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Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

President’s Message, January, 2014


Intro to Latin American STS!

I have asked our co-program chairs, Leandro Rodriguez Medina (UDLAP, Mexico) and Pablo Kreimer (CONICET [National Council for Scientific Research], Argentina), to prepare a series of brief introductions to Latin American STS. Most ESOCITE members know far more about 4S than most 4S members know about ESOCITE. Also, commitments to action have been a recurring theme across Latin American STS from which 4S members can learn, among other things. Leandro and Pablo offer their first contribution below.

Nominees for Council and President?

Beginning this year, Council as a whole will select nominees for new Council members and the new President. Claire Waterton (Lancaster U, UK) is managing the process for identifying candidates for Council. I am managing the process for identifying candidates for President.

Please suggest here potential candidates, including yourself, for Council, President, or both. To aid Council in its deliberations, include a brief description of each candidate's qualifications.

Thanks to Steve Zehr (U Southern Indiana, USA), 4S Secretary, for preparing the following descriptions of terms and responsibilities:

Council members serve a three-year term beginning immediately after the annual 4S meeting. Three members are elected annually from a slate of 5-7 candidates. Council members are expected to be available for two meetings annually – one at the annual meeting and the other during a two-day spring meeting. Council members also initiate and participate in regular 4S business throughout the year. Regular business includes considering and formulating policy, providing feedback to the President on matters of concern, discussing and formulating new initiatives, and other business as necessary. Council members also serve on one prize committee each year and additional committees as requested by the President. The workload is not onerous, but does require a 3-year commitment.

The President serves a two-year term after one year as President-Elect. All past Presidents are non-voting members of Council. The President is in charge of the affairs of the society. S/he serves as an ex-officio member of all committees and a voting member of the Council. The President organizes and presides over both annual Council meetings and the annual business meeting, oversees the work of committees, represents 4S in dealings with other organizations, helps formulate society policy, organizes a Presidential Plenary at each annual meeting, assists in developing new initiatives, and works with the Secretary and Treasurer in the conduct of regular business.

Speakers for the Joint Presidential Plenary in Buenos Aires?
"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.

As you depart for the opening reception, we will challenge you to go meet someone you don't know, especially from the other society, and ask how s/he responds to these prompts.

I invite you 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 would welcome your identifying yourself so I know from where the suggestion comes. I will be seeking counsel from many directions.

Come to Buenos Aires!
Gary Downey