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Newsletter of the Society for Social Studies of Science

Winter 2002: Volume 15, Number 1
Managing Editors: Lisa McLoughlin & Patrick Feng     Executive Editor: Linda Layne

Printable PDF Format

Calls for Papers
Job Opportunities
Scholarships, Prizes, and Funding Opportunities
Other Announcements
Letters to the Editor


Greetings, fellow STSers. The fall semester was a busy one, with numerous conferences and scholarly activities. With regards to official society events, the annual 4S meeting took place in Boston last November, and by all accounts was very successful. Congratulations to Hugh Gusterson and the rest of the organizing committee for putting together a great conference. Speaking of which, plenty of conferences are coming up this semester, so be sure to check them out in this issue.

On a more somber note, the events of September 11 have had an impact on many people’s lives, both here and abroad. Some have lost friends or loved ones. Others have had to adapt to changes in their daily routines. Many of us have thought about if and how to discuss topics such as “terrorism” with our students. Whatever your situation, we hope the new year will bring strength, courage, and hope to all those who have been suffering.                                                         

A reminder: As part of our move towards electronic publication, the Web is now the default method for accessing Technoscience. This means we are no longer mailing out paper copies of Technoscience, except to those members who specifically request this. 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 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.

–the editors


The 27th Annual AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy: “Science and Technology in a Vulnerable World: Rethinking Our Roles”
April 11-12, 2002, Washington, DC

The AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy, held in Washington each spring, provides a forum for discussion and debate about budget and other policy issues facing the S&T community.  Since its beginning in 1976, it has grown into an annual institution that draws nearly 500 top science and technology experts.  The Colloquium has established itself as the major public meeting in the U.S. on science and technology policy issues. Information regarding program details, schedule, registration fees, online registration materials, and hotel arrangements will be continually updated and made available at

The Local and the Global: Contexts in Science and Technology
April 13-14, 2002, The National Academies, Washington, D.C.

This graduate student conference will provide a forum for thinking, speculating and theorizing about global and local trends on issues concerning science and technology from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Students in many fields are asked to address evolving issues such as globalization, governance or sustainability that represent major research trends for the future. The conference will offer graduate students the opportunity to present papers and interact with other students, scholars and practitioners in their field(s) of interest.  A session is planned with local organizations working in related areas to present non-academic career options.

The conference organizing committee welcomes submissions of abstracts to present current or recent research.  Abstracts (up to 250 words) for a 10-15 minute presentation should be emailed to by 15 February 2002.  We seek submissions from graduate students in any program where their research analyzes the global and local context of science and technology within the following thematic areas:

·         Sustainability: The interaction of science, technology, and social contexts in efforts to live and work in a less resource intensive fashion.

·         Environment: The opportunities and challenges of science and technology in how local, regional, national and global entities interact with the environment.

·         Knowledge: The ‘knowledge-based economy,’ new conceptions of local knowledge, civic science, epistemology, and human capital vis-à-vis science and technology.

·         Globalization: How globalization is or isn’t happening, how science and technology are used for and against globalization, and the ability of local and regional interests to function in a globalized world.

·         Governance: How science and technology empowers and disempowers citizens, and how developments in science and technology transcend traditional conceptions of governance.

There will be a small ($25 or less) conference fee.  Information concerning area lodging will be made available on the conference website by January 30, 2002.  The conference is sponsored by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Science and Technology Studies Department), George Washington University (Program in Science, Technology and Public Policy), and George Mason University (School of Public Policy).  For more information, see the conference website:

Shaping the Network Society: Patterns for Participation, Action, and Change
May 16-19, 2002, Seattle, Washington, USA

Tomorrow's information and communication infrastructure is being shaped today. But by whom and to what ends? Clearly, information and communication technology--and the uses to which it is put--is central to any effort that helps empower people to effectively look at and resolve our collective concerns. At the same time, giant media conglomerates and computer companies are rapidly increasing their control of the information and communication infrastructure upon which this public sphere depends.  Governments, too, are often part of this problem; instead of promoting access and two-way access to this infrastructure, they actively or passively discourage civic sector uses. Civil society is responding in a million ways. The opportunities and challenges offered by a global "network society" are too great to be ignored.

