October 17-20, 2012, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Held jointly with European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)

Conference photo gallery

The local organizing committee has put together a lively array of activities. for details, see below.

The final meeting program is now available for downloading. (5 Mb PDF)

Alternatively, download the full program with abstracts. (v 9/18/12, 4.5mb PDF)

Schedule at a Glance

12:30 - 19:00Registration and Fair
14:00 - 18:00Design and Displacement
Thematic opening sessions:
  • Laura Watts, Lucy Suchman and Pelle Ehn
  • Anders Blok
  • Annemarie Mol
18:00 - 20:00Reception

09:00 - 10:3030 Parallel Sessions30 Parallel Sessions30 Parallel Sessions
10:30 - 11:00Coffee breakCoffee breakCoffee break
11:00 - 12:3030 Parallel Sessions30 Parallel Sessions30 Parallel Sessions
12:30 - 14:00LunchLunchLunch
14:00 - 15:30 3030 Parallel Sessions30 Parallel Sessions30 Parallel Sessions
15:30 - 16:00Coffee breakCoffee breakCoffee break
16:00 - 17:3030 Parallel SessionsPresidential Plenary30 Parallel Sessions
Evening19:00 - 21:0019:00 - 24:00

ReceptionBanquet: New Nordic

Copenhagen City HallTasting Buffet

CBS, The Kiln Hall

From Copenhagen to Copenhagenization

At the 4S/EASST conference 2012, the local organizing committee invites you to explore not only the city of Copenhagen, but also the phenomenon of Copenhagenization. This concept refers to the status the city has acquired as a site for experimental design, green city development, and bicycling. When part of Broadway on Manhattan was turned into a bike path, this was talked about as an instance of Copenhagenization. In line with the overall theme of the 2012 4S/EASST conference, Design and Displacement, the local organizing committee wishes to discuss Copenhagen as a socio material space, which constantly evolves through design experiments and their partly unexpected effects.

On Wednesday October 17, we thus attempt to ‘localize’ the conference and address the concept of ’Copenhagenization’ as an example of a range of specific design experiments in relation to city planning and sustainability. We zoom in on interventions in relation to traffic planning, bicycling, culture, gastronomy, etc., and look at how they disturb existing technical, organizational, and cultural spaces. Throughout the conference, we will serve New Nordic food, and on Wednesday there will be tasters and exhibitions about this theme in the registration area.

Local Arrangements

Download these handy arrival and orientation instructions.

The city of Copenhagen was founded more than 800 years ago, and is known for combining the old-world charm of its medieval origins with the vibrant life of a modern European metropolis. Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, but with merely 1.5 million inhabitants, the city is human in scale. A network of car-free pedestrian zones and cobbled squares creates a lively and attractive downtown area with cafés, cinemas and museums. The high quality public transportation system, consisting of the metro, buses, and trains connects the centre with its suburbs and the airport (a 20-minute ride). Additional information on the conference locale, including lodging recommendations, is available on the special local organizing committee website.

Special Events

Bike ride during lunch break

Thursday or Friday, 12:30-14:00
Max. 100 participants (SOLD OUT)
Price: free of charge

The Wall, a visit to an outdoor exhibition at Copenhagen City Museum

The award winning project ‘The Wall’ is the Museum of Copenhagen’s newest interactive initiative. A 12 meter long mobile touch screen, it moves around the city alongside the metro digs and enables the visitors to both upload and scroll through archival material in a vast 3d cityscape, neighborhood by neighborhood, keyword by keyword, or theme by theme. According to the museum website, the Wall was created to ‘kindle curiosity in, a desire for knowledge about and a delight in discussing, matters concerning the capital’ by creating ‘a street level meeting place, where citizens and/or guests to the city can exchange ideas on whatever facets of the city they find interesting’. During 4s/EASST the Wall will be located close to the conference venue by Frederiksberg Runddel and you will be invited to join us for a walk there, visit The Wall’s website (http://vaeggen.copenhagen.dk/en/) to take part in the palaver around Copenhagen and copenhagenization, or take a lunch break tour to The Wall with project coordinator Sarah Giersing and curator Jacob Parby Ingemann.

When: in the lunch breaks Thursday and Friday from 12.30-14
Where: we will walk together from the ‘The Wall’ meeting point at the central conference site at CBS
Registration: Participation is free of charge but capacity is limited. Register here. You will be required to log in.

Exhibition at the Medical Museion:

Medical Museion welcomes you to an early evening about the prevention and treatment of obesity. The evening offers an introduction and a visit to Museion’s new exhibition Obesity – What’s the problem? STS ethnologist, Astrid Jespersen, will give a short presentation on a research project at the University of Copenhagen, looking to find ways to prevent obesity by stimulating physical activity in everyday life. Visit this historical 18th century building, and take part in a joint discussion on the redesign of bodies through displacement of the internal organs, and on external, socio-political obesity categories.

