4S Council Meeting, 23 June 2022


23rd/24th June 2022

Agenda June 23rd 2022, 1pm-3.15pm UTC

Emma Kowal called the meeting to order at 13:01 PM UTC.

ITEM 1 Greetings and Apologies

In attendance: Emma Kowal, Amanda Windle, Duygu Kaşdoğan, Vivette García-Deister, Bryn Seabrook, Canay Özden-Schilling, Tim Neale, Chihyung Jeon, Maka Suarez, Vivian Choi, Lucy van de Wiel, Angela Okune (6S), Barkha Kagliwal, Misria Shaik Ali, and Pablo Kreimer. Special attendance by Laura Foster (item 9), and Luciano Levin and Leandro Rodriguez Medina (12a). Apologies: Aneesh Aneesh and Natasha Vally sent their apologies.

ITEM 2 Review Actions Table

Council reviewed all actions from 2022 that were outstanding or recently actioned.

ITEM 3 Approval of April Minutes

There were no amends sent in advance, or given during this meeting. VOTE: The motion to approve the April minutes was moved by Vivette García-Deister and seconded by Duygu Kaşdoğan, and approved by (12) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.

ITEM 4* Executive Committee Update *Pablo Kreimer and Misria Shaik Ali joined at this point.

Kowal informed council of a recent joint discussion from members of the Web Committee, Backchannels Committee, and Social Media Committee, with the idea to bring them together to form a Communications Committee as a way to consolidate and update members on the committees. The Communications Committee would meet a few times a year to review ongoing communications—importantly communications towards our publications (ESTS, ST&HV and Backchannels), and act as a committee for urgent communications. Action: Shiv Issar to fix typos on the committee page. Action: Amanda Windle to check with Gloria Baigorrotegui on whether the Backchannels committee should be deleted from the committee list, in its current form. VOTE: The motion to approve that the Council endorses ending the social media and website committees, and creating an ad hoc Communications Committee was moved by Vivian Choi and seconded by Tim Neale and approved by (13) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.

Nicole Nelson (Social Studies of Science editor) is negotiating for the 4S archives to go to the University of Wisconsin. Kowal is now named on the storage unit before the archive’s eventual move takes place. Current work includes deducing how many boxes there are in the archive.

Prize updates included the Bernal prize by chair (García-Deister) with further updates to follow. Action: (a) Windle to follow-up on announcing the prizes and (b) Chairs to send dates for prize announcements.

ITEM 5 Finance (budget update)

Update on budget since last meeting. Angela gave thanks for a comprehensive budget.

ITEM 6 Incorporation

Current incorporation documents were reviewed for changes made since the last council meeting. Maka Suarez, asked if money damages covers volunteers? Kowal noted, how officers are defined and how people will be paid or contracted could be further investigated. Action: Kowal to check how volunteers are covered in relation to money damages. Suarez asked for reference to 4S as non-profit be made explicit, and Seabrook asked to specify the online vote in the FAQ (both requests were actioned in the meeting). Lucy van de Wiel expressed thanks for the hard work on incorporation. VOTE: The motion to approves the articles of Incorporation was moved by Vivette García-Deister and seconded by Vivian Choi and approved by (13) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.

Proposed charter changes for approval were considered. García-Deister asked about the term majority in the differences between Latin America and North America, i.e., in LATAM there is simple and compound majority in relation to Amendment 1. The motion to approve Amendment 1 of the Charter was moved by Misria Shaik Ali and seconded by Canay Özden-Schilling and approved by (13) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.

Kowal read out amendment 2 which was an amendment throughout the Charter— for the word Council to become Board of Directors which is a change to reflect current governance terminology. Suarez asked if further information comes to light on the terminology this wording could be re-reviewed by Council. Action: Kowal will go back for clarification. The motion to approve the proposal Amendment 2 of the Charter (as per the document entitled ‘Proposed Timeline’) was moved by Tim Neale and seconded by Chihyung Jeon and approved by (12) votes, with zero (1) against, and (0) abstention. Duygu Kaşdoğan voted against. The motion was carried.