The Shaping the Network Society symposium is designed to aid in these efforts by providing a forum and a platform for these critical issues. And, through the use of "patterns," we hope that this conference will help inject organization, motivation, and inspiration into the evolution of an information and communication infrastructure that truly meets today's—and tomorrow's—urgent needs. Please join us in Seattle (and beyond) in May 2002 for this exciting and important event!  Go to for more details.

Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science
May 26-28, 2002, University of Toronto, Canada

The Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science (CSHPS) is holding its annual conference at University of Toronto, 26-28 May 2002. The program committee invites historians, philosophers and other scholars of the social sciences and humanities to submit paper, panel or workshop proposals. The proposals and papers may be in English or French, and should have a title, a brief abstract of 150 to 250 words, and the complete information for correspondence. Proposals must be received by 31 January 2002 and may be sent by e-mail, fax or post to one of the members of the program committee. We strongly encourage email submissions. Information about Congress registration and accommodation can be found at the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada web site. Please note that the CSHPS meeting, which takes place as part of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, overlaps with the meeting dates of a number of other societies, including the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine (May 24-26), the Canadian Philosophical Association (May 25-28), the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics (May 24-26), and the Canadian Historical Association (May 27-29).  The CSHPS program committee welcomes suggestions for joint sessions with these and other societies.  For more information, see the conference website:; Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science:; Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities:

Summer Research Seminar: “The Emergence of the Modern Disciplines”
June 10-26, 2002, The University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

The University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies announces the Obermann Stipends for the Summer 2002 Research Seminar. This year’s theme is “The Emergence of the Modern Disciplines”. Under what conditions did the division of academic labor that culminated in the modernist separation of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities arise? In this interdisciplinary seminar, scholars of all three areas are invited to assess formative moments in and shifting boundaries between academic fields by examining key figures and movements from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.

The seminar invites applications from scholars in as wide an array of fields as possible, including but not limited to science studies, rhetorical studies, classics, history of philosophy, political theory, economic history, history of the book, literary history, religious studies, women's studies, and media studies. Eight to ten scholars will be selected, and provided with $2800 stipends, plus $500 for travel/housing expenses for visiting scholars. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or comparable professional degree. For more information, please contact Jay Semel, Obermann Center, N134 Oakdale Hall, (319) 335-4034,; or send email to Funded by the C. Esco and Avalon L. Obermann Fund and by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

PDC 2002—The Participatory Design Conference
June 23­25, 2002, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden

With this year’s theme, Participation and Design: Inquiring into the Politics, Contexts and Practices of Collaborative Design Work, the Participatory Design Conference 2002 invites researchers, designers and other practitioners to present inquiries into the politics, contexts and practices of collaborative design work. We invite contributions from all design fields such as architecture, urban planning, engineering, interaction design and others (such as the fine arts) with a focus on understanding collaborative design work.  The due date for submissions is 1 February 2002.

Inquiring into the contexts of use is becoming increasingly important as part of design work. Ethnographic approaches to field studies are producing valuable insights into existing and emerging practices of use, but the transition from what we learn from studies of work practices and social interactions to the design of a system, application or other design products remains poorly explored. Despite a well established literature on such approaches as contextual inquiry, focus groups and cooperative prototyping, the potential of participatory approaches to design oriented practice studies is often neglected in ethnographic approaches.

Altogether, collaborative design practices, although widespread, are still not well understood. With this in mind, the conference committee welcomes papers; work-in-progress presentations; country and regional reports; artifacts; posters; interactive demonstrations; workshops about methods, practices and other areas of interest; and tutorial proposals.  Submission requirements are available at the conference website: or by writing to

16th Annual Conference of the Society for Literature and Science
October 10-13, 2002, Pasadena, CA

The Society for Literature and Science welcomes colleagues in the sciences, engineering, technology, computer science, medicine, the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, and independent scholars and artists.  SLS fosters the multi-disciplinary study of the relations among literature and language, the arts, science, medicine, and technology.  Our annual conferences attract participants from many disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, rhetoric, and philosophy of science, technology, and medicine; literary history and criticism; art history and media studies; the cognitive sciences, and all areas of science, technology, engineering, and medicine.  We invite proposals for papers, sessions, workshops, panel discussions, etc., in any of the areas mentioned above; non-traditional formats are encouraged.  Proposals are due by 1 June 2002.  Details for submission and further conference information are available on the conference website:  Or contact Jay Labinger at