The museum is located in the former Royal Academy of Surgeons from 1787 and adjacent buildings in Frederiksstaden, a Copenhagen neighborhood which is currently a candidate for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Museum is placed right next to the big Marble church and in walking distance from The Little Mermaid. Additionally, a 10 min walk takes you to Nyhavn, the old center of Copenhagen and home to many good restaurants and the Royal Theatre.

Time: Thursday 18.30
Place: Medical Museion, Bredgade 62 DK-1260 Copenhagen K Getting there: Take subway from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) to Nyhavn and walk 10 min out Bredgade, or take bus 1A or bus 15 from Nyhavn, stops in front of museum.
Registration: Max 70 visitors. Participation is free of charge. Register here. You will be required to log in.

Reception at Copenhagen City Hall

Thursday, 19:00-21:00
Max. 600 participants (SOLD OUT)
Price: free of charge

Banquet: New Nordic tasting buffet and dancing at The Kiln Hall, Copenhagen Business School

Friday, 19:00-24:00
If you are registered for the conference, it is not too late to add a banquet ticket. Use the Copenahagen Activities registration page to purchase a ticket.

Conference Registration: CLOSED

Due to an extraordinarily high level of registrations, facilities are at maximum occupancy and the Conference organizers have closed all further registration. We apologise for any disappointment this might cause.

Registration Fees

Fees include buffet lunches, Thursday through Saturday.

Early registration ends on 07/27/2012.
Regular registration starts on 07/28/2012 and ends on 10/17/2012.
Late registration starts on 10/17/2012.

Cancellation Policy: After September 1, cancellations will be accepted with a refund of 50%. Any cancellations after October 1 will not receive a refund.

(USD)Student 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

**We are currently in need of mentors! If you are a faculty member, postdoc, research fellow, or senior graduate student please sign up and meet with a junior scholar in Copenhagen.**

The Mentorship Program has become a popular part of the 4S conference. The goal of the program is to exchange ideas with junior scholars and support their career development. 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.

Important Dates

  • January 4, 2012: Deadline for submitting open panels
  • January 18, 2012: Abstract submissions open:
  • March 18, 2012: Deadline for submissions of individual papers and session proposals.
  • May 15, 2012: Acceptance notification.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Design and displacement – social studies of science and technology

Deadline for abstract submission: March 18, 2012

The quadrennial joint conference of The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) will take place October 17-20, 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. For the conference we invite papers that address the dynamics and interrelationships between science, technology and society. Papers which address the conference’s theme ‘Design and Displacement’ are especially relevant, but papers on any topic in STS are welcome.

‘Design’ has become a key concept across a multitude of disciplinary domains and social spheres. In addition to its traditional ‘aesthetic’ associations, it is now a key term in multiple scientific domains and in diverse technological practices. One can even think of societies and social arrangements being ‘designed’. In science and technology, ‘design’ implies the re-arrangement of materials and ideas for innovative purposes. When newly designed scientific and technical objects enter the world, however, their initial purposes are often displaced.

For decades, STS researchers have been following the practical and political dimensions of science and technology. By focusing on concepts and practices of scientific and technological design at their sites of construction and on their multiple displacements, the 2012 conference continues this tradition. By bringing together ‘design’ and ‘displacement’ we want to highlight how scientific and technological design engages with existing socio-technical arrangements in both planned and unplanned ways, facilitating both collaborations and contestations, and generating both order and disorder.

The conference encourages analytic, critical, and practical engagement with design and displacement in several ways. First, it points to the need for investigating the relation between design intentions and their displacements, for example as catalysts for change and conflict. It also highlights the importance of investigating design controversies. It locates design practices in broader political contexts, and focuses attention on how design facilitates or hinders social inclusion, locally and globally. The theme ‘Design and Displacement’ invites careful analyses of the way design practices take part in shaping worlds. However, ‘Design and Displacement’ also raises questions around STS as design work and practice-based interventions. In this sense design becomes simultaneously topic and outcome, a situation that raises new questions concerning the role of STS research.

Program Practices

Each participant in the conference will be limited to only one paper presentation and one other activity (such as session chair or discussant but not a second paper) for a maximum of two appearances.

Papers may be submitted individually or by a session organizer. 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.

New this year, individual papers may be submitted to one or more Open Panels. The call for open panel themes received enthusiastic response from the community. 106 panels are available, which have been grouped into 10 subject clusters. View the full descriptions at http://www.4sonline.org/files/open_panels_12.pdf.

Session proposals should be limited to 250 words total, and should contain a theme and a rationale for the session, and a brief discussion of its contribution to the STS community. Session proposals should list a chairperson and names of all session organizers and panelists, including institutional affiliations and (electronic) addresses. Session proposals should be based on the assumption of 1-hour time slots with fifteen minutes per presentation. A typical session consists of maximum five papers, one chairperson, and a fifteen-minute open discussion slot. You must have a minimum of three complete paper descriptions in order to submit a session proposal. You can add additional papers to the session up until the submission deadline.

Contact Info

For general meeting information and any questions about the program, contact the Scientific Program Chair, Signe Vikkelsø.

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

For information on Copenhagen Business School, see www.cbs.dk/en