skip to main content

Society for Social Studies of Science

Minutes of the Council and Business Meeting, 2000

Minutes of the 4S Council Meeting
September 27, 2000
Vienna, Austria
Present: Sheila Jasanoff, Hugh Gusterson, Sarah Franklin, Steven Epstein, Vololona Rabeharisoa, Helen Longino, Brian Wynne, Kim Fortun, Hideto Nakajima, Michel Callon, David Edge, W. Shrum, Jennifer Croissant, Rob Hagendijk, Shobita Parthasarathy, Ulrike Felt, Patrick Feng, Skip Fuhrman
Sheila Jasanoff called the meeting to order at 3:15 PM.
Minutes of the 1999 Council Meeting in San Diego were approved as posted on the 4S web page:
http://www.lsu.edu/guests/ssss/public_html
The 4S Web page is now regularly updated. Council members were asked to update their personal information for publication in the Governance section of the web page. The most important features of the web page are as follows: Membership of council (with emails). Membership of committees. Links to other societies for scheduling meetings & avoiding conflicts. Information on prizes & winners and remarks at the annual banquet on the selection of the books. Nominations for prizes & for council. Change of address information and payment of dues with credit card. General guidelines for local arrangements & for programs.
It is possible to nominate members for Council with a direct link, as well as books for the Carson and Fleck Prizes and candidates for the Bernal Prize. 4S policy is to provide a Links section to other sister societies so that Future Meetings planners may search for and try to avoid conflicts. The electronic home of 4S is:
http://www.lsu.edu/guests/ssss/public_html/

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
Status of the Treasury and Projection for 2000
Shrum reported on the status of the 4S treasury as of September 2000. Membership and membership revenues are up as well as royalties from nonmember and institutional subscriptions. Revenues from the hardbound edition of the Handbook have declined, though it is hoped that the paperback version which is due to appear in about a year will improve this. Primary expenditures are for 4S publications and the cost of first class mailing of publications to all members regardless of location. Technoscience has not appeared for the past year. In 1998 revenues exceeded expenditures, primarily owing to the 1999 meeting in San Diego. Two projections for 2001 were discussed, one optimistic, and one conservative. Council recommended reducing the range for projected costs of the postage. Sage will not increase prices for 2000, nor will Academic Services. The overall picture is that the dues increase at Halifax meeting has not reduced 4S membership and the financial picture is very good. Regular membership provides ST&HV and Technoscience to all members for a reduced price, as contrasted with individual subscription prices to ST&HV for nonmembers of about $57.
Current membership stands at 962, such that 4S is larger than at any time in its 24 year history. It was emphasized that there is a new eight year limit on student rate for membership. It is expected that the membership may drop slightly owing the joint meeting with EASST in Vienna (presenters may be members of either EASST or 4S).
4S accounts have been transferred to a large regional bank. A stand-alone endowment for the prizes has been created, as recommended in the report by Jennifer Croissant, which presented information about the policies of other societies. This account was created by combining funds from the Mullins award contributions, the sales of books at the San Diego meeting, and various other contributions since the early 1990s. The funds will be invested in a long term Certificate of Deposit in order to achieve a high rate of return without risk.

Publications Committee
Michel Callon reported on the state of society publications for 2000.
The paperback version of the Handbook of STS was discussed. Currently David Edge is in the process of producing edited references. Authors and members of 4S did not respond in large numbers to the request for corrections sent last summer. Progress has been made and the final version to be sent to Sage should be completed next spring. Council & 4S members are requested to provide “additional readings” since the last Handbook appeared and authors will be queried concerning various corrections to the references that pertain to their chapters.
A Call for Proposals for the new Handbook of STS was announced in San Diego and on the 4S web page. However, given that Technoscience has not appeared since the last meeting, and that Technoscience may be the primary source of information regarding society business for many members, it was determined to extend the call for proposals for the new STS Handbook for three months. The new edition of Technoscience will contain this Call and the new deadline will be December 31, 2000. Thus far one proposal for the new Handbook has been received by the chair of the publications committee. The new projected date for the appearance of a Handbook is 2005.
Council notes that the International Encyclopedia of Social Science has for the first time included a section on science & technology studies, covering 77 entries pertaining to the field (interleaved throughout the Encyclopedia rather than in a single section). This will appear in 2001.