The 4th Triple Helix Conference: Breaking Boundaries Building Bridges
November 6-9, 2002, Copenhagen, Denmark–Lund, Sweden

The 4th Triple Helix Conference is open to anyone who is interested in the interactions of university-industry-society. The theme of this year’s conference is breaking boundaries between university, industry and society and building bridges across the helices and across other geographical and national boundaries. Boundaries have been a defining characteristic of modernity: between the public and private sector, between universities and other R&D institutions and between nation states. The advent of the knowledge/network society has ushered in new forms of organisation, management and institutions, which have made boundary spanning and bridge building the new imperatives of innovative economic growth and social development. If new forms of institutions, organisations and activities develop on the boundaries between the helices, and these seem to be important for the driving force, this is changing the conditions for the helices themselves.

The conference will be organised around 15 tracks with approx. 20 papers each. We invite papers that deal with: science and technology policy issues, research and innovation management, university-industry links, knowledge network organisation, organisational learning, commercialisation of science, regional development and other topics related to the Triple Helix concept. Each track will be managed by a team of convenors. For participants who want to present a paper, an extended abstract should be submitted to the track conveners by 20 April 2002 at latest. Track descriptions and contact details are available at our website. Extended abstracts should describe aim, methods, results and conclusions of the paper in maximum 1500 words. Papers are circulated via the net for track participants.

The conference is a collaboration between Copenhagen Business School, Lund University and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, and will mainly be held in Copenhagen, Denmark with a day in Lund, Sweden. The general theme of the meeting Breaking Boundaries Building Bridges has more than a symbolic significance since the new Oresund Bridge, linking Denmark and Sweden, has created a whole new region and thereby adds a geographical and cross border perspective to the Triple Helix topics. The Oresund region is one of Europe’s fastest growing and much of this growth may be attributed to the connections between the public, industrial and university sectors. For more information see:


A Special Issue of Research Policy: “The Role of Scientific and Technical Human Capital in Innovation and Technology Transfer”

A widely held axiom is that knowledge is embedded in people, but relatively little research focuses on the ways in which researchers develop the capacity to produce new knowledge and, in turn, transport that new knowledge as they move from one research setting to another.  This special issue examines studies on capacity-building in science and technology, focusing on how individuals create value by adding to their fund of “scientific and technical human capital,” including not only formal education but, just as important, craft knowledge, specialized training, social and network ties.  Particularly welcome are papers focusing on training, tacit knowledge, career trajectories, capacity building, and impacts of the diffusion of scientists into new research settings. The target is to have 8-10 papers on the subject, plus an introduction. Interested persons should send an extended abstract (6-8 pages) by the end of January 2002 to and

Workshop: “Cultural History of Heredity II: Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries”
January 10-12, 2003, Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany

The Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science invites scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, including historians of art and literature, medicine, law, or economics, to submit paper proposals for its forthcoming workshop "Cultural History of Heredity II: Eighteenth to Nineteenth Centuries". This workshop, scheduled for January 10-12, 2003, is part of a series of workshops forming the backbone of a long term research project on the cultural history of heredity that aims to uncover the technical, juridical, medical, and scientific practices in which the knowledge of inheritance was historically anchored in different epochs and to understand the genesis of today’s naturalistic concept of heredity. The workshop organizers are Staffan Müller-Wille, Peter Mclaughlin, Wolfgang Lefèvre, and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. The deadline for proposals is 31 January 2002. For further information see call for papers at or send e-mail to


Faculty position: Science, Technology, & Society Program
North Carolina State University

