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Newsletter of the Society for Social Studies of Science

Fall 2001: Volume 14, Number 3
Managing Editors: Lisa McLoughlin & Patrick Feng     Executive Editor: Linda Layne



Contents
Editorial
Conferences
Calls for Papers
Positions
New Publications
Other Announcements
Notes from the NSF
4S Preliminary Programme

EDITORIAL

Welcome to a new academic year and another issue of Technoscience. This year, we will complete our transition to an electronic-based publication; this means that the primary way for accessing future issues of Technoscience will be via the Internet and World Wide Web. We would like to thank everyone for their patience during this transition period, and hope the new format serves the membership well.  In the upcoming months we plan to add more features to the Technoscience website, as well as gather more articles from our members about goings-on in their respective programs, schools, and departments.

 

In addition to the usual range of conference announcements, calls for papers, and job postings, this issue includes an special article by Bruce Seely and John Perhonis at the National Science Foundation. Their article discusses funding opportunities at NSF, and also gives some advice on how to submit proposals. We (as well as they) hope you find this information useful. This issue also includes the 4S preliminary programme. Hugh Gusterson and the rest of the organizing committee have been working really hard, and it looks like it will be a great conference. Hope to see many of you in Cambridge, MA, this November!

 

Some administrative notes: As part of our move towards electronic publication, the Web is now the default method for accessing Technoscience. This means that we will no longer be mailing out paper copies of Technoscience except to those members who specifically request this. (As can be seen from this issue, the cost of printing and mailing paper copies is an expensive affair.) So far, over half the membership has signed up to receive Technoscience electronically, and we hope to have the remainder by the end of the year.

 

How do I sign up? Simple! If you have not yet signed up to receive Technoscience electronically, simply send an email with your name and the subject heading “new subscriber” to TECHNOSCIENCE-L@lists.rpi.edu. That’s all there is to do! If, on the other hand, you require a paper copy of Technoscience, email us at the above address with the subject heading "Request paper copy," and we will mail you one. Given the costs and environmental impact of printing and mailing, we ask that only those members who truly need a paper copy select this option. Also, please be aware that it will take 3-4 weeks for the issue to reach you.

 

Finally, a few notices that were submitted to us have not been included because their deadlines had already passed. We remain aware of the difficulty of traditional (print) media in keeping up-to-date with "urgent" postings such as job postings, award competitions, etc.  As Technoscience is printed three times a year, the lag time between issues poses obvious problems in this regard. We hope that our new electronic format will provide a partial solution to this problem. We also encourage members to use all available means for disseminating "time-critical" notices.  Thanks for your understanding.

—The editors

 

CONFERENCES

Second European Conference of the International Society for Literature and Science:
Experimenting Arts And Sciences
May 8-12, 2002, University of Aarhus, Denmark

The conference will gather scholars from human, social, medical, technical and natural sciences as well as artists, who are interested in inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches and linkages between the study of culture, literature, visual arts and technoscience, and between science and the arts. It will be a forum for exchange of ideas between senior and junior researchers committed to the exploration of such issues and to experiments with transgression of boundaries between the formerly disparate fields of culture/literature/visual arts and technoscience. In particular, the conference will give space to scholars who want to compare notes cross-nationally.

 

Proposals for papers and workshops are invited from both senior and junior scholars from all disciplines who are interested in the links and border transgressions between the study of culture, literature, visual arts and technoscience.  Abstracts for papers and workshops (200-300 words) should be sent to SLS@imv.au.dk before October 1, 2001. For more information, contact: Randi Markussen, Associate Professor, Dept. of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus, Niels Juels Gade 84, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark, Tel: +45 89 42 19 66; conference website: http://imv.au.dk/SLS-Europe

 

User Involvement in Technological Innovations:
A Report from this year's International Summer Academy on Technology Studies

What is the role of end-users in the design of technologies? Would participatory design processes improve the quality of innovations from the perspective of users? And what are the limits of user involvement? Questions of this kind were at the core of many discussions at a Summer Academy at the Castle of Deutschlandsberg in Austria. From July 8-13, about 40 participants from a variety of backgrounds and countries (ranging from the U.S., Canada, and Australia, to Central and Eastern Europe and EU countries) met in a castle amidst the southern Styrian vineyards to link theoretical STS concepts with practical questions of technology policy and the active shaping of technological change. Participants not only enjoyed the scenic setting and the pink Styrian wine, but also provocative discussions about the role of users in STS research. Three main points dominated the discussions: (1) The role of users in the appropriation of technologies and how they are conceptualised in STS -- a topic that led to some controversial discussions, as 'users' is a very heterogeneous category; (2) Strategies for improving learning processes between actors involved in the design of technologies and users of these products; and (3) Moving from 'users' to 'citizens', a shift in perspective that was reflected in discussions about participatory processes in planning and technology assessment. On the whole the discussions proved that STS could profit a lot from moving more 'downstream' to better integrate the use of technologies in its concepts of innovation and technical change.

