November 1-5, 2006

The Empire Landmark

Vancouver, B.C, Canada

The 2006 4S conference will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the society. The meeting will be co-located with the History of Science Society and Philosophy of Science Association, which will be in a hotel a few blocks away. We will be exploring some new session formats this year, including new media presentations, fire-side chats, and junior-senior sessions. If you have ideas for these or other formats, please contact the Program Chair: Wenda Bauchspies.

Video Playlist

Note the playlist menu in the upper left corner.


Updated Oct. 27. Download the full conference program, with abstracts (2.6mb PDF) or without (960kb PDF).

The program will begin Wednesday evening with two events. First will be the Fireside Chat: 1976 and all that, followed by a Mingling Event for juniors, seniors and anyone involved in the mentor program. All scholars are encouraged to attend, to mingle and to converse.

The sessions will officially begin on Thursday at 8:30 am and end Sunday at noon. Thursday evening there will be a joint reception with HSS and PSA. Friday night will be the annual awards banquet. Saturday night will be the President’s Plenary followed by a reception.

The joint reception between HSS/PSA and 4S will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is 6 blocks or approximately 1 km from the Landmark Empire Hotel. If you need transportation to the reception, please inform the program chair. Taxis are readily available outside both hotels and the fare is approximately $5 to go between hotels.

The program committee would like to encourage you to buy the daily box lunches because there will be several lunchtime roundtable sessions on topics such as Nanotechnology, Engineering Education, STS Engaged, Interdisciplinarity, to STS in Canada. In addition the four author meets critic sessions will also occur over lunch. If you or some group is planning a lunchtime meeting for the 4S Conference in Vancouver, please email the chair to let her know that it may be placed on the program.

Location and Accommodations

The Empire Landmark, 1400 Robson St., Vancouver, B.C. V6G 1B9 Canada Tel: (604) 687-0511; Fax: (604) 687-7267 is holding a block of rooms for participants at $92.00 CAD single or double occupancy plus tax. Reservations must be made by October 1, 2006 to guarantee this rate. After this date reservations will be accepted on a space available basis only. Be sure to mention that you are attending the 4S conference.

To find a roommate, consider using the 4S discussion board.

The Student Section (6S) is arranging affordable alternative accommodations.

Download a Vancouver Dining Guide. (.doc)

Transport from the Airport to Empire Landmark Hotel

There is an airport shuttle bus called: Airporter that stops at Empire Landmark Hotel.
The price is $13.00 Canadian and round trip $20. The last bus leaves the airport at 20:48 and you pay the bus driver. There are taxi’s for $30.00 one way.

Childcare Options

Childcare in Vancouver is in high demand, and can be costly. Drop-in childcare options are rare, and you should make advance plans if you hope to arrange childcare for infants or older children. The following groups may assist in planning childcare:

The YMCA advises that all of their Under 5 programs are currently full and do not offer Drop-In child care. Their School-Age programs do offer Drop-In care, but the hours are for only before school and after school hours. The Resource and Referral Office at 604-709-5661 may be able to assist you in finding an appropriate, licensed child care.

Nannies on Call offer individual or small group nannying in a home or hotel room (the nanny:child ratio depends on childrens ages). They can also take bookings for a larger group of children during an event. Their basic rate starts at $16CAN/hour, and a minimum booking of 3 hours is required. All nannies are fully qualified and bonded. They may not drive children or administer medications. For bookings and information, call 604-734-1776, 1-877-214-2828

Just like Mum! A provider of temporary childcare since 1992. Specializing in Group/Convention activities where children/teens will explore Vancouver’s Kid friendly venues! Private care also available. .

In addition, the Best Western downtown has a babysitting service and is near the Empire Hotel and the Hyatt.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

Book exhibits have always been a major feature at the annual conference. Sponsors are always welcome and receive special considerations in return for their sponsorship. Those organizations wishing to exhibit or sponsor an event at the conference are encouraged to contact the >conference administrator.

Mentoring Program

The 4S Council has endorsed an iniative by the 4S Student Section (6S) to begin a mentoring program in 2006. When registering for the annual meeting, 4S members will have the option to sign up to participate as a mentor, mentee, or both. We will match participants in advance of the meeting, and facilitate introductions. This program is targeted to help young scholars, graduate students, and first-time meeting attendees. Expectations will include having 2-3 conversations during the year. This will be a pilot program for 2006, with the possibility of extension. If you have questions, ideas, or want to volunteer to help implement the mentoring program, please contact Jason Delborne, 4S student representative. Let us know your interest in participating as either a mentor or mentee.

Call for Papers: Silence, Suffering and Survival

Deadline for Submissions was April 3, 2006

This year’s theme is Silence, Suffering and Survival, and it is designed to explore the overlooked spaces, boundaries, actors, networks, and artifacts of science and technology. We welcome papers and panels that address questions about the silences of silencing, unintended consequences, and persistence in science, technology and STS. The topic is meant to open up and stir discussion about theorizing in areas we may have overlooked such as the process of secrecy under which processes of silence are often conducted. Possible topics might include the science and technology of slavery, disability, survival, warfare, peace, and quantification. Discussions might address de-moralization and re-moralization within science, technology and STS, the sort of silence/noise created by technology/science, and how technology/science create and alleviate suffering and/or survival. This could include processes of survival that are often off the record, such as workarounds, older ways of knowing, older (non-scientific) ways of knowing, and ?

New Session Formats

Some sessions at the Vancouver 4S will be designated working sessions for which papers will be available online in advance, and allotted time will be primarily for discussion. If you would like to organize a working session please contact Josh Greenberg, Tarleton Gillespie, or Sergio Sismondo

Some sessions at the Vancouver 4S will be designated new media. If you would like to organize a session or participate in one please contact Linda Layne.


For more information, contact the Program Chair: Wenda K. Bauchspies.