The Division of Multidisciplinary Studies at North Carolina State University invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Division's science, technology & society (STS) program, with a specialization in biomedical ethics, to begin January 1, 2003. The ideal candidate should have a doctorate in relevant humanities or social science fields, or other relevant fields, a strong commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service, and the ability to work within a diverse, multidisciplinary department. In addition to research and service, responsibilities include teaching and developing courses in healthcare issues and other areas of STS and administration of a new undergraduate minor in health studies.  We especially invite applicants able to make research/teaching contributions in the area of science, technology, and culture, and to other Division Focal Areas, which can be reviewed on the Division's web page: Review of applications will begin 1 January 2002 and will continue until the position is filled. Send letter of application, statement of research and teaching interest, a cv, and list of three references to Patrick Hamlett, Box 7107, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695-7107. In its commitment to diversity and equity, N.C. State University seeks applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities desiring accommodations in the application process should contact Betty Swayne in the Division, at 919/515-6964, 919/515-1828 (fax), or

Post-doctoral fellowship: Science, Medicine, and Technology in Culture Program
Pennsylvania State University

The Science, Medicine, and Technology in Culture Program at Pennsylvania State University invites applications for a 2-year postdoctoral NSF Fellowship in residence beginning fall 2002.  Field of expertise is open. We are interested, for example, in colonial science.  The postdoc will teach one course per semester:  He or she will also co-organize (along with two faculty members) an international workshop on gender and science to be held spring 2004.  This workshop will invite scientists to discuss how gender analysis has changed their fields of research.   SMTC spans the departments of History, English, Philosophy, Anthropology, Women's Studies and several of PSU's leading departments of life, social, and physical science.  For further information, please see our website:  Candidates must have completed their Ph.D. by fall 2002.   The award carries with it a  $30,000 per year stipend plus benefits.   Interested candidates should send c.v., a brief statement of research and teaching interests (2-3 pages), one dissertation chapter or article, and three letters of recommendation to:  Dr. Londa Schiebinger, Edwin E. Sparks Professor, Department of History, 311 Weaver, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802.  Review of applications will begin 1 February 2002 and continue until the position is filled.  EOE/AA.  Email:

Faculty positions: Department of Management Sciences
University of Waterloo

The Department of Management Sciences in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo invites applications from outstanding individuals for a tenure track appointment at the Assistant or Associate Professor level in Management of Technology, commencing between May 1, 2002 and September 1, 2002. The Department also invites applications for a three-year definite term appointment, at the same level. We are seeking individuals with a Ph.D. in a social science or management discipline who have an interdisciplinary interest in teaching, research and graduate supervision in subjects dealing with modern organizations where technology plays an important role. The applicant's research interests should be compatible with those of the present faculty, which range from behavioral and technical information systems, to applied operations research to management of technology

The Department offers a Management Sciences option to undergraduate engineers, and in addition to its regular full time MASc and PhD programs, offers a part-time Management of Technology MASc program, MOT@DISTANCE. This innovative program is intended primarily for engineers and scientists who deal with technology management in their workplace. Delivery is by enhanced distance learning, with optional tutorials delivered via the Internet. Interest or experience with online education will be an asset to applicants. For more information about the department and MOT@DISTANCE, consult and

UW is a Canadian leader in research, and prides itself on close cooperation with industry through its coop programs, research contracts and technology transfer.  The Waterloo region is a major industrial centre, with a burgeoning high-tech sector, including many "spin-off" companies from research at the University of Waterloo.  Waterloo offers an ideal living environment, combining the advantages of a small city with easy access to Canada's largest city, Toronto, and to numerous recreational activities, both outdoor and indoor.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, however, Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority.  The University encourages applications from women, members of visible minorities, native peoples, and persons with disabilities.  This appointment is subject to the availability of funds.  Salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Please send a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of three references to Professor Elizabeth Jewkes, Chair, Department of Management Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada   N2L 3G1; e-mail:; fax:  519-746-7252).

Summer internship: Science & Technology Policy
American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute are sponsoring science and technology policy internships for the summer of 2002.  The AAAS-RAND Science and Technology Policy Intern Program offers outstanding graduate students in science and technology policy a unique dimension to their education.  The program provides interns a close-up look at the Washington technology policy community, and the opportunity to contribute to policy research and analysis.

Each year, two interns are placed at the RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington.  Interns contribute to the Institute's ongoing research related to science and technology policy in industry.  Potential research priorities next year may include:

·         A study of the trends in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and materials technology, and their impact on information technology. 

