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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.

All About 4S Membership

For renewals, the member directory, and meeting registration, visit the Member Portal.

4S News

2017 Prize Nominations Open


Nominations are sought for 2017 4S Awards. Please see the respective pages for details and procedures.

Nominations for the Bernal Prize are due 31 December. 

Nominations for the Infrastructure and Mentoring Awards are due 31 January. 

Nominations for the book prizes, Fleck and Carson, are due 1 February.


4S President’s message – November 2016


US Election afterward. 2017 meeting cycle begins—calls for submissions to come soon. Call for Nominations for 2017 Bernal prize. Call for self-nominations for 4S representatives to AAAS


4S President’s message – October 2016


4S Blog – Backchannels of STS conversation

In the midst of returning to teaching terms, I thought I would use this month’s message to highlight the resources available – either for your curricula or in the cracks between – in the digital pages of the 4S blog Backchannels.  As the editors explain:

Linguists first used the term backchannel to refer to the spontaneous responses and signals that...



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

Georgia Tech Gender Equity Champion Reflects on Role as Pioneer of Gender in Science Studies

Reflections / Madeleine Pape

title "I continued in graduate study at the University of Michigan, and — intellectual fireworks! — found a vivid site for study: the case of science, specifically women and men in scientific fields."

Lo que nos enseñan los cuerpos muertos sobre la vida, la muerte, la ciencia y los cuerpos

Reflections / Julia Alejandra Morales y Santiago Martinez Medina

title ¿What can dead bodies teach to the living? In this entry the authors build on their ethnographic works to reflect on this topic. They also put forward possible lessons from the amphitheatre and anatomy classes in Colombia.

Cross-national Genetic Research with Klaus Hoeyer, Aaro Tupasela and Malene Bøgehus Rasmussen

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

Backchannels interviews Klaus Hoeyer, Aaro Tupasela and Malene Bøgehus Rasmussen about their recent ST&HV paper, “Ethics Policies and Ethics Work in Cross-national Genetic Research and Data Sharing: Flows, Nonflows, and Overflows.”

How migrant registration infrastructures co-produce citizens, institutions and territory

Projects / Annalisa Pelizza

title The European database containing fingerprints of asylum seekers, called Eurodac, is now interoperable with national police authorities’ databases Europe-wide. What are the implications?

A personal plea from Europe’s polar bears

Reflections / Amanda Windle

title Coverage in the press around how the EU Referendum will affect researchers has been heavily skewed towards the sciences, yet there is crucial EU funding available for all areas of research from tech through to the arts. The first impact will be that the research landscape becomes far more labyrinthian for UK researchers. It is already mind-numbingly complicated. But my way of dealing with the complexity has been to get involved, and to advise on priority areas such as the dual need for more research and skills training around audience development via digital means. Through Voices of Culture, I’ve been able to impact on policy and the funding agenda for culture. ... I can only join in with this work because the UK is a member of the EU. Leaving means funding potentially gets smaller, more complicated and we don’t get to input so widely into that agenda. How can UK research remain innovative if we’re not shaping that at the EU level?

Why A Partisan for Spaceflight Wants to Slow Down Space Exploration

Reflections / Michael Bouchey

title The prospect of human beings finally setting foot on another heavenly body after over 50 years is creating a great deal of excitement among partisans for spaceflight.

Graduate Student Organization 6S Recaps Barcelona Adventures

Report-backs / Erika Szymanski and Margarita Rayzberg

With new initiatives--and a brand new Facebook page--6S organizers are pursuing ways to promote broad participation.

Developing New STS Minors: The Case of Cal Poly

Projects / Richard D. Besel

title From the interesting experience of Cal Poly, Richard Besel draws lessons for schools that want to establish STS programs.

Restitución de derechos para victimas del conflicto y el NO en Colombia: relecturas desde los ESCT

Reflections / Fredy Mora-Gámez

title "Revisiting rights restitution and the narratives of peace from STS may also consist of interrogating the technical objects and expert discourses that make possible the promotion of those narratives" / "Una relectura desde los ESCT de la restitución de derechos y las narrativas de paz consiste también en problematizar aquellos objetos técnicos y discursos expertos que precisamente hacen posible promover dichas narrativas"

Molecular Detector (Non)Technology with Luis Reyes-Galindo: New Research in ST&HV

Reflections / Aleka Gurel

title Dr. Luis Reyes-Galindo talks to Backchannels about his recent ST&HV paper, "Molecular Detector (Non)Technology in Mexico."

New in...

Building Better Ecological Machines: Complexity Theory and Alternative Economic Models
Jess Bier, Willem Schinkel
Digital Care: Agency and Temporality in Young People’s Use of Health Apps
Susanna Trnka
Drawing Out by Drawing Into: Representation and Partnership in a Design-Science Collaboration
Pablo Schyfter
Debating CRISPR/cas9 and Mitochondrial Donation: Continuity and Transition Performances at Scientific Conferences
Neil Stephens, Rebecca Dimond
Intractosoma: Toward an Epistemology of Complexity Based on Intra-acting Bodies
Sainath Suryanarayanan

New in...

Technoscience Updates

The most recent postings to the Profession pages, emailed monthly to 4S members.


New book by David J Hess, Undone Science (2016, MIT Press)
New Book from Suryanarayanan and Kleinman: Vanishing Bees (2016, Rutgers University Press)
New Dear Colleague Letter from the NSF Social and Behavioral Sciences directorate


“Interdisciplinary Encounters: Exploring Knowledge-Making Across Boundaries”
NSF Workshop: Social Facets of Data Science
How online media are changing science communication

Calls for Papers

Global Infectious Diseases: New Challenges and Solutions
Call for papers: Edited collection on STS Approaches to Science Communication


Assistant Professor, SFIS and SCIDSE, Arizona State University
Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fresno
Assistant Professor, History of Science Department, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Fellowships & Postdocs

PhD in interdisciplinarity in training the next generation of researchers, University of Edinburgh
Postdoc in Technology and Social Change Linköping University
Postdoc position in ERC project “Processing Citizenship”