August 20-23, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Held jointly with European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)

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Below you will find the draft program and information about registration, lodging, and several social programs. These include the conference banquet on Friday night, an excursion to the Dutch waterworks, and the welcome reception in the Rotterdam town hall. As a special service we are offering the possibility to register for child care. The conference venue is at the Woudestein campus of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.


The conference venue is at the Woudestein campus of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The conference is located in the T and M buildings on campus. On-site registration is in the M-building and opens on Wednesday 20 August at 14:00 hrs.

General information about the University

Woudestein campus map

Travel information to the campus


The final program for the conference is now available. (This is a 677KB PDF file. You will need the Adobe Reader to open it.) You can also download the book of abstracts (2.8 MB pdf).

Special Events

A welcome reception will be organized at the Rotterdam Town Hall (located at the Coolsingel 40) on Wednesday 20 August from 18:30 to 19:30. Participation in the welcome reception is free, but please note that participation is limited and will be provided on a first-come-first go basis.

The Friday evening banquet will be held in one of the most exciting locations in town, the former Cruise Terminal of the Holland America Line (note that the site is Dutch only). This Terminal has since 1873 been the point of departure for some 850,000 immigrants from Europe on their way to New Amsterdam (these days better known to some as New York). The Cruise Terminal is located in the old harbor that is now completely renovated, overlooking the Erasmus (‘swan’) bridge. See the Port of Rotterdam website for more information on the area.

There is also the possibility to join a guided tour to the Dutch waterworks. (CLOSED) The guide is Wiebe Bijker himself, who has published extensively on these waterworks. Transport from the conference location will be provided. Participation is limited to 60 people.

(Please note, these event options are labeled sessions in our registration system.)


Can’t come to the meeting? Follow along courtesy of volunteer bloggers.


Here are some things going on in Rotterdam for when you are not giving a talk or listening to papers.

At the Lloyd Multiplein there is the ‘open air movie theatre’ playing films from about 21.30 (or when it is dark enough). The program looks promising and is for free. You can bring your own drinks (but glass is not allowed) and you can get a chair at the site (or hire, the site is not explicit here; last year it was 1 euro for a chair). The Lloyd Multiplein is at the Westzeedijk — take tram 8 and get out at Oostkousdijk or metro Calandlijn, Coolhaven station, with a 10 minute walk.

On 22-23 August there is the ‘formula zero’ race with cars using fuel cell powered cars. The race is at the Willemsplein (underneath the ‘Swan’ or Erasmus bridge).

In the Boymans van Beuningen museum, there is an exhibition on 100 years of Dutch design. From 23 August, there is an exhibition of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

At the site of the Rotterdam ‘uitburo’ you can find a host of other activities going on in the city.
The site is unfortunately Dutch only, which will however give you an extra occasion to talk to any of the Dutch participants at the conference.


Early registration has now closed! Register now if you haven’t done so to avoid the high onsite registration fee. Register online using Mastercard or Visa. You will be prompted to log in (if you are a member of EASST and/or 4S) or to create a profile for the web site (if you are not). There are attractively priced packages that includemembership and registration.

As registration is in US dollars but our expenses are in Euros, changing exchange rates can lead to changes in the amounts of dollars that you are charged for registration. Please make sure to register as soon as possible. The current registration fee schedule is below. These are member rates.

EarlyAfter June 17On Site



Rotterdam has lots of hotel and hostel accommodations. The Rotterdam conference bureau has provided a overview of reservation policies and a list of hotels and other accommodation. For the hotels on this list we have reserved many rooms for participants to the conference to ensure all will be accommodated; for some of the hotels we have also been able to arrange discounts. In order to make use of these discounts, please make reservations through this website, which will be handled by the local conference bureau.

Travel $ for students

The deadline for travel grant applications is now closed.


Note for publishers: if you want to exhibit books at the conference, please contact Marije Stofregen.

Mentorship Program

The 4S student section (6S) is involved in ongoing efforts to mentor new faculty and students, and this will be the third year for our Mentor Program. The goal of the project is to facilitate mentoring of individuals who are new to the conference and/or to the Society. A mentoring relationship assumes a minimum of one conversation at the annual meeting in Rotterdam. We hope that mentoring relationships will also continue with at least two follow-up phone calls or emails during the following 12 months.

If you are interested in taking part in the mentor program, you must be registered for the conference.

We will match less experienced 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.

Child care

Due to unsufficient interest, the organising committee has decided to cancel the childcare offering, as the cost per child would be unaccaptably high.

Call for Papers: Acting with science, technology and medicine

The four-yearly 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 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from 20th to 23rd August 2008. As with previous 4S/EASST conferences, the conference welcomes contributions on topics from the range of disciplines found within science, technology and innovation studies communities.

The theme for this conference is Acting with science, technology and medicine. This meeting responds to some remarkable and interesting changes in the concerns of STS research. STS-approaches are no longer only relevant for understanding the production of science, technology and innovation; they also are relevant for understanding the co-production of science and technology with policy, democracy, law, and the organization of health care, among other major institutional matters. Similarly STS researchers have become increasingly involved with practices of technology development, policymaking, legal decision-making and governance in different fields, such as science and technology policy, environmental regulation, and health care. The balance between observation and participation seems to have changed in these consequential practices of ‘acting with’. Such engagement is currently a major topic of discussion within the STS field. Several workshops, editorials and special issues have already been published or are under way. The ‘acting with’, or interventionist approach is likely to have consequences for research methodologies, for researchers’ obligations toward different publics, and for the kind of products STS-researchers deliver. In addition, like other aspects of science and technology, interventions by STS researchers are themselves subject to contingencies and negotiations that can lead to unanticipated consequences. This conference provides a forum to explore responses across the broad range of disciplinary perspectives found within science, technology and innovation studies. Papers are encouraged which explore diverse aspects of: the sponsors and audiences for STS research; the constitution of and relations with research objects and participants; the influences on methodological choices; and the construction of research products.

Program practices

Each participant in the conference will be limited to one first-authored submission 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. Abstracts for papers should be 500 words or less, and must include both an outline of the paper, including a summary on methodology, and a brief statement on the contribution to the STS literature.

Session proposals should be limited to 500 words total, and should contain a summary and rationale for the session, and a brief discussion of its contribution to the STS community. Session proposals should list names of all session organizers and panelists, including institutional affiliations and (electronic) addresses. Session proposals should be based on the assumption of two-hour time slots with twenty minutes per presentation. A typical session may have five papers, one discussant, and a ten-minute open discussion slot. You must have a minimum of three complete paper descriptions in order to submit a session proposal.

Proposals for double and triple sessions on a single topic may receive a request to consolidate the topic into one panel or to break the multiple sessions into different topics. The program committee may need to assign additional papers to sessions in order to accommodate the number of submissions and reduce the rejection rate.

This Joint Meeting welcomes papers, sessions and events that are innovative in their delivery, organisation, range of topics, type of public and which bring new resources to the STS community to explore these new relations and themes. Of course, the theme is flexible, and is meant to accommodate a broad range of sessions and themes. Apart from traditional research papers, the conference will also welcome proposals for sessions and papers using ‘new media’ or other forms of innovative presentation.

For information on EASST, visit

For further inquiries, contact:
Roland Bal (chair program committee)
Dept. of Health Policy and Management
Erasmus University Medical Centre