·         An assessment of environmentally benign manufacturing processes. 

·         An examination of future priorities for critical infrastructure protection research and development.

·         A study of issues surrounding intellectual property law in biotechnology and genomics.

The RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute was established in 1992 (as the RAND Critical Technologies Institute) by an act of Congress to support the complex task of devising and implementing science and technology policy.  It was chartered to provide objective, analytical support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  The Institute's research agenda is developed in cooperation with its client, OSTP, with its sponsor, the National Science Foundation, and with input from multiple sources in the science and technology policy community.

The interns will be competitively selected in a process that AAAS will direct, for three-month projects beginning in June 2002.  The Institute will be fully responsible for the interns following selection, including providing moving expenses, establishing the stipend rate, and setting the starting date.  Application materials are available by calling (202) 326-6700, writing, or through the website at The deadline is 28 February 2002.

Postdoctoral fellowship: Science, Technology, and Society
Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society in Graz

The Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS) offers five grants (EUR 1,000.- per month) for fellowships at the IAS-STS in Graz starting 1 October 2002, ending 30 June 2003. The IAS-STS promotes the interdisciplinary investigation of the links and interactions between science, technology and society as well as research on the development and implementation of socially and environmentally sound technologies. The grants of the fellowship programme 2002/2003 are dedicated for projects investigating the following issues:

·         TECHNOLOGY–GENDER–EDUCATION: The particular emphasis lies on the analysis of the possibility of involving women in developing, designing and utilising technology and the promotion of girls and women in technology education programmes.

·         SHAPING OF MODERN BIOTECHNOLOGY: A further emphasis of the grant scheme comprises issues of the social shaping of modern biotechnology. Researchers dealing with relevant topics e.g. in the fields of public understanding and participation, technology assessment and risk communication are especially encouraged to apply for these grants.

·         PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY: The improved understanding of fundamental aspects of technology, its origins and interaction with man and nature is the main focus of this part of the grant programme. We are particularly interested in research projects dealing with the ”agency” of technology.

·         ECOLOGICAL PRODUCT POLICY: Promoting environmentally friendly design, manufacturing, consumption and use of products represents a further focus of the grant programme. Research projects that contribute to a better understanding of the social and cultural context of products as well as analysis and strategies of an ecological product policy are of particular interest.

The grant application must be submitted together with an application for a fellowship to the IAS-STS. Prof. Arno Bammé, Director of the IAS-STS, decides on the awarding of fellowships and grants in consultation with the Scientific Advisory Board. For application forms and further information, please visit our website: The closing date for applications is 31 March 2002

Visiting faculty position: Women’s Studies
George Washington University

The George Washington University invites applications for a one year Visiting Assistant Professor in Women's Studies to begin in August 2002.  The teaching requirement is 6 courses a year. Preferred areas of specialization are feminist theory, human rights, globalization, cross-cultural studies of gender and sexuality. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in hand by August 2001, preferably in Anthropology, and will teach one large undergraduate course on the "Anthropology of Gender" which is cross-listed with Anthropology, graduate courses in Women's Studies such as "Global Feminisms", Feminist Theory, and possibly other undergraduate and graduate Women's Studies courses. Review of applications will begin 28 February 2002 and will continue until the position is filled. Please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference to Chair, Search Committee, Women's Studies, The George Washington University, 837 22nd St, NW, Washington DC 20052. The George Washington University, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Please visit the Women's Studies website at

Faculty position: Program in Science, Technology, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship in the history and/or social study of biology and the life sciences. Candidates should be able to teach subjects of special interest to undergraduates majoring in biology, pre-med, and bio-engineering. Special consideration will be given those whose research focuses on science in colonial or post-colonial contexts. The candidate should also be able to address contemporary issues in the biological sciences. Candidates should submit a letter of application, a complete resume, a brief description of research interests (2-3 pages), and three letters of recommendation to Debbie Meinbresse, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, E51-185, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA  02139-4307. (Fax: 617-258-8118; E-mail: Applications should be received by 15 February 2002.  MIT is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and strongly encourages applications from women and members of minority groups.


