Call for Papers, Closed Panels, Roundtables, Making and Doing Presentations, Film and New Media Screenings, and Meet Ups

Toronto and World-wide, October 6-9, 2021

Submissions closed March 8th, 2021

There are many ways to participate in the 2021 4S Annual Meeting: presenting a paper, organizing or participating in a curated panel, serving as a discussant, presenting a Making and Doing session, screening your film or new media work, assembling a roundtable conversation, or organizing a more informal meetup around a particular theme or interest. We encourage people interested in presenting papers to submit to an appropriate open panel if possible. We are planning a hybrid conference with a prominent online component and will make decisions on the in-person component of the conference when we know more about what is possible.  We hope that 4S 2021 will have a lively participation across a range of online formats.


We invite submissions that connect to the theme of Good Relations: Practices and Methods in Unequal and Uncertain Worlds. What does it mean in practice to strive towards good relations as humans, with technologies, in our modes of knowing, within environments, across distance, and with other-than-humans? We invite reflections on the practices of relations making at every scale. Although the relations that help constitute us are not always good, they are relations nonetheless. We might consider, for example, practices of consent in our own research, protocols of a lab, the ways we assemble in a conference, or our responsibilities for addressing structural violence. We invite scholarship that critically addresses the methods and practices that maintain oppressions within technoscience, especially as our universities increasingly become neoliberal places of production. We invite these reflections in relationship to the insurgence of white supremacy and colonialism, the intensity of grief, and continuing struggles against long standing oppressions at personal and structural scales. In foregrounding questions of practice and method, we hope the conference will provide a way to learn from one another about our ongoing experiments. Read the full theme description here.

Participation guidelines

In order to maximize participation across the conference, the program committee will be following a set of guidelines in reviewing paper and panel submissions.

In general terms, each participant will be limited to One ‘Presenter Role’ and Two additional ‘Non-Presenter Roles’ in the conference.

Presenter Roles will include:

  • Presentation of a research paper (first author) and;
  • Participation in a roundtable

Non-Presenter Roles will include:

  • Panel organizers and;
  • Panel discussants and;
  • Organization of or participation in a Making and Doing session and;
  • Organization of or participation in a Meetup and;
  • Co-author (2nd, 3rd author) of a research paper.

Panel chairing is not counted towards a role.

Some example combinations:

Some possible combinations of these role limits might include, the presentation of a research paper (Presenter Role), together with organizing a panel (Non-Presenter Role) and organizing a meet up for scholars in your area (Non-Presenter Role).

Alternatively, you might like to combine a role as a panel discussant (Non-Presenter Role) with presenting a paper (Presenter Role) and participating in a team in the Making and Doing Session (Non-Presenter Role).

Ways to Participate

Present a paper

Single paper submissions should be in the form of abstracts of up to 250 words. They should include the paper’s main arguments, methods, and contributions to STS. We encourage submissions to clearly situate their work in relation to STS scholarship. When you submit your paper, you will be asked to designate one or more topical STS Research Areas using a drop-down menu.

When submitting your paper, we urge you to consider submitting to an Open Panel. This method of crowd-sourcing panel composition has proven successful in stimulating the formation of new networks and collaborations around topics of interest to the 4S community. Open Panels have been proposed by scholars working in nearly every continent and relating to just about every major STS theme.

View the Accepted Open Panels here. After clicking the Submit Now button at the bottom of this page, log in to the program platform and select Papers for Open Panels. When submitting to an open panel, we also request that you suggest two alternative panels that might be suitable. Single papers not associated with closed or open panels will be organized into panels by the program committee.

Organize a Traditional Panel

Traditional or Closed Panel proposals should contain a summary and rationale of up to 250 words, including a brief discussion of its contribution to STS. A panel proposal must contain a minimum of three paper abstracts conforming to the criteria above. A maximum of six time slots are available per 90-minute session (e.g. 5 papers plus 1 discussant). A panel can extend over more than one session and up to a maximum of two. Note: the Program Committee has final determination of panel composition. If your proposal contains fewer than five papers, the Committee may (in consultation with you) assign additional papers to your panel to optimize scheduling and participation.

The Program Committee will consider proposals for a limited number of Author Meets Critics panels.  Author Meets Critics panels not involving 4S prizes must discuss two books per panel, and we particularly encourage discussions of first books. The panel discussion should address both books together and should reflect the diversity of work and scholarship of 4S. Please submit Author Meets Critics proposals as Closed Panels.