Kowal asked for amendments 3–9 to be made together, and everyone agreed the method of voting for the specific charter amendments which are:

  • Amendment 3 (II B1) The words ‘Secretary’ and ‘Treasurer’ are added in the first two sentences: The Society shall have a Board of Directors composed of the following elective officers: a President, a President-elect, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and ten Directors, in addition to 6S representatives as referenced in points 3 and 4 below. The term of office for Secretary, Treasurer and ordinary Directors shall be three years. This amend enables Secretary and Treasurer to be elected positions.
  • Amendment 4 (II B2) Replace the existing first sentence with these four sentences: Elections shall take place in a three-year cycle. In year one, a Treasurer and three ordinary Directors shall be elected. In year two, a Secretary and three ordinary Directors shall be elected. In year three, four ordinary Directors shall be elected. This amend enables the Secretary and Treasurer to be elected positions.
  • Amendment 5 (II B3) Spell out the name of 6S in the first sentence so the Clause reads:

One Society for Social Studies of Science Student Section (6S) representative. This amend is to spell out the name of 6S for clarity.

  • Amendment 6 (III D) Replace rules and regulations with policies so the Clause reads: The Board of Directors may adopt policies for the conduct of its business not inconsistent with the Bylaws of the Society. This amend is to use the word policies rather than rules & regulations, which are all synonymous terms for governing procedures. 4S has not created Rules and Regulations but does have a few policies. Our lawyer reports that the term policies is more current and is the used by most frequently used by nonprofit organizations.
  • Amendment 7 (V A) Add the sentence Quorum for annual, special, or other meetings of the Society shall be 5% of the current membership. This amend is suggested because currently there is no quorum for business meetings of online voting of the Society. The law requires that a quorum for member meeting is specified. Proposed quorum is 5% of membership, to be made up of in-person and/or online attendees.
  • Amendment 8 (V C) To delete this section because it is no longer required as it is superseded by Incorporation.
  • Amendment 9 (VI) To delete Recommendations of the Council shall be reported at the annual business meeting of the Society and such recommendations shall be approved, revised or rejected by majority vote at that meeting. Recommendations, if approved, shall be put to a mail ballot of the Society for ratification by a majority of those voting. And, add the sentence An amendment to the Bylaws shall be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of the membership. The amend is proposed as explained above—members can approve an action (including Bylaw amendments) with or without a meeting by a majority vote, but the 5% quorum requirement needs to be met. Therefore, the process for amending the Bylaws becomes (1) approval by a majority of the Board and (2) approval by a majority of the membership, where the 5% quorum requirement is met (as specified in the amendment to Section V A).

The motion to approve Amendments 3–9 of the Charter was moved by Duygu Kaşdoğan and seconded by Angela Okune and approved by (13) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.

ITEM 9* NSF Application for editorial meeting and workshop for Global South scholars *Laura Foster joined for this item only. Item 9 was also brought forward.

The feedback from the NSF grant application for the editorial workshop was discussed ahead of the re-application for NSF. Kowal said this is a good proposal. Angela Okune asked what would be a scoped down version of this activity and Suarez asked if funding could be found from multiple universities? Foster thought that a smaller pilot with fewer participants could go ideally ahead this year for $25k USD ($18k for accommodation (which is high because of Covid-19), $4-5k for room rental, $1-2k refreshments). Foster has already explored potential funding from two university sources but fall budgets would usually have been made in the spring. Okune asked if the funding could be allocated ahead of breaking-even on conference registrations? Windle and Kowal added that 4S has a steady state budget to cover the costs of Cholula and Kowal noted that 4S can invest in small projects. Lucy van de Wiel asked if the cost for meeting rooms could be reviewed with the conference organisers to save some money? Kowal, said may be cheaper accommodation available, but the budget present is still a reasonable estimate. Neale and Suarez supported the proposal amount, noting that if it changes the way people can participate in 4S in a positive way this could be considered as a permanent budget item. Okune and Kaşdoğan noted that this could be connected to the affiliations committee. VOTE: The motion that the 4S Council approves up to $25K for funding of the editorial workshop (was NSF proposal) was moved by Maka Suarez and seconded by Angela Okune and [approved/not approved/delayed/for further discussion] by (12) votes, with zero (0) against, and (1) abstention (Neale for Conflict of Interest). The motion was carried. The vote was approved with the following action as a stipulation for funding. Action: Foster to re-examine the budget when actual accommodation costs becomes available.