Society for the Social History of Medicine 2002 Prize Essay Competitions

The Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM) invites submissions for its two 2002 Prize Essay Competitions.  These prizes will be awarded to the best original, unpublished essays in the social history of medicine submitted to each competition as judged by the SSHM's assessment panel.  The 2002 essay competition is open to post-doctoral scholars and faculty who obtained their Ph.D. or equivalent qualification after 31 December 1996.  The 2002 student essay competition is open to students in full or part-time education.  Each prizewinner will be awarded £300.00, and his or her entry may also be published in the journal, Social History of Medicine.  Further details and entry forms can be down-loaded from the SSHM's website  Alternatively, please contact David Cantor (email:  The deadline for entries is: 31 December 2002.

The Society of Automotive Historians 2002 Student Paper Award                                              

The Society of Automotive Historians (SAH) is the world’s only organization devoted exclusively to the history of motor vehicles.  Founded in 1969, its international membership of over 900 includes published authors, writers for major magazines, persons on university faculties, librarians, archivists, and directors and staffs of museums and historical societies.  In order to encourage research and writing efforts among university students in the area of automotive history, the Society of Automotive Historians in 2002 will confer its second annual award for the best student paper in the above field.  Persons submitting papers must be students at educational institutions (thesis-level undergraduate or graduate level) at the time of submission. This competition is international in scope, but papers must be in the English language.  Papers already published or scheduled for publication will not be accepted.

Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words, and should be double–spaced.  An abstract is requested.  Submissions should emphasize in-depth research, with adequate citation of sources utilized.  Diagrams, graphs or photographs may be included.  An original and four copies must be submitted.  Possible subjects include, but are not limited to, historical aspects of automobile companies and their leaders, regulation of the auto industry, highway development, environmental matters, and automotive marketing, design, engineering and safety.  Submissions will be judged using the criteria of research, organization, writing style and documentation.  A cover letter should be included, stating the student’s address, school, program, advisor, and stage in studies.  Submissions must be postmarked by 30 April 2002.  All papers submitted will be acknowledged.  The winning paper will be published in the Society’s Automotive History Review.  The winner will be notified in August. 2002.  The award will consist of a plaque and a cash prize of $500.00. Submissions should be sent to: Sinclair Powell, Chair, Student Paper Awards Committee, SAH, 8 Ruthven Place, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, 48104-2612. Tel: 734-769-1188, Fax: 734-769-2858. e-mail:

Programs of Support from the IEEE History Center, 2002/2003

The IEEE History Center offers three different programs of support annually for young scholars pursuing the history of electrical engineering and computing:  An Internship for a junior graduate student, a Dissertation Fellowship for an advanced graduate student or recent Ph.D.; and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship for a recent Ph.D.  The Internship and the Dissertation Fellowship are funded by the IEEE Life Members Committee; the Post-Doc is funded by Rutgers University.  The Internship and the Post-Doc require residence at the IEEE History Center, on the Rutgers University Campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey; there is no residency requirement for the Dissertation Fellowship.  The IEEE History Center is pleased to announce the competitions for the 2002 awards:

IEEE Fellowship In Electrical History

The IEEE Fellowship in Electrical History supports either one year of full-time graduate work in the history of electrical science and technology at a college or university of recognized standing, or up to one year of post-doctoral research for a scholar in this field who has received his Ph.D. within the past three years. This award is supported by the IEEE Life Members Committee.  The Committee is pleased to announce that, beginning with the 2002/2003 Fellowship, the stipend has been raised to $17,000, and a research budget of $3,000 has been added.

Candidates with undergraduate degrees in engineering, the sciences, or the humanities are eligible for the Fellowship. The Fellow is selected on the basis of the candidate's potential for pursuing research in and contributing to electrical history. Application forms are available on-line or by request from the IEEE History Center (see contact information below). This completed application packet should be sent to the Chairman, IEEE Fellowship in Electrical History Committee, IEEE History Center, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538. The deadline for receipt of applications is 1 February 2002. Applicants will be notified of the results by 1 May.