—Harald Rohracher, Inter-University Research Center for Technology, Work and Culture, Graz, Austria

 

 

CALLS FOR PAPERS

New Book Series: Women, Gender, & Technology (University Of Illinois Press)
Series Editors: Sue V. Rosser, Mary Frank Fox, Deborah Johnson, Georgia Institute of Technology

Volumes in the Women, Gender, & Technologyseries bring together women’s studies and technology studies, focusing upon women and technology, feminist perspectives on technology, and/or the gendering of technology and its impact upon gender relations in society. Volumes may be written from multiple perspectives and approaches, reflecting and aimed toward audiences including women’s studies, science and technology studies, studies of organizations and occupations, ethics and technology, cultural studies of science and technology, history of technology, and public policy.

Topics focus on:

·   Cultures and societies: comparative approaches in the study of gender, science, and technology; representations of gender and technology; politics and the state as they reflect and reinforce patterns of gender, science, and technology.

·   Institutions: gender in technological training; structures of education and outcomes; work and organizational contexts among women in technology; programs and interventions to support gender equity.

·   Individuals: social psychology of gender, science, and technology; interactions, expectations, identities, and networks as they are embedded in institutions (e.g., education and work) and outcomes of science and technology; effects of technology on human development and life-span development between generations.

 

Please send inquires and proposals to:

·   Sue V. Rosser, Dean, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Tech, <sue.rosser@iac.gatech.edu>

·   Mary Frank Fox, Professor of Sociology, School of History, Technology, and Society, and Co-director, Center for Study of Women, Science, & Technology, Georgia Tech, <mary.fox@hts.gatech.edu>

·   Deborah Johnson, Professor and Director of Program in Philosophy, Science, and Technology, School of Public Policy, Georgia Tech, <deborah.johnson@pubpolicy.gatech.edu>

 

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Carol J. Burger, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief

Now welcoming submissions for Volume 8, the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering publishes original, peer-reviewed papers that report innovative ideas and programs, scientific studies, and formulation of concepts related to the education, recruitment, and retention of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. Issues related to women and minorities in science and engineering are consolidated to address the entire professional and educational environment. Subjects for papers submitted can include: empirical studies of current qualitative or quantitative research; historical investigations of how minority status impacts science and engineering; original theoretical or conceptual analyses of science from feminist, racial, and ethnic perspectives reviews of literature to help develop new ideas and directions for future research; explorations of feminist teaching methods, minority student/white teacher interactions; cultural phenomena that affect the classroom climate.

 

To receive guidelines for manuscript preparation, or to submit a CV if you are interested in reviewing papers, contact: Editorial Assistant, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0227, Tel: 540-231-6296, Fax: 540-231-7013, E-mail: JRLWMSE@VT.EDU. For a complete Table of Contents, Volumes 1-6, visit: www.cis.vt.sage.journal

 

 

POSITIONS

Faculty Position: Historian of Medicine and/or Biomedical Sciences
University of California, San Francisco

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine seeks a Historian of Medicine and/or Biomedical Sciences. Area of specialization and period are open. Junior candidates (Assistant Professors and ABDs) will only be considered if a tenured Associate or Full Professor is not hired. Candidates must be interested in developing collegial relations with clinicians and bench scientists, as well as with anthropologists and other social and behavioral scientists. Ability to generate grant/foundation income is highly desirable as is administrative and program-building experience, but scholarship excellence is the most important criteria. Responsibilities include building formal relationships with UC Berkeley’s History of Science Doctoral Program, and teaching medical students as well as graduate students in allied disciplines. For full consideration applications must be received by January 11, 2002. The search will remain open, however, until a suitable candidate is found. Senior candidates (Associate or Full Professors) should send letter of intent, CV and selected publications as well as names of 3-5 confidential references. Junior candidates should send a letter of intent and dossier to:  Warwick Anderson, c/o Rebecca Trumbull, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, Suite 485, Box 0850, UCSF, 3333 California St., San Francisco, CA 94143-0850 (Express Mail 94118).  UCSF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Dept website: http://www.ucsf.edu/dahsm/

