November 2-5, 2011
Cleveland City Center Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza Hotel)

Co-located with the History of Science Society and the Society for the History of Technology.

Conference Highlights

View photos from the 4S Meeting in Cleveland.

Video Playlist

Note the playlist menu in the upper left corner.

The conference will begin on Wednesday evening with the Opening Plenary (Speakers: Geoffrey Bowker, Lawrence Busch, Adele Clarke and Ellen Balka) dedicated to the Intellectual Legacy of the Susan Leigh Star (former 4S President, 20062007), followed by a reception. All 4S participants are encouraged to attend, to mingle and to converse.

Thursday evening will include a joint 4S, HSS, SHOT plenary (Speakers: Spencer Weart, Gabrielle Hecht and Hugh Gusterson) on Dealing with Disasters. It will be followed by a joint reception at the Great Lakes Science Center. Enjoy this exciting venue along with hearty appetizers and a cash bar for only $10. Bus transportation will be provided.
Friday evening will include the 4S Presidential Plenary (Speakers: Evelyn Fox Keller and Steven Shapin), followed by a reception and the Annual Awards Banquet. Come Dressed as Your Favorite R&R Star!

Paper sessions will officially begin on Thursday morning and end on Saturday evening.


Download the official print program (4MB PDF) or the program with abstracts. (2 MB)

Search the online program here. Click through to an individual session and you can add it to your personal schedule. (You must log in first to save your schedule.)

NOTE TO PRESENTERS: 4S provides *only* a screen and projector in each room. Rooms are not equipped with laptops (which must be provided by the presenters or, more typically, by collective agreement–one laptop for the whole session).

Conference Location & Lodging

Cleveland City Center Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza Hotel)
777 St. Clair Avenue NE, Cleveland, OH 44114
Hotel Front Desk: 1-216-771-7600 | Hotel Fax: 1-216-566-0736

To register for a room, call Toll Free: 1-877-2CROWNE (1-877- 227-6963) or 1-877-208-2519. You must mention that you are with the Society for Social Studies of Science in order to receive the discounted room rate of $130 per night. Alternatively, you may register online entering group code SSS.

The hotel is located in downtown Cleveland, adjacent to the Convention Center and overlooking Lake Erie. Meeting hotels for History of Science Society and the Society for the History of Technology are close by. It is within blocks of numerous attractions including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Great Lakes Science Center; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City; Cleveland Browns Stadium; Progressive Field; and Q-Quicken Loans Arena

Travel to Cleveland

By Air

  • You can fly to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE), Cleveland’s main airport. Air Fare Discount on Continental: Save 2-10% on Continental Airlines travel to Cleveland in November. Save an additional 3% discount for booking at Enter code ZK9Y803338. (May need to be broken down for travel agents as such: Agreement Code: 803338 Z Code: ZK9Y)
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel is approx. 12 miles from the CLE airport. You can take a taxi which will take approx. 20 minutes. Or you can call Independent Shuttle Service at 1-216-3248999 to book the shuttle for approx. $14 one way per person. Or you can take the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) train which will cost approx. $2.25. The RTA Red Line runs from inside the airport to the heart of downtown in roughly 30 minutes. Get off at Tower City-Public Square. Head northeast toward Ontario Street (approx. 240 ft). Turn left at Ontario Street (approx. 450 ft). Turn right at St. Clair Avenue (approx. 0.2 mi).

By Train

  • You can take Amtrak train to the Cleveland Lakefront Station at 200 Memorial Shoreway, Cleveland, OH 44114.
  • For reservations, call 1-800-8727245 or visit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel is approx. 0.5 miles from the Amtrak train station. You can take a taxi or walk to Crowne Plaza Hotel. Head northeast on Erieside Avenue (approx. 0.2 mi). Turn right at East 9th Street (approx. 0.4 mi). Turn right at St. Clair Avenue (approx. 250 ft).

By Bus

  • You can take Greyhound Bus to Cleveland Greyhound Station at 1465 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114. Telephone: 1-216-7812464.
  • For reservations, call 1-800-2312222 or visit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel is approx. 0.5 miles from the Greyhound bus station. You can take a taxi or walk to Crowne Plaza Hotel. Head west on Chester Avenue (approx. 360 ft). Turn right at East 13th Street (approx. 0.2 mi). Turn left at St. Clair Avenue (approx. 0.3 mi).

By Car

  • Customize direction using the MapQuest / Google map / Yahoo map.
  • If driving from South: Take I-71 North to East 9th Street exit. Go north on East 9th Street. Turn left onto St. Clair Avenue. The hotel is on the right.
  • If driving from North: Take I-71 South to East 9th Street exit. Go south on East 9th Street. Turn right onto St. Clair Avenue. The hotel is on the right.
  • If driving from East: Take I-90 West to state RT 2 West. Exit onto East 9th Street. Go south on East 9th Street. Turn right onto St. Clair Avenue. The hotel is on the right.
  • If driving from West: Take I-90 East to the East 9th Street exit. Go north on East 9th Street. Turn left onto St. Clair Avenue. The hotel is on the right.
  • Parking at Crowne Plaza Hotel: Daily parking 0-4 hours $6.00; Daily parking 4-8 hours $1.00; Daily parking 8-24 hours $18.00; Valet Parking $20.00

Visiting Cleveland

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the ultimate place to explore the spirit of rock and roll and how it continues to shape our lives. Show your 4S conference badge for a $5 discount. Exhibits take you through the evolution and history of rock and roll music, from one-hit wonders to legendary Inductees, from the roots of rock to the music scenes in cities like Memphis, New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and London. Exhibits explore the impact of the iconic rock stars, as well as the Inductees of tomorrow. 2011 Special Exhibit: Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power. Saturday, 5 November there will be a Tribute Concert for Aretha Franklin at the State Theater – she will be present to receive an award but is not apparently performing.

