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Society for Social Studies of Science

Program Practices

The following notes are for Program organizers. They represent guidelines based on past practices of the Society and recommendations of the 4S Council that should be followed where possible.


Given the growing size of the 4S conferences and the desire to be as inclusive as possible, the program committee will need to make full use of the available time slots. Therefore, individuals may be listed for a paper presentation and one other role (such as session chair or discussant but not a second paper) for a maximum of two appearances.

Session organizers are requested not to change the order of the presenters in their session.

Proposals for double and triple sessions on a single topic may receive a request to consolidate the topic into one panel or to break the multiple sessions into different topics.

Participants are not allowed to have someone else (non co-authors) present their paper without paying ordinary registration fees at the 4S conference.

Session Format

4S provides *only* a screen and projector in each room. Rooms are not equipped with laptops. Instead, sessions organizers may be advised that presenters can provide their own or, more typically, go together and bring one laptop for the whole session.This is also true of other special equipment for presentations.

Requests for video conferencing, audio gear, and so forth may be made through the Special Needs box at the time of registration.  However, these requests will only be accommodated if the budget allows.

The meeting welcomes papers, sessions and events that are innovative in their delivery, organization, range of topics, type of public and which bring new resources to the STS community to explore these new relations and themes.

Since 2008, the 4S started a “workshop” format. This is an opportunity for informal presentations, with presenters and other attendees seated around tables. This format is ideal for a more interactive presentation of preliminary ideas and work in progress. Authors and session organizers should indicate if they would like to be part of a workshop table. Submissions for “workshop” presentations are included under the one first-authored submission limit, stated above. It is also possible for sessions to be proposed as workshop tables.

Business Meetings

Publications Committee meeting should be held from 1-3PM on Wednesday (the day preceding the meeting). The general council meeting should follow the Publications Committee meeting from 3-6PM. Simultaneous sessions should be kept at a minimum. The most desirable program arrangement is to maximize the number of time slots as follows: Thursday - 4 Friday - 4 Saturday - 4 Participation in Sunday sessions is very low, and these are not advisable.