 

Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Pembroke Center
Brown University

Brown University's Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women welcomes applications from scholars for post-doctoral fellowships in residence. Post-doctoral fellows participate in a weekly research seminar, present two public papers during the year, and pursue individual research. In 2002-2003, the Pembroke Seminar will explore how biological bodies become culturally expressive: how can we frame the discussion of embodiment (e.g., race, gender, sexuality) so that biology and culture are integrated into one? We seek applicants from all fields, but especially from cultural studies, feminist social psychology, developmental psychology, developmental biology, history of the body, anthropology, cognitive psychology, and sexuality studies. Recipients may not hold a tenured position in an American institution. The stipend is $30,000. The Pembroke Center particularly wishes to encourage third world and minority scholars to apply. Applications are due December 11, 2001;  selection will be announced by early March.

 

Affiliated Scholars

Scholars with independent support who are interested in the 2002-2003 research topic are invited to apply for affiliation with the Center.  For further information and application forms contact Elizabeth Barboza, Box l958, Brown University, Providence, RI  02912 or e-mail Elizabeth_Barboza@Brown.edu.

 

Post Doctoral Researcher: Center for Bioethics
University of Pennsylvania

The Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania has an opening for a post doctoral researcher (possibly two positions-contingent upon funding) in the area of organ transplantation. The position is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Serviced, Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Special Programs, Division of Transplantation. Prior research in the area of transplantation is not required.

·         Responsibilities: Project management for research that is focused on donor family decision-making, clinical discourse surrounding organ donation, and the practice of requesting for organ donation. The position includes a focus on communication with national advisory board, project updates, research for publication, project management, and documentation of training. The Candidate is also expected to work closely with research assistants, administrative assistants, and organ procurement organization staff.  Some travel will be required.

·         Qualifications: Applicant should have a PhD (or defense completion date in the near future) in one of the following disciplines: anthropology, sociology, psychology, communications or other relevant field before the fellowship begins. Candidates must be well rounded in both theoretical and applied approaches to research. Preference will be given to candidates who have broad research interests and experience using multiple research methodologies. We are particularly interested in individuals who are interested in medical decision-making and bioethics. Candidates must be highly motivated, have strong communication skills, and excellent research and writing abilities.

 

Salary Range: One position is currently funded (second position is contingent upon funding). Minimum starting salary is $40,000. Position evaluated and renewed yearly with a three year maximum. Screening and interviews of interested candidates is ongoing. Position must be filled by October 1, 2001. Candidates must submit CV, two letters of reference, and a brief description of dissertation research (including methodology) to: Program for Transplant Policy and Ethics, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Market Street, Suite 320, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Tel: 215-573-0245, Fax 215-573-3036, E-mail: sheldonz@mail.med.upenn.edu

 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: EDITORSHIP of ST&HV

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is soliciting applications for the editorship of the journal Science, Technology, & Human Values. The future editor will assume responsibility for the journal in July of 2002 and will serve for a period of five years. The editor must have a clear and broad sense of the field of science and technology studies. Prospective editors should submit a proposal by December 1, 2001, to the chair of the Publications committee: Steven Epstein, Dept. of Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, Dept 0533, La Jolla, CA 92093-0533. Proposals should include the following:

·   A cover letter describing your qualifications for the position, including previous editorial experience, if any

·   A copy of your c.v.

·   A “vision statement” providing your conception of the mission or emphases of the journal under your editorship

·   A discussion of the proposed editorial advisory structure (Will there be an editorial advisory board? How will you draw on outside expertise to complement your own?)

·   A description of the resource base at your institution that will be used to support the editorship. (Please note that support from 4S is small and helps pay to hire a student as managing editor.) Please include a letter from a department chair, dean, or other university official describing commitments of institutional support, including office space or financial resources.

 

Please direct questions to Steven Epstein (sepstein@ucsd.edu) or to any of the officers of 4S.

 

Post-doctoral Fellowships: Science in Human Culture Program
Northwestern University

Northwestern University’s Science in Human Culture Program (SHC) invites applications for two-year postdoctoral fellowships in the contextual study of science, technology, and medicine, to start September 2002. We seek applicants in the history of science, the philosophy of science, and the sociology/anthropology of science, who will thrive in an interdisciplinary program. Probably two fellows will be appointed. They will be affiliated with both the SHC and an appropriate disciplinary department (history, philosophy, sociology, etc). They will pursue a program of independent scholarship and, by arrangement with the program director and chair of the fellow's department, teach two one-quarter courses a year, a seminar and a lecture course. They will help organize the SHC weekly faculty seminar series, and give one seminar a year. The annual stipend is $33,300.

