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Society for Social Studies of Science

STS Making and Doing Awards

Making and Doing Awards 2017

In 2017 the Making and Doing Committee decided to give one award for “The Outstanding Contribution to Making and Doing” and five awards for “A Distinguished Contribution to Making and Doing”. We decide on this format because one project was clearly ranked highest by all judges and the other projects were ranked so closely as to make distinguishing between them arbitrary. Rather than have fixed number of awards force the decision we decided to make a category for distinguished contributions.

Outstanding Contribution to Making and Doing:

Nick Shapiro, “Detoxifying the environment across temporalities

The STS Making + Doing Committee selected one project this year that was particularly notable across multiple domains –from community engagement to public impact to platform development and institutional collaboration. Shapiro’s project brings together performances of multiple temporalities – presenting them synthetically to note the interdependence of short term stop gap interventions AND long term utopic projects. And if you also ever wanted to know how to build a $5 formaldehyde sensor to test domestic air quality – you now know who you can approach.

Distinguished Contributions to Making and Doing

Cordelia Erickson‐Davis (Stanford University) "What It Is to See: A Simulation of Artificial Vision" for re-theorizing what it means to see and what it means to design seeing.

Rae Ostman (Arizona State University), Ira Bennett (Arizona State University), Stephanie Long (Science Museum of Minnesota), David Sittenfeld (Museum of Science), Jameson Wetmore (Arizona State University) "STS Approaches to Public Engagement with Science: Synthetic biology" for inspiring experiments in multigenerational dialog and collaborative learning about synthetic biology to create new spaces for ethical reflection.

Lorina Mercado Navarro (Georgia Institute of Technology) "Our Driverless Futures: Speculating Moral Dilemmas of Self‐Driving Cars" for generative critical analysis of emergent moralities in a master's thesis project inviting and modeling experiences of driverless cars.

Martin Andrés Perez Comisso (SFIS ‐ Arizona State University) "Technological Theory for All: Teaching Experiments on STS in Chile" for enacting and critically reflecting on the travel of STS scholarship through sixty-one public schools and creating an active learning network and collaborative ecosystem (Selection by 4S members)

Lindsey Dillon, Nick Shapiro, Gretchen Gehrke, Rebecca Lave, Christopher Sellers, Toly Rinberg, Andrew Bergman, Maya Anjur-Deitrich, Sara Wylie, Dawn Walker, Stephanie Knutson, Matthew Price, Michelle Murphy, Phil Brown, Brendan O'Brien, Justin Schell, Lourdes Vera, Liz Barry, Britt Paris, Kyala Shea, Vivian Underhill, Meghan Martenyi, Joan Donovan, Dan Allan, Rob Brackett, Jeff Liu, Sarah Lamdan, Jennifer Liss Ohayon, and EDGI. "Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI): Engaged STS Responding to the U.S. Administration" for theorizing and enacting a heterogeneous collaboration dedicated to the care, imagination, and the re-imagination of environmental data and data justice.


The STS Making and Doing initiative aims at encouraging 4S members to share scholarly practices of participation, engagement, and intervention in their fields of study. It highlights scholarly practices for producing and expressing STS knowledge and expertise that extend beyond the academic paper or book. By increasing the extent to which 4S members learn from one another about practices they have developed and enacted, the initiative seeks to improve the effectiveness and influence of STS scholarship beyond the field and/or to expand the modes of STS knowledge production.

The STS Making and Doing Awards formally acknowledge and celebrate distinctive achievements in practices of STS making and doing. It recognizes 4S members who have demonstrated scholarly excellence in formulating, enacting, and sharing theoretically-informed practices of participation, engagement, and intervention in their fields of study.