Science, Technology, and Human Values. Ellsworth Fuhrman submitted his annual report as editor of ST&HV. Council was pleased to learn that among social issues journals, ST&HV ranks third in terms of the ISI measure of “impact.” Some of the concerns expressed in the last annual report have been resolved. There appears to be an increase in the number of manuscripts received (perhaps 20% by the end of 2000), a consistent distribution of manuscripts internationally, an increasing involvement of the journal’s editorial board, and there is now a small backlog of accepted manuscripts. There are currently over 100 manuscripts in various stages at the editorial office. Only a small number are accepted without revisions. All abstracts for past ST&HV articles are going on the web and plans are afoot to allow authors to check the status of their manuscript on the web.
Turnaround time continues to be a problem, given that council and editors would like to see some response within two months. Although comparisons with similar journals indicate that ST&HV is not unusual, various means of reducing this time were discussed. Fuhrman will discuss these possibilities at an editorial board meeting in two days and seek to address the problem. One solicitation has been received from a new publisher that is interested in producing ST&HV for 4S. However, our arrangement with Sage precludes this possibility and has been working. Other issues discussed with respect to ST&HV were the possibility of allowing back issues (at some specified remove) to be archived with JSTOR.

Technoscience: Patrick Feng presented activities of the Technoscience editorial team since the last meeting. A transition was made from the Executive Editorial team of John Hultberg and Merle Jacob to Linda Layne at RPI, and from Jongwon Park (Managing Editor, Georgia Tech) to Patrick Feng and Lisa McLoughlin at RPI. The past editors were commended for their work in producing the newsletter.
The editors had proposed and accepted the charge of moving the newsletter to an electronic-only version. (Technoscience has been available on the web since 1995.) The RPI team mailed postcards to 4S members requesting email addresses this past summer in order to implement the procedure of email attachments to all 4S members. However, at present only 50% of members have responded, such that it is difficult to reduce the costs of printing and mailing by the expected amount.
Last year there was a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of eliminating or restricting hardcopy publication. The main advantage was viewed as reducing expenditures, while the main disadvantage is that some members may not be on the web yet. It had been decided at that time to continue to provide developing country and non-OECD members with the hardcopy version. Further discussion and information is needed to determine how to proceed with the electronic option as the transition may take longer than expected. An issue of Technoscience will appear soon. Another issue discussed but unresolved was whether Technoscience should be sent to institutions, groups, & nonmembers of 4S, as a public good.

Prize Committees
The Bernal Prize, funded jointly by 4S and the Institute for Scientific Information, will be presented at this year’s banquet to Donna Haraway.
Ludwik Fleck & Carson Prizes The winner of the 2000 Fleck Prize is Adele Clarke for her book Disciplining Reproduction. The winner of the Carson Prize is Wendy Espeland for The Struggle for Water. These selections were made at the 1999 San Diego meeting. Prize committees have yet to deliberate on the short lists for the awards for 2001.
The general procedure for the award of these prizes is described on the web page, with nomination letters sent to 125 publishers. The Chair of each committee may send letters to those whose books were on the short list (these books may be reconsidered so long as they are eligible), as well as informing the winner(s) and the publisher of the winning book(s). Moreover, the Prize Committee chairs should seek to hold Author-Meets-Critics session on the work of the winners. This year two such sessions have been scheduled but the Espeland session must be cancelled owing to a family emergency. Composition of the committees are as follows: the Fleck Prize committee for next year consists of senior council members and the President, while the Carson Prize committee consists of council members in their second year of office. The committees are requested to reflect on the differences between the prizes. Nominations for the award may be submitted by any member of the society to any member of council. Nominations may also be made by email from the 4S web site. Eligible books for the 2001 deliberations have publication dates from 1998 through 2000.

Student Activities and Travel Grants Committees
Michel Callon reported that this year’s Mullins Prize will be awarded by Bruno Latour at the banquet to Cyrus Mody of Cornell University.