 

Applicants should send 1) cover letter and full curriculum vitae, 2) four-page fellowship proposal, 3) writing sample consisting of either a dissertation chapter or published paper, and 4) graduate school transcripts. Applicants should also arrange to have three letters of recommendation, at least one commenting on teaching qualifications, sent directly-to Ms. Phyllis Siegel, Program in Science in Human Culture, 20 University Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-2245. The due date for all materials is January 15, 2002. The SHC website is http://www2.mmlc.nwu.edu/shc/. Questions about administrative matters may be addressed to Ms. Siegel at p-siegel@northwestern.edu, about the content and goals of the program to Ken Alder, program director, at k-alder@northwestern.edu. AA/EOE: applications from women and minorities are especially encouraged.

 

Faculty position: Technology, Culture, and Communication
University of Virginia

The Division of Technology, Culture, and Communication in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia seeks to hire a tenure-track assistant professor in technology studies.  Candidates should have methodological expertise in one or more social sciences disciplines (e.g., sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science).  The successful candidate will maintain an active research program, teach required and elective courses (with communications and ethics components) to engineering students and contribute to a policy internship program.  Ph.D. required by June 1, 2002.  Please submit letter, CV, selected (p)reprints and three letters of references not later than December 1, 2001 to Professor Michael E. Gorman, Chair, Division of TCC, SEAS, University of Virginia, Box 400744, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4744.  The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer

Faculty position: Science, Technology, and Society
Rochester Institute of Technology

The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Department of Rochester Institute of Technology seeks to fill a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level, beginning 1 September 2002. Ph.D. in STS strongly preferred. Candidate must be actively engaged in STS-related areas of research. Teaching experience expected. Candidates must be committed to undergraduate teaching, liberal learning, and critical thinking as part of a career-oriented education. The position requires teaching courses in the department's undergraduate curriculum (STS and Environmental Studies). Candidates should be qualified to teach courses in at least one of the following areas: (1) RIT's BS/MS Environmental Science Degree Program, offered jointly (and team-taught) by the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science, (2) race, class, gender, or ethnicity issues, (3) global issues, and (4) information technology or computer issues. For more information see the STS and Environmental Science Web sites: http://www.rit.edu/~696www/sts/stshome.html and http://www.rit.edu/~envsci. Send letter of application and resume, and request that three letters of recommendation be forwarded to Thomas D. Cornell, Chair, STS Department, College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, 92 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, New York 14623-5604. We shall begin reading applications on 1 November 2001. Minority candidates and women are especially encouraged to apply. RIT is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer looking for individuals with an ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the Institute commitment to cultural diversity.

Faculty position: Social Implications of Computing
Cornell University

The Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University seeks an open-rank faculty member in the social, ethical and political implications of computers and information science. The successful candidate will be expected to help develop the field of information studies in S&TS and contribute to the ethics teaching mission on campus. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: contexts for computers and information use; ethics and intellectual property rights; users and identities; gendered aspects of computers and information science; information and organizations; political implications of information management; cross-national comparisons of information science development; the history of information technology; social or cultural aspects of design of information systems; and social construction of computing technologies. Candidates should submit: (a) a letter of application explaining the relation of their research and teaching interests to the position described above; (b) a curriculum vitae; (c) two examples of their written work; (d) three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the department, (e) must have received their Ph.D. degree. Application materials should be submitted to Professor Trevor Pinch, Chair of Search Committee, Department of Science & Technology Studies, 632 Clark Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. Applications must be received by October 31, 2001. For further information, consult the department’s web page at http://www.sts.cornell.edu/CU-STS.html. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Cornell is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Faculty position: History of Biology and/or Medicine
Indiana University

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. The DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE invites applications for a tenure-track position of open-rank, to begin Fall 2002. We seek a specialist in the history of biology and/or medicine after 1800. The ideal candidate would have interdisciplinary interests in History and Philosophy of Science. Both junior and senior applicants are encouraged. Send dossier (including CV, letters of recommendation, writing sample, and statement of research and teaching interests) by December 1, 2001 to Search Committee, History and Philosophy of Science, Goodbody Hall 130, Indiana University, 1011 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7005. Indiana University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We encourage applications from minorities and women. Preliminary interviews will be held at the annual HSS meeting in Denver, CO November 8 ­ 11, 2001.