IEEE History Center Internship

Scholars at the beginning of their career studying the history of electrical technology and computing are invited to contact the Center to be considered for a paid internship at the Center's offices on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The intern program seeks to provide research experience for graduate students in the history of electrical and computer technologies, while enlisting the help of promising young scholars for the Center's projects. The intern generally works full-time for two months at the History Center on a Center project that is connected to his or her own area of interest. This time is usually during the summer, but other arrangements will be considered.  Interns are also encouraged to consult with the Center's staff and its associates, and guided to research resources in the area. The internship is designed for those near the beginning or middle of their graduate careers, but advanced undergraduates and advanced graduates will also be considered.  Special consideration is often given to scholars from outside the United States who might not otherwise have an opportunity to visit historical resources in this country. The stipend paid to the intern is US$3,500, but additional funds may be available to defray travel costs, depending on the intern’s circumstances.  This internship is supported by the IEEE Life Members Committee.

There is no formal application form. To apply, please mail a curriculum vitae showing your studies in electrical history along with a cover letter describing the sort of project you would be interested in doing (see contact information below).  The deadline for contacting the IEEE History Center is 1 March 2002.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Electrical History

The History Department and the IEEE History Center of Rutgers University announce a post-doctoral position for one year, renewable up to three additional years, in the history of electrical engineering and computing, beginning Fall 2002. The post-doc will participate in the IEEE History Center’s program of preserving, researching and promoting the history of electrical engineering and computing and will be expected to conduct original research in related topics.  In addition, the Post-doc will teach undergraduate courses in the area of the history of technology for the History Department, typically one or two courses per year, and will participate broadly in the intellectual life of the Department, a top-rated program which features a new graduate major field in the history of technology, the environment, and health.

Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in the history of technology or a related field, and must demonstrate the potential to conduct professional-quality scholarship in the history of electrical or computer technologies, broadly defined.  Teaching experience and a background in communicating with engineers or a non-academic audience are all desirable. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, including a description of areas of research interest, curriculum vitae, writing sample (article or dissertation chapter), and three letters of recommendation.  The deadline for completed applications is 1 April 2002. IEEE and Rutgers are AA/EO employers.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply for all positions.

The IEEE History Center is cosponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE)—the world’s largest professional technical society—and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  The mission of the Center is to preserve, research, and promote the legacy of electrical engineering and computing.  The Center can be contacted at: IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ   08901-8538, email:, web:


Book announcement

Steve Fuller has just published Knowledge Management Foundations with Butterworth-Heinemann, as the latest volume in the KMCI Press series. (ISBN: 0750673656) The book attempts to provide a secure intellectual footing to a field adrift in snake oil artists. Openly admitting that 'KM' is often little more than the conduct of traditional management by subtler means, Fuller attempts to sort the wheat from the chaff in the KM literature. He highlights the ways in which KM has challenged the values associated with knowledge that academics have taken for granted for centuries. At the same time, Fuller resists the conclusion of many KM gurus, that the value of knowledge lies in whatever the market will bear in the short term. He pays special attention to how information technology has not only facilitated knowledge work but also has radically altered its nature. There are chapters devoted to the revolution in intellectual property and an evaluation of peer review as a quality control mechanism. The book culminates in a positive re-evaluation of universities as knowledge producing institutions from which the corporate sector still has much to learn. For more information on the book, search the Butterworth-Heinemann website at


Science Studies Scholars as Public Intellectuals

Acts of war, terror from the sky, repression against minorities, government secrecy, censorship and disinformation are happenings which many of us address in our scholarly work. Yet the moment seems right to ask ourselves whether we are public intellectuals and whether we want to be.  Are there circumstances in which we would wish to speak in one voice? What is the threshold of importance that would move the body of science studies scholars to collective action? Would we have issued a statement protesting the American bombing of North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia? Did science studies scholars as a professional society protest America’s involvements in the anticommunist wars in the 1980s, in the Nicaraguan counter-revolution, in the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala? I don’t know the answer to this, but I would not be surprised if the world did not hear from 4S—even if some of our members were vitally involved.