Vololona Rabeharisoa reported that the Mullins Prize committee experienced an increase in the number of submitted papers this year to 38, of which only 6 were excluded as marginal to the field. The committee has ranked the papers by email and will discuss the winner later this evening. The 2001 prize committee will consist of incoming council members.
Once again graduate students and junior scholars applied for our NSF-funded travel grants directly from the web page to Kim Fortun, chair of the travel awards. There were 52 applications this year owing to the location of the meeting and 14 awards were made of $450 each. In order to prevent misunderstandings regarding the award of the travel grants, it was determined that language should be added to the announcements that the awards are competitive, all applicants should not expect to be funded, and the full amount of the request may not be possible to award. In such cases as the Vienna meeting, equal awards of a very small dollar amount may not make it feasible for anyone to attend, such that larger awards are necessary to a smaller proportion of applicants.
Last year for the San Diego meeting we gave out 21 travel grants for a total of $6311. By waiting until late December we were able to give people, in general, the full amount of their ticket rather than the amount originally allocated.
Note that application requirements are a current vita and acceptance of a presentation at the meeting. The applicant must travel on a U.S. airline (or KLM) and submit the NSF-approved form for reimbursement. The grant does not reimburse lodging but only travel expenses. Original receipts are necessary, because NSF will not reimburse 4S for any other form of documentation. Application links will continue to be available online at the web site, as well as the form for reimbursement.


Nominations Committee
Jen Croissant reported the results of the annual election. Hugh Gusterson, Sarah Franklin, and Steven Epstein will serve on 4S Council for the term 2001-2003. Wiebe Bijker is now President Elect and will serve as 4S President from 2002-2003. Council wishes to thank those outgoing council members who are present, Helen Longino and Brian Wynne, for their exceptional service to the Society. 4S members are reminded that it is possible to nominate 4S members both for Council and for President directly via the web page. These nominations are passed to the Nominations Committee for consideration on the slate of candidates.

Future Meetings Committee
Council discussed future sites. Jennifer Croissant’s suggestions regarding future meetings planning were circulated. In order to routinizing the site selection process, it would be ideal to have two or three proposals for each council meeting, looking three years ahead. A meeting site is still needed for the 2003 meeting. The year 2001 meeting will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1-3 November at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Hugh Gusterson, incoming Council member who is located at MIT, has agreed to serve as Program Chair.
The 2002 meeting will be co-located with the History of Science Society and Philosophy of Science Association in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The program will be jointly published and sessions will be held in proximity with each other. However, the program committee for the meeting will not coordinate the program directly with HSS and PSA.
The larger issue concerns the establishment of a more international meetings format for 4S. This issue will be discussed at the business meeting, as a topic of concern to all 4S members.


Program and Local Arrangements
Ulrike Felt reported on planning and execution of the program and local arrangements for the joint 4S/EASST meeting in Vienna. There are approximately 850 attendees from 45 countries present. Partial travel funding (not including 4S travel grants) was awarded to 30 participants. The political situation in Austria is not positive, but was fully considered by both 4S and EASST councils before the decision to come was made (see statements on the conference web site and the program). Moreover, cuts in the university budget made it all the more necessary to raise outside funds. In the end, it was the unanimous decision of 4S and EASST councils that the Vienna meeting should be held, along with several special sessions dealing with the political situation.
Recent program chairs will continue to serve ex-officio on the program committees for future meetings in order to provide guidance and continuity to the committees.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 pm. Council will reconvene at 8:30AM tomorrow to consider new business.


Minutes of the 4S Council Meeting
September 28, 2000
Sheila Jasanoff called the meeting to order at 8:35AM.
Present: Brian Wynne, Steve Epstein, Sheila Jasanoff, W. Shrum, Helen Longino, Wiebe Bijker, Vololona Rabeharisoa, Kim Fortun, Sarah Franklin, Jen Croissant, Shobita Parthasarathy, Hugh Gusterson, David Edge.

New Business
Professor Jasanoff introduced the idea of a workshop for Dean’s and/or administrators to be held in conjunction with the Cambridge 4S meeting in order to discuss the nature of STS as a field and promote its programmatic growth. Funds for the workshop have not yet been obtained. In the course of applying for funds, 4S has become a registered FastLane institution with the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The formation of an ad hoc Visions Committee in the wake of the San Diego meeting was announced. The committee is chaired by Steve Fuller. Members include Jose Lopez Cerezo, Clark Miller, Nelly Oudshoorn, and Knut Sorensen. Some of the issues to be considered include a name change, the globalization of 4S through international participation (regional meetings, diversity of venues, representation outside Europe & US), the inclusion of policy and normative issues in STS, the formation of interest groups, engagement with scientists & practitioners, and career development. One round of discussions has already been held via email and the committee will seek to meet if possible during the Vienna meeting. A report should be drafted and circulated to Council prior to the Cambridge meeting.
The length of 4S meetings was discussed. In general a meeting schedule of Thursday through Saturday is preferred, with allowance made for the exceptionally large number of papers in cases like Bielefeld and Vienna. The issue of scheduling Council meetings the day before the meeting begins was raised but not resolved. One possibility is for Council to meet one evening over dinner. David Edge mentioned this had been tried and rejected long ago. The prize selection dinner was discussed and endorsed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10AM.


