Nominations for 4S Prizes open in the spring for a December 15 deadline each year. Nominations are now open via the links in the text below. Please note the new eligibility requirements, described relative to each prize. Queries should be sent to prizes@4sonline.org.

All prize committees are governed by Conflict of Interest Guidelines. Awards are announced in the spring so that recipients can plan to travel to the upcoming 4S Annual Meeting.  Award recipients are honored at a Presidential Awards Plenary (usually Friday evening of the conference).

Announcements of current and past award recipients are available at the links below.

The John Desmond Bernal Prize

…is awarded annually to an individual who has made distinguished contributions to Science and Technology Studies over the course of their career. The Bernal Prize was awarded jointly by the Society for Social Studies of Science and the Institute for Scientific Information from 1981 to 2010. The Bernal Prize is named for John Desmond Bernal (1901-1971), a molecular biologist and activist intellectual who wrote extensively about science and society. Nominations for the Bernal Prize are accepted from 4S members.

The STS Infrastructure Award

…is awarded annually to recognize exemplary initiative to build and maintain infrastructure supporting Science and Technology Studies. Individuals or groups can be nominated. The term ‘infrastructures’ here has a wide acceptation: one can build infrastructures by founding an institution, by network building, by creating and nurturing a society resource online, or by developing paths to sustain a research subfield – to name but a few.  By the nature of the award, collective entities as well as individuals are eligible for the STS Infrastructure Award. Nominations for the Infrastructure Prize are accepted from 4S members.

The Ludwik Fleck Prize

…is awarded annually for an exemplary book in Science and Technology Studies.  Multi-authored books are eligible if they represent original work. Reprints, second editions, edited volumes, reference works and similar volumes are ineligible. Books must be published in English or newly appearing in translation during the eligibility period.  Books with publication dates in the three years prior to the year they are evaluated are eligible.  Books published in 2019, 2020, and 2021 can be nominated in 2021 to be evaluated in 2022 for the 2023 prize.  Books may be re-nominated until their eligibility expires. Hard copy will be requested at a later date. Nominations for the Fleck Prize are accepted from 4S members and book authors. Nominations are no longer accepted directly from publishers.”

The Fleck Prize is named after microbiologist Ludwik Fleck (1896-1961), author of The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Fleck’s case history of the discovery of the Wassermann reaction to syphilis was originally published in German in 1935, and republished in English in 1979 after having been cited by Thomas Kuhn as an important influence on his own conception of the history of science. Both Fleck’s history of discovery, and the history of his book’s re-discovery, exemplify a view of progress that continues to inform research in Science and Technology Studies.

The Rachel Carson Prize

…is awarded annually for a book in Science and Technology Studies with distinctive social and political relevance.  Both single and multi-authored book are eligible if they represent original work. Reprints, second editions, edited volumes, reference works and similar volumes are ineligible. Books must be published in English or newly appearing in translation during the eligibility period.  Books with publication dates in the three years prior to the year they are evaluated are eligible.  Books published in 2019, 2020, and 2021 can be nominated in 2021 to be evaluated in 2022 for the 2023 prize.  Books may be re-nominated until their eligibility expires. Hard copy will be requested at a later date. Nominations for the Carson Prize are accepted from 4S members and book authors. Nominations are no longer accepted directly from publishers.”

The Carson Prize is named after writer, scientist, and ecologist Rachel Carson (1907-1964), author of numerous books including The Edge of the Sea (1955) and Help Your Child to Wonder (1956).  In Silent Spring (1962), Carson challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the US government, advocating for a fundamental shift in our approach to the environment.   Carson testified before Congress in 1963 on the misuse of pesticides and her work continues to shape environmental studies and policies that champion a healthy ecosystem.

The David Edge Prize

…is awarded annually for an outstanding peer-reviewed article or book chapter in Science and Technology Studies. Articles or chapters must be published in English or newly appearing in translation during the eligibility period. Articles and chapters with publication dates in 2019, 2020, and 2021 are eligible to be nominated in 2021 for the 2022 prize. Nominations for the Edge Prize are accepted from 4S members, authors, and journal editors.

The Edge Prize is named in memory of David Edge (1932-2003). Edge was trained in astronomy, and worked with the BBC before becoming the first Director of the Science Studies Unit at the University of Edinburgh in 1966. He had a strong administrative and intellectual role in the early development of Science and Technology Studies, was  active with the 4S from its beginning, served as 4S President, and received the 4S Bernal award for lifetime achievement. Throughout his life, Edge lent his tremendous energy to a broad range of interests and activities. Especially pertinent for this award was his role as co-founder and long-term editor of Social Studies of Science (1970-2002). Edge was no ordinary editor: his unparalleled enthusiasm and unique personal touch pervaded even the most routine aspects of editing, and his encouragement and diligent work with new authors helped launch many careers in the field.

The Nicholas C. Mullins Prize

…is awarded annually for exemplary graduate student scholarship in Science and Technology Studies as represented in a published article or chapter,  or article-length unpublished manuscript.  Maximum length of texts including notes is 10,000 words. Authors must be currently enrolled as graduate students; texts authored by multiple graduate students are eligible; texts authored with a faculty mentor are not eligible.  Articles or chapters must be published in English or newly appearing in translation during the eligibility period.  Articles and chapters with publication dates in 2019, 2020, and 2021 are eligible to be nominated in 2021 for the 2022 prize. Nominations may be entered by 4S members and journal editors. Nominations should include a nomination form that briefly articulates the special merits of the article, chapter or manuscript, and how it advances Science and Technology Studies. Nominations for the Mullins Prize are accepted from 4S members, authors, and journal editors.

The STS Making and Doing Awards

… formally acknowledge and celebrate scholarly practices for producing and expressing STS knowledge and expertise that extend beyond the academic paper or book. 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.

STS Mentoring Awards

From 2015 to 2018, 4S awarded the STS Mentoring Award to recognize exemplary mentoring in Science and Technology Studies.