The STS Making and Doing program is organized as part of the 4S annual meeting. Selected presentations will be displayed at an exhibition during the meeting.
STS projects to be considered include but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Policy: STS projects that resulted in policy papers, recommendations, regulations, devices, decision-making practices, or other policy outcomes. Policy arenas include medicine and health, development, infrastructures, and communication in addition to those explicitly oriented to science and technology. 
  • Design and Planning: STS projects that resulted in the design and creation of effective products, graphics, spaces, and landscapes. The outcomes can be large or small in scale, and can be digital in content. Projects can be organized around different design themes, .e.g. participatory design, sustainable design, etc.  The presentation should show explanation of design process and how various actors are involved in the process.
  • Arts: STS projects that resulted in effective artistic creations, including those in audio-visual format or in public installations, exhibits, and performances. The presentation should be accompanied by a narrative that links the project to STS scholarship.
  • Pedagogy: STS projects that resulted in effective practices for education and training. The project can aim at different levels and forms of education and training, for instance university courses, high school classes, or special training programs. The presentation should indicate how the project increases awareness and understanding of STS scholarship. 
  • STS infrastructures: STS projects that resulted in effective informational or material infrastructures for the construction, operation, and travel of STS as field or discipline. Such might include the building of degree programs, modes of print and electronic publication, professional organizations, summer schools, institutes, scholarly collectives, and the 4S annual meeting itself. The presentation should move beyond promotion to include reflective analysis.
  • Open Category: Any project that reflects the objectives of STS Making and Doing, including civic engagement, social activism, public debate and festivals, etc.


In addition to paper and session submissions, the 4S invites proposed presentations as part of the Call for Papers for the STS Making and Doing Session for the 2018 meeting in Sydney. 

Criteria for Selection

A subcommittee of the Scientific Committee will review submissions.  The subcommittee will assess the project in terms of four main criteria:

  1. Issue of concern: Does the issue fit one or more areas of STS knowledge and expertise?
  2. Critical thinking and creativity: Does the project enact critical analysis and contribute to the production and expression of STS knowledge and expertise in creative ways?
  3. Conceptual Development: Does the project further the intellectual development of STS concepts and theories?
  4. Consequences and Responses: Do the presenters show how their project’s outcomes extend STS knowledge and expertise into the targeted arena? Do the project’s outcomes draw knowledge and expertise from the targeted arena?

Online Preview

Selected presenters will prepare materials for a web-based exhibition prior to the 4S meeting. This online preview will allow both subcommittee members and meeting participants to browse the concepts and exhibit materials prior to the 4S meeting. After the 4S meeting, presenters will be invited to update their presentation for a permanent web-based exhibit.


The award includes a cash prize to help defray the costs of attending the annual meeting to receive it. The program chair will reserve a block of time for STS Making and Doing presentations. The event will be organized as an “STS fair” exhibit in which selected submissions are displayed in the conference venue. Participants may choose the presentation format as appropriate, constrained by the space occupied by a table. Presentation modes may include inter alia product samples, models and prototypes, mechanical/digital demonstrations, slide shows, and other installations. Each presentation will be given an A3-sized sheet for meeting attendees to write comments.


The evaluation process will be carried out through qualitative assessment on each contribution. It takes crowd-sourced assessment from meeting attendees as a starting point. Attendees will be encouraged to make comments on each of the presentations as appropriate. Comments can be submitted electronically via the STS Making and Doing website for which they can use their mobile devices. Additionally, computer stations will be set up in the venue to facilitate attendees in making comments. Free wifi connection will be available on site for those using their own device to make comments. In addition to online comments, attendees are able to make comments manually on an A3-size sheet provided in each presentation booth. The committee will evaluate each presentation by applying the criteria listed above and taking into account comments on the presentation. Drawing on suggested criteria from crowd-sourced evaluation, the committee will stipulate three winners for different categories to be awarded the prizes.

Past Awards


Civic Laboratory: Plastics
Max Liboiron, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Tell a Salmon
Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, University of California, Berkeley
July Cole, Independent Scholar

Experimental Methods
Sarah Klein, University of California, San Diego
Yelena Gluzman, University of California, San Diego