Draft Minutes, Not Yet Approved by Council
Minutes of the Business Meeting
September 28, 2000
Vienna, Austria
Sheila Jasanoff called the meeting to order at 6:20 pm. There were 16 persons present.
(See the Council Minutes above for reports to the meeting concerning specific committee business and deliberations.)

Secretary/Treasurer’s Report
Shrum reported on the financial situation of the Society (See Council Minutes above). Historical graphs of major revenue and expenditures were presented. Royalties from Sage continue to be a major component of society revenues while publications expenditures have increased in recent years. The dues increase in late 1998 has not had any negative impact on membership in 4S. Membership is at the highest level ever.

Publications
See Council minutes above. The paperback version of the Handbook of STS is still in preparation but is due to be completed next year with edited references. The Call for Proposals for editorship of the new Handbook of STS has been extended for three months to December 31, 2000. The selection of editors will take place at the Cambridge meeting in 2001. It was noted that the Handbook not only provides revenue for the Society but also has an important community building function owing to its breadth and inclusion of a variety of themes and perspectives.
The issue of the relationship between the Publications Committee and the editorial committee for the new Handbook was raised. Once again the Publications Committee in place for the selection of editors will remain stable until the new Handbook is produced.
ST&HV has experienced an increase in the number of manuscripts submitted. The editor is seeking to reduce the turnaround time for manuscripts by reducing the number of reviews requested and using the editorial board to assist in determining borderline cases. The possibility of including more book reviews was discussed.
Patrick Feng discussed the transition of Technoscience to electronic format. The web version is now being moved to the RPI server. Technoscience was included in the EASST Review to provide a preliminary program to the Vienna meeting. There was a discussion of the pros and cons of having brief articles in Technoscience on issues pertaining to the profession.

Elections
The 2000 election results were reported by Jennifer Croissant, who chaired the nominations committee. Hugh Gusterson, Sarah Franklin, and Steven Epstein will serve on council for the term 2001-2003. Wiebe Bijker now begins his term as President Elect and will serve as the next President of the Society.

Prizes
Prizes for 2000 will be announced at the banquet immediately following the business meeting (see council minutes above).
For the Fleck and Carson Prizes, all 4S members are encouraged to nominate their own books or the books of others. Nominations may go to any member of the selection committees or to any member of council. Nominations may be made by email from the 4S web site. For the competition next year, eligible books have publication dates from 1998 through 2000. For the Bernal Prize, all 4S members are encouraged to nominate candidates whose work represents a distinguished contribution.

Future Meetings
Meeting sites have been determined through 2002. (See council minutes above.) The Future Meetings committee will work actively to solicit proposals for the 2003 meeting.
The policy of 4S on future meetings now allows a greater division of labor between program and local arrangements committee. With the assistance of the meetings planner who worked with the Tucson and San Diego meetings, site selection may be decoupled from the determination of the program committee. However, the Future Meetings committee should actively solicit sites at least three years in advance. Other major topics of discussion were how often to meet with other societies, and which other societies were to be considered. In the event, 4S should not be a ‘junior partner’ in these meetings.
The issue of a 4S meeting in Japan/Korea in 2003 was discussed. The Japanese presence within 4S has increased dramatically and there is currently one Japanese scholar (Hideto Nakajima) on the 4S council. It would serve an important function for STS community building in Asia. However, objections were raised as to the cost of travel outside the US more than once every 4 years. One solution appears to be satellite or regional meetings, for example during the summer.

Program and Local Arrangements
See Council Minutes above.

Student Activities
NSF travel grants for graduate students and junior scholars have again been awarded and will be distributed after the meeting.

New Business
The Visions Committee was introduced together with the charges. A report will be produced for the Cambridge meeting.
The NSF initiative on social science for 2003 was discussed in terms of what 4S might do to become involved in the agenda-setting process.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm.