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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

Barcelona Begins Now


The website for the EASST/4S 2016 Conference ‘Science and Technology by Other Means’ to be held in Barcelona is now available. The conference will run from 31st August to 3rd September 2016.

It is now possible to submit proposals for thematic tracks online from the website. ("Tracks" are the same as "open sessions" in recent 4S meetings.) You can find details of requirements at...


New Journal Launched


4S would like to announce that the first set of papers has been published by its new online journal. Please visit Engaging Science, Technology, and Society.


President’s message #22, August 2015


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



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

Revisando la universidad

Report-backs / Fabian Prieto

title Over two years, the Learning to see systems group has worked in an interdisciplinary approach around the question of how to make visible the values and epistemologies embedded in scientific and technological complex systems. With this ambitious goal, teachers and students have followed a path that connected communication studies, art history, social studies of science and technology and artistic practice. Learning to see system emerged in 2013 from a proposal endorsed by the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, within the program INTERSECT. Under the leadership of Kevin Hamilton, Professor of Art and Design, the group made progress in its discussions from a curriculum that included four doctoral level courses and participation in workshops designed by the group itself. This is the case of the workshop "Revising the University", which had place on May 27, 2015.

#QueerSTS4S: A Meetup at 4S for Scholars at the Intersection of LGBTQ Studies and STS

Projects / Mitali Thakor and Stephen Molldrem

title We are thrilled to announce #QueerSTS4S: A Meetup at 4S for Scholars at the Intersection of LGBTQ Studies and STS, which will take place at 4S this November; specifically, on Thursday, November 12th from 8-10pm at the Sheraton Director’s Room E. There will be refreshments and a cash bar.

El Pensamiento Latinoamericano en CyT: resignificar sin reproducir

Reflections / Erica Carrizo

title The recovery of the Latin American Thought in Science and Technology in recent years in the region, seeks to analyze the current challenges of science, technology and innovation in Latin America, critically updating the interpretive frameworks developed in Latin America in late 1960 and early 1970. This to contest counter-hegemonic conceptions about science, technology and development that spread globally in the mid-twentieth century. Among the major challenges facing this reenactment, it is, precisely, to banish these hegemonic conceptions that continue to fuel much of the current discussions on Latin American development.

Sperm Banking and Me: Transporting the Technosocial Question

Reflections / Gary Lee Downey

title We want our technologies outside, thinking we can control them. But what if we framed this differently, picturing humans and technologies as entwined through permeable, fluid boundaries? Clarity would be more elusive. Joining semen cryopreservation disrupted a comfortable, but clueless, masculinity.

Philosophy as Therapy and Philosophical Anthropology

Reflections / Leah Carr

title The kind of view of mind on offer here is one that can serve well as an explanation as to why we need a social epistemology, but it may also serve as a useful philosophical tool for assessing the credibility of more macro-level social theories.

IV Escuela Doctoral Iberoamericana de Estudios Sociales y Políticos sobre la Ciencia y la Tecnología

Report-backs / Sandra Daza-Caicedo

title Between July 7 and 10, 2015, it took place at the University of Valparaiso (Chile) the IV Ibero-American Doctoral School of Social Studies on Science and Technology ,organized by the Latin American Society for Social Studies of Science and Technology ESOCITE. Twentyseven doctoral students from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Mexico attended the School. The meeting was sponsored by the Red CYTED (Ibero-American Science and Technology for Development) "Analysis on the Dynamics of Science and Society", CLACSO Working Group "Science and society: the social uses of knowledge Latin America and social inclusion", University of Chile, University of La Frontera and the host institution, the University of Valparaiso.

“The Dregs of the Library”: Trashing the Occupy Wall Street Library

Reflections / Michael Oman-Reagan

title When our library at Occupy Wall Street was destroyed, we used our beloved books tactically, as evidence, and then used the trauma of destruction to make a case for the illegitimacy of the violence committed when the library was destroyed. But how do we tell stories of violence that remains? How do we voice and give and hear testimony when confronting aggression and attack towards things we care for that are discarded, in the violence of ruination, the trashing of what we love?

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?