Submitting a panel involves some extra steps. Panel organizers are responsible for assigning roles to each presenter and entering the titles and abstracts for all presentations in their panels. You may want to watch this screencast video before beginning.

Organize a Roundtable

We invite the submission of roundtables that do not require formal papers and take a more conversational format.  Past roundtables at recent meetings have included discussions of STS journals; STS affiliations and infrastructures;; undergraduate curricula and teaching; mentoring; archiving practices; and so on.  Please submit a roundtable abstract of up to 250 words and include participants as presenters. Participants do not need to submit paper titles and abstracts.

Engage in Making & Doing

The STS Making & Doing program invites 4S members to present experimental works and innovative practices in any medium that engage speculative, empirical, reflexive and/or aesthetic approaches to the study of science and technology, broadly defined. Making & Doing encourages STS practitioners, interdisciplinary and decolonial artists-scholars, indigenous and queer participants, and assemblage thinkers-activists to move beyond the printed page and share projects that consider what it might mean to make do in times of massive environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change, particularly from cites like Toronto.

We strongly suggest you read more about Making and Doing and view examples from past meetings before submitting your proposal. Please consider that presentations may have to take an online form, depending on conditions.

Film and New Media Screening

The Film and New Media Screening program invites 4S members to present creative works in film and new media formats that engage speculative, empirical, reflexive and/or aesthetic approaches to the study of science and technology, broadly defined. We especially encourage STS practitioners, thinker-activists, interdisciplinary and decolonial artist-scholars, and Indigenous, Black, queer, and Trans participants,  transnational themes, as well as work that takes up these perspectives in Toronto.

Screenings are presented synchronously and/ or asynchronously.  Please provide an up to 200 word description of the work with a link and password (if necessary) to a hosted source for streaming).

Organize a Meetup

4S conferences regularly host less formal social meetups  or meetings around research communities, publishing communities, shared approaches (such as the annual feminist or decolonial STS meet ups), research topics, or regional foci. This category of submission also invites creative or workshop formats that do not adhere to the traditional panel mode, including experiments with online forms of gathering. As a hybrid conference with a significant virtual component, we plan to offer online ways of assembling socially with one another beyond zoom, and will offer in-person facilities as conditions allow. We will provide more information about online formats we can support in the spring. Please submit up to 200 word description of your meetup.

Submission Logistics

To submit any of the above types of proposals, visit the 4S program site and log in with your 4S credentials. If you have submitted a paper to any recent 4S meeting, you already have an account. To update or verify your login credentials, visit

Please exercise due diligence and look for an existing account before creating a new one. Creating a duplicate account is likely to cause complications during registration. The same caveats apply to entering co-authors and session participants. For help with accounts and logging in, contact

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I procrastinate?

March 8 is the last day to submit closed panels, papers, and rountables for the 4S meeting. Don’t wait until the last minute, in case you experience complications.

Can I make changes to my paper/panel submission?

You can edit your submission only until the deadline.

Do paper and session submissions need to indicate subject categories?

Yes, the options are:

  • Big Data, AI and Machine Learning
  • Data  and quantification 
  • Economics, Markets, Value/Valuation
  • Energy and Extraction
  • Engineering 
  • Infrastructure
  • Environmental/Multispecies Studies
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Feminist STS
  • Queer and Trans STS
  • Genetics, Genomics, Biotechnology
  • Governance and Public Policy
  • Information, Computing and Media Technology
  • Method and Practice
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Decolonial STS 
  • Transnational STS 
  • Postcolonial STS 
  • Indigenous STS 
  • Critical Race Studies, Black Studies, and STS 
  • Race and Racism
  • Science Communication/Public Engagement
  • Social Justice/Social Movement
  • Militarism and Security
  • Other

I can’t retrieve my password.

If you have checked all your email accounts and junk mail folder, contact for help. You may need to whitelist that address in your email account or with your institutional email.

Do I have to be a 4S member to submit a proposal?

No. You just have to have an account with our website at

I seem to have multiple accounts.

No worries. Just contact, and let us know which one you want to continue using.

There’s an issue with my name, email, or affiliation.

At any time, you can log in to and update your profile. Changes will appear in the program application within a few minutes.