I am in favor of breaking open the private spaces of our conferences and finding a public voice for science studies scholars. So many of the topics that compel our research, and engross our passions and biographies crisscross the realm of politics. As individuals many of us explicitly understand our work to be a political intervention of some kind. But what is the public role of a professional academic society such as ours? We need not come together at our annual conference to craft a manifesto or program of action.  After all, the 4S is not a political party and couldn’t be, given our international membership. Moreover, the executive council of our society doesn’t enjoy the liberty to issue public statements on behalf of the membership.  We don’t have a formal process for consultation. Anyway, achieving consensus for some public statement among our far-flung members would be so cumbersome as to make timely intervention in ongoing public matters next to impossible.


I propose that we establish a Public Affairs Committee which would be open to all science (technology/medicine) studies scholars. (I am sending this letter to the newsletters of HSS, 4S, and SHOT.) Since it seems unlikely that the Executive Council would feel empowered to issue public statements on 4S letterhead, the objective of this committee would be more modest: This would be a discussion list through the medium of which science studies scholars could alert and inform one another. In addition to a general education function, the list could solicit people who would be willing to add their names to petitions and letters.

An example for political intervention for science studies scholars: the case of Hanford public history. […]  In 1996, DOE-Richland signed a Programmatic Agreement with the Washington State Historical Preservation Office and the (National) Advisory Council on Historic Preservation that required DOE to write a history of the built environment at the Hanford Site, to prepare HAERs (Historic American Engineering Records) on three key site properties, and to prepare HPIFs (Historic Property Inventory Forms) on several other representative properties. (Both forms of historic documentation are specified in the National Historic Preservation Act.)  This work took place over five years, and is now complete. There are serious omissions in this official history, which has prompted my involvement here. Hanford’s history is just now emerging from secrecy, and we who are witness to it have an obligation to make sure the story is told in an open, multi-faceted, publicly responsible manner. Now is the time for our professional community to declare these principles to the DOE.

The Hanford History Document produced by the DOE-Richland Cultural Resources Office has all the biases, weaknesses, and parochialism inherent in an official, institutional history. It understates the extent of the wastes produced at the site and does not trouble to describe them in a technically thorough way. Moreover, it attributes many waste releases to lack of knowledge at the time when the wastes were disposed. While this explanation is fair in some cases, it defies the factual evidence in other cases, making it an only partially credible explanation that begs for more analysis.  In some cases, it is defensive and self-justifying, and in other cases, plainly incomplete. In my view, the official Hanford History is grossly inadequate.  […]  While the cultural resource staff, especially its director, Dr. Darby Stapp, are open to an expansive science studies approach to Hanford history in the abstract, they are not skilled in this discipline, and are not in the least motivated to shape their own historical interpretation with reference to important and recent scholarship on Hanford, DOE, or cold war era science and technology. Our discipline’s insights, expertise, research, and concerns should be close to the top of the agenda of anyone who writes Hanford history.  Where there is toxic and radioactive waste, not only should there be lawsuits, citizen pressure, and declassification, there should also be representatives of the science studies community. We contribute a different voice: We are not litigants, we are not propagandists, we are not contract historians. We ought to insist that in matters dealing with the Big Science/Big Technology projects of the cold war (and the present) such as Hanford, we claim our ground as stakeholders.


If the 4S (and HSS and SHOT) were to establish a Public Affairs Committee, I would dearly love to invite science studies scholars to attach their names to a strongly-worded letter of support for broadening the range of principle decision-makers for this conference from the cultural resource office, or DOE contractors, to include both citizen groups’ involvement, and science studies experts. This letter could be addressed to the DOE Richland Operations Manager, as well as the DOE Director of Communications for Intergovernmental, Public, and Institutional Affairs, and Washington state legislators.

No doubt, you can think of other matters to which our members could offer our names and support. After the dismaying suppression of revisionist historical interpretation in the planned Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian in the early 1990s, I have been keen to involve the professional communities of which I was a part in public dialogue.  The question is whether or not intervention is best done by individual scholars or by the ad hoc clusters that could coalesce through the mechanism of a Public Affairs clearinghouse committee.  I prefer the structure and the possibility for collective action of the latter.  What do you think?

—Sharon Ghamari

[Editor’s note: portions of this letter were cut due to space constraints.]