skip to main content

Society for Social Studies of Science

4S News

Proposed Revision to 6S Charter


Enter your comments here.

Student Section of the Society for Social Studies of Science (6S)

Revised Charter


The Student Section of 4S (known as 6S) was created to build stronger networks among students and junior scholars who study the social aspects of science and technology, and to promote the interests of students within 4S as an organization.

The student section aims to make 4S more relevant for students through representation on the 4S Council and by organizing specific activities for students and junior scholars. Since students make up over half of the 4S membership, an active student section directly contributes to the development of 4S as a whole.

6S is committed to facilitating the career development of junior scholars in STS, including those who choose to go into academia and those who choose non-academic careers. In addition, 6S works to broaden and deepen  international  character of 4S membership and research.

Election of the 6S Student Representatives

Elected representatives lead 6S. One member of 6S serves as 6S representative on the 4S Council (as a non-voting member). They are elected in the spring, for a term that lasts approximately 3 years.  Representatives are elected through the following process:

1)         Timing of Candidate Solicitation         In February and March of each calendar year, current 6S representatives and the 4S Council solicit nominations for a new 6S student representative via the 4S newsletter, the STSGRAD listserv, and via other means. Nominees must submit a CV, a statement of interest (not to exceed 300 words), and the name and contact information of one professional reference.

2)         Selection of Candidates           One member of the 4S Council (an appointed “6S Liaison”) and the current 6S representatives will narrow the candidates to no more than7 and no fewer than 5 based on the following criteria: demonstrated leadership, management, and organizational skills, interest and enthusiasm in serving as 6S representative, previous involvement in 4S, and good academic standing in their graduate program. 6S reps must be graduate students as of the date of the election for the position, but can remain representatives after they have finished their graduate studies. They may be matriculated in any graduate program in any country.

One member of 4S Council and 6S representatives will then seek short informal references from each candidate’s professional reference. The 4S Council will then choose from this group 3 students to stand for election. These 6S candidates will be chosen t at the same time that the 4S Council is choosing the candidates for 4S Council and President.

The 3 students asked to stand for election will produce a short statement of interest (no more than 250 words) to appear on the 4S ballot. These statements will also be posted on the 4S website along with the prospective President and Council Member statements, and also circulated on the STSGRAD listserv.

3)         Timing of Election and Voter Eligibility          When 4S holds elections for President and Council, it also holds elections for a 6S representative. Only Student Members of 4S may vote for the 6S representative.  

4)         Length of term The 6S representative serves a single term that spans the next 3 consecutive 4S meetings. The term begins at the end of the 4S meeting during the year in which the candidate was elected, and continues over the course of the next two 4S meetings, and ends when a new 6S representative is elected in the 4th year. This means that at any given 4S meeting, there will be 3 representatives: a newly elected 1st year representative, a 2nd year representative, and a 3rd year representative.

5)         6S Representative Responsibilities: 6S reps are expected to attend the first 4S meeting after election, but will not be expected to plan activities for that meeting. The representative will be expected to attend and plan activities at least 3 events at each 4S meeting:  a 6S business meeting, a panel on issues of interest to students such as publishing or surviving job interviews, and an evening social event. They are also expected to attend and participate in the 4S Council meeting and 4S Business Meeting, representing 6S needs and concerns as appropriate. They should also work with the 4S Mentorship Program Coordinator and the 4S Student Volunteers Coordinator as needed. They must produce a yearly written report to the 4S Council on 6S activities submitted four weeks in advance of the Annual 4S Council meeting. Finally, they may help to organize accommodation or ride sharing to lessen the costs of attending the 4S annual meeting. These responsibilities do not apply for the first 4S meeting after a representative is elected.

6S representatives have some additional responsibilities throughout the year, in addition to planning the events at the 4S meeting, including:

  • Maintaining the email (STSGRAD-L) listserv, a widely-used means of exchanging news on conferences, workshop, jobs, fellowships, and related information.
  • Maintaining the 4S Facebook group, which is open to all who are interested in 4S activities.
  • Updating the student section of the website.

The 3rd year representative will take the lead in planning activities for the meeting, and in maintaining the STSGRAD listserv and the student section of the website. The 2nd year representative will take the lead in writing the Annual Report to the 4S Council and maintaining the Facebook group. Both Representatives are expected to work together, however, ensuring that information is widely shared among 6S Representatives and 6S members. They will also work together in launching any new initiatives, delegating responsibilities as necessary.

If these responsibilities are not fulfilled as determined by the other 6S representatives and the 4S Council Liaison to 6S, then the 6S representative will be replaced in the next election cycle.

6)         Financial Support To defray meeting costs, 4S will provide elected 6S reps with $500 in travel reimbursement per meeting. (If the student must travel internationally, this amount will be increased to $1000).