We are in Cleveland during Restaurant Week. Your meeting program has a comprehensive restaurant guide. Download this walking tour guide of downtown Cleveland.

The Society for the History of Technology has kindly made a number of tours available for 4S members. This year’s tours include the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill, a bus tour of industrial Cleveland, a tour of Cleveland bridges, the Great Lakes Brewing Company, an architectural tour of downtown Cleveland, and a visit to the Dittrick Medical Museum. To sign up for a SHOT tour, please visit To participate in these tours, you do NOT need to register with SHOT. Once you have selected which tour you wish to take, please fill out a SHOT registration form, pay the tour fee, and mail or fax it back to us. Our fax number is 434.975.2190. For more information, contact Jane Carlson.

Meeting Registration

Registration is now open on the 4S Members Site. Register early and save. Non-members may join 4S while registering and save money. Members can renew while registering and avoid a separate transaction later.

Below are the registration fees. Early registration fees expire on August 1. On November 2, the late fee goes into effect and registration is on-site only.

Students and non-OECDProfessional






The 4S is the oldest and largest scholarly association devoted to studying science, technology and society. The annual meeting attracts over 1,000 scholars. Many attendees look forward to the book exhibit for finding new books for class, for their research, and for staying current in the field. Visit the Exhibitors page for information on how to participate.

Mentorship Program

The Mentorship Program has become a popular part of the 4S conference. The goal of the program is to facilitate mentoring of individuals who are new to the conference and/or to 4S. A mentoring relationship assumes a minimum of one conversation at the 4S conference. It is hoped that mentoring relationships will also continue with at least two follow-up phone calls or emails during the following 12 months. We will match new scholars with more experienced scholars and make an effort to assign mentors outside of one’s university. We hope that the mentoring project will allow new scholars to feel more at home in the STS community.

Visit the Mentorship Program registration page for more information and to sign up:

Travel Support for Students

Please consult the travel grants page for more information.

Contact Info

For general meeting information and any questions about the program, contact the 4S Program Chair, Roli Varma, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

For technical assistance with the submission or registration process, contact the 4S Webmaster.

Important Dates

  • March 15, 2011: Deadline for submissions of individual papers and session proposals.
  • May 15, 2011: Acceptance notification.
  • May 15 – July 31, 2011: Early registration.
  • June 30, 2011: Preliminary program posted.
  • September 15, 2011: Last day to book a room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Cleveland City Centre to get the reduced rate. We recommend early booking since room availability is based on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • September 15, 2011: All presenters must register to be included in the final program. For papers with more than one author, one presenter must register to be included in the final program.
  • October 1, 2011: Final program posted.

* * * * * * * * *

Call for Papers

April 1, 2011: Deadline for Submissions of Individual Papers and Session Proposals

The 2011 4S conference will be held in Cleveland, Ohio. There is no predetermined theme for the 4S conference. Individual paper abstracts and proposals for sessions should emphasize how they will make original and timely contributions to any theme relevant to science and technology studies (STS). The 4S conference welcomes papers, session proposals, and events that are innovative in their delivery, organization, range of topics, type of public, and which bring new resources to the STS community to explore these new relations and themes. Apart from traditional research papers, the 4S conference also welcomes proposals for sessions and papers using ‘new media’ or other forms of new presentation.

Given the growing size of the 4S conferences and the desire to be as inclusive as possible, the program chair will need to make full use of the available time slots. Therefore, individuals may be listed for a paper presentation and one other role (such as session chair or discussant but not a second paper) for a maximum of two appearances.

Paper abstracts should be up to 250 words. They should include the main arguments, methodology, and their contribution to the STS literature. The title of papers should be up to 10 words. Please list five key words to assist the program chair to group individual papers into a session. In addition, identify the most suitable categories for the paper (e.g. environment, information communication technologies, gender studies, science policy, etc.).

Session proposals should be up to 250 words. They should contain a summary and rationale for the session, as well as a brief discussion of its contribution to STS. Session proposals should be organized around one-and-half-hour time slots. A typical session will contain five papers or four papers with a discussant. A minimum of three complete paper abstracts are required in order to submit a session proposal. The program chair may assign additional papers to proposed sessions with three papers. Each paper abstract in the proposed session should be up to 250 words. The title of papers should be up to 10 words.

Since 2008, the 4S has run a ‘workshop’ format. This is an opportunity for informal presentations, with presenters and other attendees seated around tables. Session organizers should indicate if they would like to be part of a workshop table. Submissions for ‘workshop’ presentations are included under the one first-authored submission limit, stated earlier.

Submission Process

Submissions are now closed. Paper and session proposals are accepted through an online system. This is a separate database from the 4S membership/registration system. All presenters, including those included in session proposals, must have a user account with this system that includes name, affiliation, and contact information. Submitters can create user accounts on behalf of their co-authors and session presenters, if necessary. Anyone who has participated in a 4S meeting in the last three years should already have a user account.

Calls for Session Participants

4S supports session organizers seeking participants. However, it is not practical to run all such calls in Technoscience. 4S has created a special web page for calls for session participants. Here you can submit a call and browse for suitable sessions for your paper.