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Society for Social Studies of Science

What is 4S?

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is a scholarly society founded in 1975 with an international membership of over 1200. Its main purpose is to bring together those interested in understanding science, technology, and medicine, including the way they develop and interact with their social contexts.

All About 4S Membership

For renewals, the member directory, and meeting registration, visit the Member Portal.

4S News

4S President’s message – October 2016


4S Blog – Backchannels of STS conversation

In the midst of returning to teaching terms, I thought I would use this month’s message to highlight the resources available – either for your curricula or in the cracks between – in the digital pages of the 4S blog Backchannels.  As the editors explain:

Linguists first used the term backchannel to refer to the spontaneous responses and signals that...


4S President’s message – September 2016


Remarks at the opening of EASST/4S Barcelona 2016. Council changes.


4S President’s message – August 2016


Infrastructure and Mentoring Award Announcements, 4S Election Results, Fourth Handbook of Science and Technology Studies in press – Roundtable at EASST/4S 2016, Call for interest in program organizing for 4S 2018 in Sydney, Australia



Backchannels provides an outlet for alternative-format scholarly communications, publishing shorter, timelier, media-rich communiques of interest to the global STS community.

Graduate Student Organization 6S Recaps Barcelona Adventures

Report-backs / Erika Szymanski and Margarita Rayzberg

With new initiatives--and a brand new Facebook page--6S organizers are pursuing ways to promote broad participation.

Developing New STS Minors: The Case of Cal Poly

Projects / Richard D. Besel

title From the interesting experience of Cal Poly, Richard Besel draws lessons for schools that want to establish STS programs.

Restitución de derechos para victimas del conflicto y el NO en Colombia: relecturas desde los ESCT

Reflections / Fredy Mora-Gámez

title "Revisiting rights restitution and the narratives of peace from STS may also consist of interrogating the technical objects and expert discourses that make possible the promotion of those narratives" / "Una relectura desde los ESCT de la restitución de derechos y las narrativas de paz consiste también en problematizar aquellos objetos técnicos y discursos expertos que precisamente hacen posible promover dichas narrativas"

Molecular Detector (Non)Technology with Luis Reyes-Galindo: New Research in ST&HV

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

title Dr. Luis Reyes-Galindo talks to Backchannels about his recent ST&HV paper, "Molecular Detector (Non)Technology in Mexico."

Our digital society, from citizens to companies, needs to understand the trolls

Reflections / Amanda Windle

title However we choose to name indirect forms of violence whether it is by calling it – flaming, trolling, smearing or slamming — finding new words to express age-old forms of violence towards women is part of the problem.

Michael Lynch / Part II: That Delicate Balance

Reflections Report-backs / Michael Lynch in conversation with Lucy Suchman

title In Part II of his conversation with 4S President Lucy Suchman, Bernal Prize winner Michael Lynch speaks about his early work and looks ahead to future projects.

Michael Lynch / Part I: Coming of Age

Reflections Report-backs / Michael Lynch in conversation with Lucy Suchman

title Michael Lynch was awarded the 2016 Bernal Prize for his important contribution to science and technology studies. Here, in conversation with 4S President Lucy Suchman, he reflects on his, and the field's, coming of age.

Reflexões do workshop brasileiro sobre Mudanças Climáticas e Estudos Sociais da Ciência e Tecnologia

Report-backs / Jean Hochsprung Miguel

title A growing number of Brazilian and South American research groups have been exploring the links between science and technology and climate policy. Informal networks have been set up and culminated in the Workshop on Climate Change, Technoscience and Society, which took place in April 11 and 12 at the University of Campinas (State of São Paulo, Brazil). The main objective of this meeting was to bring together STS researchers interested in the production of climate knowledge from South American perspectives. The meeting enabled a diagnosis of emergent initiatives of the Brazilian ans South American scientific communities and governmental institutions for responding the social and scientific challenges posed by climate change.

Rethinking Value in the Bio-economy with Kean Birch: New Research in ST&HV

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

title Professor Kean Birch, from York University, talks to Backchannels about his recent paper for ST&HV, "Rethinking 'Value' in the Bio-Economy: Finance, Assetization and the Management of Value."

4S Preview: Engaging STS Studies for Inclusive Development

Projects / Gabriela Bortz and Hernan Thomas

title What is the role of Science and Technology studies and STS scholars in promoting, advocating, and building pathways towards inclusive and sustainable development?

New in...

Your New Best Frenemy: Hello Barbie and Privacy Without Screens
Meg Leta Jones
Impostor Syndrome, a Reparative History
Dana Simmons
Toward Non-innocent Reassemblies
Michelle Murphy
The Challenges for Us Psychologized Moderns
Jill G. Morawski
Repair Work
Dana Simmons

New in...

Technoscience Updates

The most recent postings to the Profession pages, emailed monthly to 4S members.


New Dear Colleague Letter from the NSF Social and Behavioral Sciences directorate
Two special issues on ‘Science and Science Fiction’ by the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
New Volume honoring Leigh Star wins 2016 Best Information Science Book Award


7th Annual Student Conference
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Infrastructure History and the Social Sciences

Calls for Papers

CfP for Science as Culture (SaC) Forum: Economic Assumptions
Special Issue of Qualitative Inquiry


Open Area in Media Studies Tenure/Tenure Track, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Faculty Positions in New + Emerging Media, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Assistant Professor, History and Political Science, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Fellowships & Postdocs

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania
Linda Hall Library Seeks Fellows Among Science, Technology Historians
Postdocs in Society and Neuroscience Program, Columbia University