ITEM 12a* Cholula conference update Item 12a was moved forward in the agenda. *Leandro Rodriguez Medina joined for this item only. *Levin and Rodriguez Medina left the meeting at the end of this item.

Luciano Levin reported that organizing was going well and on-schedule. Early-bird registration is until the end of July, and the numbers at this time are exciting. Levin said he was really happy and impressed with Windle and Shiv Issar. Levin was thanked for the multiple translations into Spanish and Portuguese. Okune said that there are lots of questions about how virtual participation will go on social media. MS Teams will be available to join for participants and speakers. Kowal noted that preferences for the in-person and virtual options are collected at registration. Action: Levin to make modes of attendance (virtual/in-person) clear on the website.

ITEM 7 Harassment policy

Kowal, thanked Choi, Okune, Kagliwal, and Windle for work on this policy. Choi noted that this policy has changed to ethics and code of conduct of policy with minor comments by the lawyer (WTP), and additions related to language i.e., retaliation. García-Deister stated that it is a really well-written and clear document that will set a precedent for other societies and other annual meetings. García-Deister and Okune asked respectively, whether an Ombuds person will be appointed, and how can the council support the organising committee further? Windle and Kowal explained the difference between the ombuds and advocate roles, and noted that legal advice was to make sure that no one is doing too many roles which should be clearly defined at the outset of a complaint. Kaşdoğan asked how the document could be circulated with Suarez asking if this document would be translated for Cholula into Spanish and Portuguese and suggested looking a quote for translation. Action: Suarez to garner quotes for translation of the harassment policy. VOTE: The motion to approve the Harassment Policy was moved by Misria Shaik Ali and seconded by Bryn Seabrook and approved by (13) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.

ITEM 12b* Proposal for Entertainment at Cholula *Item was moved forward on the agenda.

Kowal introduced the proposal for a Sonideros event at Cholula 2022 by Aadita Chaudhury and others.

VOTE: The motion to approve the Sonideros event and a request for funding ($1k USD) this entertainment at Cholula was moved by Duygu Kaşdoğan and seconded by Tim Neale and approved by (13) votes, with zero ([0]) against, and ([0]) abstention. The motion was carried.

ITEM 8 Elections Update

Seabrook (Chair, elections committee) reported six self-nominations for council this year, with a good geographic distribution of candidacy. The number of nominations is lower than in the past, but they’re all self-nominations which perhaps speaks volumes on how these nominees would like to participate. Six candidates are usually put through for approval with voting happening after the academic breaks coming up around 1st of September, with a two-week vote period. The two points that council addressed were: what do we think about these 6 nominees, and can we move the election to September? Kaşdoğan considered this is a very small slate than in previous years. It was considered whether to re-open nominations to solicit more. Kowal reminded council that last year’s nominations were also initially a low number but then we pushed for people to nominate others and self-nominate. Suarez agreed with Kowal that we have great people who have applied right now, but that one reason for the lower numbers might be pandemic related. Barkha Kagliwal and others suggested that have a session at 4S to explain what it’s like to be on Council would be helpful. Action: Council to organise a session at Cholula on insights on becoming a member of Council.

For 6S, Okune reported two nominations. Usually, around six candidates are narrowed to two at this time, but therefore this was not required this year. For presidency Kowal reported one nomination currently—and will secure a second candidate—but according to the charter two nominations aren’t necessary. Roberts Rules also states that it’s about finding the best person, not the number of candidates. Over the last eight months Kowal had spoken to at least 15 people, who are very credible future candidates but were presently busy. Kowal said that it would be for the next president to decide on nomination numbers but it would be useful to discuss this at a subsequent council meeting.

ITEM 12a Travel Expenses for Cholula (process outline)

Kowal chaired the item and opened for comments. García-Deister argued to fund travel expenses in lieu of NSF funds. Kowal thanked Aneesh and Choi for taking up the task for resubmission of the NSF application.

VOTE: The motion to approve $20K for travel grants for 2022 was moved by Vivette García-Deister and seconded by Canay Özden-Schilling and approved by (12) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried. The meeting was adjourned at 15:07 PM UTC.