Faculty position: Philosophy of Biology and/or Medicine
Indiana University

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. The DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE invites applications for a tenure-track position of open-rank, to begin Fall 2002. Both junior and senior applicants are encouraged. AOS Philosophy of biology and/or medicine. AOC Open. Send dossier (including CV, letters of recommendation, writing sample, and statement of research and teaching interests) by December 1, 2001 to Search Committee, History and Philosophy of Science, Goodbody Hall 130, Indiana University, 1011 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7005. Indiana University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We encourage applications from minorities and women. Preliminary interviews will be held at the annual APA meeting in Atlanta, GA, December 27 ­ 30, 2001.

FYI: Tom Gieryn will be at the Cambridge 4S meetings, to discuss these positions.

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS

The second edition of Loet Leydesdorff's "The Challenge of Scientometrics: The development, measurement, and self-organization of scientific communications" is now available on the Web at http://www.upublish.com/books/leydesdorff-sci.htm. This study provides a set of non-parametric methods for studying, among other things, the qualitative knowledge base in socio-cognitive processes of communication and codification.

 

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

European Commission Public Web Debate on Science and Society

The European Commission, DG RTD, has recently opened a public e-debate on the Working Document "Science, Society and the Citizen in Europe" (SEC (2000) 1973, issued 14.11.2000). The debate is being held via the new CORDIS Web Site "Science and Society". It is intended that the Internet "forum" will enable us to gather views from all kinds of stakeholders, which will then be used to draft an action plan by the end of 2001, on key issues affecting science and society. The web service is accessible at http://www.cordis.lu/science-society/. The on-line communication forum for the public debate on Science and Society is presented at http://www.cordis.lu/rtd2002/science-society/forum.htm. Contributions may be addressed via the Communication Forum on the web. Note: it is recommended to read the introduction http://www.cordis.lu/rtd2002/science-society/forum.htm and guidelines http://www.cordis.lu/rtd2002/science-society/guidelines.htm first. You can use the generic username= science, password=society or you can register under your own name http://bbs.cordis.lu/forums/Main.cfm?CFApp=36&CFPush=Login

 

4th Annual Rappaport Prize: Call For Submissions.

Sponsored by the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Association of Anthropology, the Roy A. Rappaport Prize recognizes exemplary ecological/environmental scholarship by anthropology graduate students. The winner will be recognized at the A&E Business meeting at the AAA meetings in Washington and awarded $500. For those who anticipate being on the job market soon, this is a great way to enhance your CV. You need not be a member of A&E to submit an entry, but you must be a member of AAA. Students interested in submitting manuscripts for this year's competition should follow Human Ecology formatting guidelines. Manuscripts should be of publishable quality, based on original research, and should not exceed 25 double-spaced pages of text (not including references). Entries should be submitted as an attachment in either Word or WordPerfect formats to A&E Section President Peter Brosius (pbrosius@arches.uga.edu) no later than October 1. Manuscripts submitted for previous Rappaport Prize competitions are not eligible for consideration.

 

 

SPECIAL FEATURE: NOTES FROM THE NSF

Bruce Seely and John Perhonis, Program Directors
Science and Technology Studies, National Science Foundation

We would like to alert 4S members about funding opportunities at the National Science Foundation's STS Program. We also want to convey to potential applicants a couple of concerns about difficulties found in recent submissions.

Funding Opportunities

STS Program

The Program reviewed 195 proposals in the Fall 2000 and Spring 2001 review cycles, and made 67 awards, including 16 for dissertations. In partial response to the increasing number of proposals, the STS Program received a 7 percent budget increase for FY 2001, to $3,827,000. The situation for FY 2002 is unclear, but projections are for flat budgets. Those interested in learning about the Program's activities are invited to look at the Program Announcement and other information on the STS Program's home page: http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ses/sts/start.htm

 

Awards are made to individual investigators and to collaborative research projects, for dissertation improvement projects, postdoctoral fellowships, professional development fellowship, and for conferences. The Program also entertains proposals each fall for small grants for training and research (SGTRs). Proposals are accepted twice a year, with target dates of February 1 and August 1. By October, a revised program announcement will be posted, and it will govern the Spring 2002 review cycle. The changes are relatively minor clarifications of requirements and expectations, and include a slight increase in the budget guidelines.

