donate to the silent auction--to support student travel.
(If you are bringing books to donate, please notify the exhibits coordinator, Wenda Bauchspies.)

Gary Downey