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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 #17 March 2015


Edge and Mullins Prizes announced! Denver submissions reminder, including Making and Doing presentations. Call for mentoring award nominations. Call for 6S Rep nominations. Engaging Science, Technology and Society.


President’s message #16


Engaging Science, Technology, and Society is accepting manuscripts!
Submit a proposal for the STS Making and Doing session in Denver!
Nominees for Council?: deadline March 1
Nominees for 2015 4S Mentoring Award?: deadline April 1
Nominees for 6S representative: deadline April 30
Schedule of announcements for prize/award winners
Future meetings—propose to host 2017!


Deadline approaches for Fleck, Carson nominations


Nominations are being accepted up through March 01 2015 for the 2016 Fleck and Carson Prizes. The Fleck Prize is awarded annually for the best book in the area of science and technology studies. Created by the 4S Council in August of 1992. The author(s) receives a monetary stipend and an engraved plaque. The Carson Prize is awarded for a Work of Social or Political Relevance.



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

Making Change Bogotá una reflexión desde Ártica Uruguay

Report-backs / Mariana Fossatti and Jorge Gemetto

title Making Change Bogotá, Colombia, was part of an international long-term research driven by Leuphana Centre for Digital Cultures, which seeks to question the hegemonic ways of understanding change by conducting intensive workshops where activists, academics and artists from different countries participate. In Bogotá the event was organized in collaboration with Karisma Foundation and the Javeriana University. (Spanish, with English summary)

Write2Know Campaign: Making and Doing in STS

Projects / Max Liboiron

title Write2know highlights STS scholars’ roles in civic participation and STS as an practice of “making and doing” politics in and through science.

STS’s Image Problem

Reflections / Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone

title As we move away from intrapersonal learning and growth into the realm of hope how can...images serve? Participate? And how can they do it better?

Apropiación Social de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación para el desarrollo humano

Report-backs / Manuel Franco-Avellaneda

title The training program for community leaders, museological institutions and libraries was promoted by Colciencias and UNDP during the second half of 2014. The initiative documented the experience of institutions and actors in countries like Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Colombia (Spanish, with English summary)

Workshop: Markets for Collective Concerns - Copenhagen Business School, Dec. 11-12, 2014

Report-backs / Daniel Breslau

title In our current era, states are more frequently turning to market mechanisms to achieve social aims. Rather than socializing unmet needs, states are establishing new markets to correct the failures of old markets; markets as interventions, markets upon markets.

6S: The Graduate Student Organization of 4S, Revitalized

Reflections / Bryn Whitely

title 2015 marks a year of revitalization for 6S, the student organization of 4S. To this end, we are planning to host three events at the upcoming 4S meeting in Denver.

On the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective

Projects / Jim Collier

title Jim Collier explains the purpose and goals of SERRC: "Social epistemology, after all, understands knowledge as a principle for social organization and action, and welcomes the reformist impulse."

Discutiendo la agenda de desarrollo sustentable

Projects / Mariano Fressoli & Valeria Arza

title El Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación (CENIT) asociado a la Universidad de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) trabaja desde 2008 en conjunto con el Centro STEPS – Universidad de Sussex, del Reino Unido en temas que vinculan la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación con el desarrollo sustentable e inclusivo. (Spanish, with English summary)

Taking Care of Business Cat

Reflections / D.E. Wittkower

title Problematizing stuff is great. Open up concepts, get down underneath ideology, deconstruct—important stuff. Viva la différance and all that. Today, though, let’s solvatize something. And it’s this: what’s up with all these cats online? A philosopher reflects on the business cat internet meme.

“Emotional Bodies. A Workshop on the Historical Performativity of Emotions” Geneva, 20-22 October

Report-backs / Beatriz Pichel

title “Emotional Bodies: a Workshop on the Historical Performativity of Emotions” (20th-22nd October, 2014) aimed to contribute to this debate by focusing on how emotions understood as cultural practices have the affective power of creating emotional bodies.

Interview with Karin Knorr Cetina

Reflections / 4S Admin

title Former 4S Secretary Wesley Shrum is building a series of video interviews with former 4S Presidents. These in-depth interviews are a rich source of information and perspective, not only about the illustrious careers of these scholars, but about currents of thought within the field over time. In this episode from the 4S 2009 meeting in Washington DC, Shrum interviews Karin Knorr Cetina, who was president in 1996 and 1997.