 

Foundation-wide Programs

We want to strongly encourage 4S members to respond to the larger Foundation-wide funding opportunities. For example, a number of scholars and institutions that fall under the science and technology studies banner have received SGTR awards in the recent past; others in the more distant past received larger training grants. Any graduate program that has been supported in this way might consider developing proposals for suc competitions as IGERT: Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship. This is a very competitive program with proposals usually due in late June. It takes time to prepare such a proposal. But it seems about time for an STS-oriented program to take this step.

 

At the level of individual investigators, there are a number of opportunities to which all scholars in STS have responded sparingly. The CAREER program for early faculty investigators, the ADVANCE program to Increase the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers, and MRI, the competition for Major Research Instrumentation are three such examples. Information on these and other Foundation-wide programs can be found at the Cross Cutting/Interdisciplinary Programs home page: http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/

 

Special Programs

Most new funding at NSF in recent years has gone for targeted research in emerging areas of science and engineering. For the coming year, two special topics are slated for substantial support: Information Technology Research (ITR) and Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NANO). STS scholars should seriously consider submitting proposals because it is now REQUIRED that these programs support projects examining the societal implications of these cutting edge science and engineering fields. Thus research by STS scholars on the historical, philosophical, and social dimensions of these topics can be funded. The specific research emphases for the next funding cycle should be announced in late August, with proposals due at various times in November and January. We strongly encourage STS scholars to participate, as our communities have much to contribute to conversations about emerging sciences and technologies. Indeed, questions about "societal implications" seem tailor-made for the STS researchers. And the funding is significant. ITR had $180 million new dollars in FY 2001, with projects grouped into small (individual investigator proposals with budgets of up to $500,000), medium (larger collaborative projects with budgets of $500,000 to $5 million), and large (centers with budgets up to $15 million) categories. Please watch for the updated program announcements on the Crosscutting Programs page: http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/

Notes on Proposals to STS

Over the past year, a number of proposals have given the STS Advisory Panel (which reviews all proposals) and the Program cause for slight concern. The difficulties can lead to lower evaluations, but are easily correctable. Our goal is to enable you to produce the best proposals possible.

 

Dissertation Proposals

We are concerned that some of these proposals are not following NSF guidelines. A very few have omitted required elements or presented budgets that do not adhere to the guidelines. Other problems suggest that faculty advisers have not carefully reviewed proposals with their graduate students. The most common difficulties are awkward or unclear writing, very general or weak work plans, and distracting grammatical and spelling errors. A few submissions included bibliographies that identified only the broad formative or theoretical literatures from which students intend to build their projects, and omitted citations to the specific subject content. These difficulties undermine the confidence of evaluators in projects. The Advisory Panel and Program realize dissertation proposals cannot exhibit the maturity of projects from established scholars. But faculty advisers are PIs on these projects for a reason, and proposals ultimately reflect upon them.

 

Postdoctoral Fellowship Proposals

As with dissertations proposals, the applicant is the co-PI with the sponsoring faculty member as PI. These have increased in number in recent years, and some share problems with the dissertations in terms of clarity and bibliographies. Equally a matter of concern has been postdoc proposals that did not specifically justify the choice of the institution and sponsoring faculty member in terms of the student's plan of research and training. A few proposals have failed to describe both the training component and the research activity. Finally, a number of postdoc proposals have given short shrift to the student's work plan. In the end, competitive postdoctoral fellowship proposals are built through careful cooperation between the applicant and the sponsoring faculty member. The Program and Advisory Panel worry that proposals not exhibiting such contact in the preparation stage will lead to unsatisfactory postdoc experiences.

 

Current and Pending Support Statements

A number of recent STS proposals of all types have slighted the required Statement on Current and Pending Support. This document should include information about other awards you have already received, as well as the other organizations to which you plan to submit applications covering the same ground as your NSF proposal. We encourage multiple submission of proposals, for NSF is always willing to work out sharing arrangements with sponsors when both find a project meritorious. While some organizations may not allow this, the STS Program can more quickly deal with multiple funding situations if we know about such possibilities from the outset. So please provide complete information on the Current and Pending Support Form at the time of the initial submission. And remember that investigators have an obligation to notify the STS program as soon as they learn that have been awarded funding for the same research project submitted to NSF.

 

As always, if you have any questions about the STS Program or submission requirements, please contact us. Information can be found on the STS home page, and Bruce Seely's's email is bseely@nsf.gov. John handles the dissertation program and can be reached at jperhoni@nsf.gov.

 

 


4S PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME


Society for the Social Studies of Science, Annual Meeting
November 1 - 4, 2001, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Go to the most up-to-date version of the programme by clicking here.