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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.

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

4S News

President’s message #22, August 2015

08/14/2015

Council Election Results. Presidential Plenary Update. Denver is the 40th 4S Annual Meeting!

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Ethnografilm Call for Submissions

07/10/2015

Submissions are now invited for the third Ethnografilm festival in Paris, France, sponsored by 4S and ISSC (30 March-3 April 2016).

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4S Membership Rates and Benefits Committee – seeking your input!

07/10/2015

4S Council has convened a committee to review the current costs of 4S membership, as well as the benefits that our members receive. We would very much welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

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Backchannels

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

Who Owns Your Personal Health and Medical Data?

Reflections / Deborah Lupton

title When I speak at the Summit, I will note that the first issue to consider is for whom and by whom personal health and medical data are collected. Who decides whether personal digital data should be generated and collected? Who has control over these decisions? What are the power relations and differentials that are involved?

Tecnologías en Zonas de Conflicto: Una Mirada desde el Contexto Latinoamericano

Report-backs / Karla Palma

title In this post Karla Palma shares with us the reflections of a group of scholars studying STS in Latin America and specially about the role of technology in areas of conflict. These reflections are materialized in the "Computing in Zones of Conflict: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Latin America" panel. Which was presented in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the framework of the conference of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). The main question which guided the meeting was, what the connection points are between our research agendas in relation to study of technologies in Latin America? from the beginning, we recognized that our work takes place in areas where there are latent social conflicts, covering areas such as neo extractivism, militarization, drug trafficking, or the marginalization of non-dominant memories, but what else can we visualize from these spaces?

Hacia la consolidación de los estudios CTS en chile: II encuentro chileno de estudios sociales de la

Report-backs / Ronald Cancino & Helder Binimelis

title Social and Political Studies of Science, Technology and Society in Chile are in the process of steadily growing. At present, there are recognizable research groups in the country, nestled in prestigious universities, creating networks, emerging research centers in various subjects and spaces for meeting and debate. STS studies in Chile have been meeting over 2 large spaces: the Working Group "Sociology of Science and Technology" of the Chilean Congress of Sociology, and the meetings of the CTS-Chile Network. The latter comes after the First Meeting held at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago de Chile in early 2014. Both the CTS Chile Network as the annual meetings seek greater presence and visibility to a growing body of research in the field of STS in the country.

Roundtable Report: Who Needs Visual Anthropology?

Report-backs / Rebeca Ibáñez Martín

title A productive debate would be one in which visual anthropology is discussed for its theoretical effects and potentialities. Otherwise, visual anthropology will get lost again in a "reality debate": Are we representing reality or not? Are we fair and accurate in representing the reality of the other? Such debate ends up in another even more complicated debate, that between us and them. The question of who is representing whom has been discussed in postcolonial studies of film for many decades and in sharp terms.

REDPOP – EL ENCUENTRO LATINO

Report-backs / Claudia Aguirre

title Between may 24 and 29 this year, took place in Medellin, Colombia, the XIV Congress of the Network of Popularization of science in Latin America and the Caribbean (RedPOP). This network was created in 1990 in Rio de Janeiro to promote the field communication of science at that time made a timid appearance in Latin America. Claudia Aguirre shares a report back of the event.

Expandindo fronteiras: V Reunião de Antropologia da Ciência e da Tecnologia

Report-backs / Guilherme Sá

title The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) - Porto Alegre (RS) - received from May 20-22 , 2015 the V Anthropology Meeting of Science and Technology, or, simply put, the V ReACT, as already known the main meeting of anthropologists researching and discussing science and technology in Brazil (Entry in Portuguese)

How the Ocean Cleanup Array Fundamentally Misunderstands Marine Plastics and Causes Harm

Reflections / Max Liboiron

title The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Ocean Cleanup array, designed to clean plastics from the ocean like a baleen whale, is one of these good intentions: experts in marine plastics, including myself, say it’s a bad idea.Technological fixes like the Array do harm to the larger project of ending plastic pollution, which is a complex social, environmental, and economic problem. It is also going to damage and kill marine life.