TRANSnational STS


Photo Galleries by Declan Kuch and Steve Coffee

See all the meeting videos at the 4s Sydney Playlist at the 4S YouTube channel.


The theme of the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science – TRANSnational STS – encourages presentations, panels, and other events that deepen and extend the transnational character of the Society itself, while engaging issues invoked by both the TRANS prefix (across, beyond, to change thoroughly), and by the problematic and evolving status of ‘nations’ in processes of global ordering. Leveraging the global scope of Science and Technology Studies (STS), our aim is to intensify connection between conference participants (scholars, practitioners, and students) based in different regions, stimulating conversation about ways 4S and other scholarly societies can provide critical infrastructure for next-generation, transnationally collaborative, intellectual and political engagements. We also aim to encourage consideration of a broad array of concepts that are undergoing – or should undergo – transformation if we are to address key scholarly and practical problems of our times. Current concepts, knowledges, practices, and institutions of the nation are exemplary, pointing to a need for radical reformulation of habitual ways of thinking about and organizing governance, bodies and lifeworlds. Expansive reconsideration of other concepts, foundational and emergent (justice, biopolitics, innovation, Empire, and the Anthropocene, for example), are also encouraged. Activities that draw conference participants into issues of special importance in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region – indigenous politics, border controls, mining, climate change, and renewable energy, for example — will be threaded throughout and offered in advance of the conference. The overall goal is to foreground diverse STS genealogies and approaches, leveraging the rich pluralism of STS, attuned to the rich pluralism of the contemporary world.

In keeping with the @4sSydney TRANSnational theme, and extending the multilingual platform of the 2017 4S meeting in Boston, we sought volunteers to translate the conference theme. Here you can hear the theme in Yolu by Yirriiba Dhurrkay. Yirriiba Dhurrkay is a Wangurri woman from Dhalinbuy homeland in east Arnhem Land. We are very thankful for her work on this translation.


Program Highlights

Plenary Sessions and Welcome Events
  • Welcome to Country and Presidential Plenary with 4S President Kim Fortun on Wednesday at the ICC
  • Welcome reception on Wednesday at the ICC
  • The Bernal Award Presentation with Trevor Pinch (appearing virtually) on Friday at ICC
  • The Indigenous STS Plenary with Marama Muru Lanning, Lynette Russell, Kim Tallbear, Kyle Whyte on Friday at the ICC
  • The 4S Honors and Futures Plenary on Friday at the ICC
  • The banquet/cocktail event on Friday at the Powerhouse
  • 4S Council Special Sessions: STS Journal Roundtables, STS Across Scale: 4S Meets Regional STS Organisations, STS in Different Regions, 4S archiving exhibit
Special Events

Don’t forget to also check the affiliated events page for pre- and post-conference events!

Complete Program

Online Program. Frequently updated. Mobile friendly (use the menu icon). Log in to create your personal schedule.

Official program. (Download 10MB pdf)

Program abstracts. (Download 2MB pdf)

Please direct any enquiries about the program to

Conference Reports
Key Dates

November 1 2017. Proposals for open panels due

December 1 2017. CFP for papers for open panels, closed panels, making and doing sessions, and posters

February 1 2018. Abstracts for open panels, closed panels, making and doing sessions, and posters due

March 15 2018. Notification of acceptance of abstracts.

March 29 2018. Registration opens

April 15 2018. Preliminary program posted.

June 1 2018. Early registration closes. Deadline for childcare bookings.

June 30 2018. Presenters must be registered for conference by this date to be included in program

August 6, 2018. Final program posted.

August 29 – September 1 2018. 4S SYDNEY!


Logging In

If you submitted a paper or are listed as a presenter or author on an accepted paper, you already have an account with the registration site. Please avoid creating a duplicate account–it will only cause confusion and delay. If you don’t know your login credentials, use the ‘forgot password’ link. When you update your password, your user name will be displayed on the confirmation screen.

Fees and Options

Unless other arrangements are made with the 4S Sydney conference team, you must be registered for the conference by June 30th to be included in the program.

Early rates apply through midnight, EDT, June 1. All fees are listed and transacted in $US.

‘Concession’ rates apply to people who are students, unwaged or based in low-income countries.

‘Society’ rate: optional contribution towards 4S Sydney travel grant fund
4S Sydney has received unprecedented interest from scholars from low income countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Travel and accommodation to Sydney is expensive, especially for students and unwaged scholars travelling from other regions. As a result, we expect a much higher demand for travel grants than usual. By selecting the Society registration, you make a $50 (US) contribution to the 4S Sydney travel grant fund. If you select this option, it will appear on your invoice as a registration fee.




If you do not see the member rates offered after you log in, you may elect to join 4S before registering. Use the ‘Membership’ link in the menu. (Note: If you see the message Your membership is current and does not expire when you log in, it means you do not have an active 4S membership. The message is referring to your Guest Membership in the web site. Apologies for the confusing language.)

Day registration
Invited guests and people who are NOT listed on the program will be able to purchase day registration tickets from the registration desk at the venue for $80US per day.


You can pay online by Visa or Mastercard immediately upon registering, or you may select the bill me option and print/download an invoice to be processed by your institution. Subsequent payment may be made online by logging back into your account to find the invoice, or may be paid by bank transfer. 4S strongly prefers online payment upon registration, for obvious reasons: pursuing people for payment is a nuisance for all involved. If you need information on how to send a bank transfer, contact


The 4S Sydney 2018 banquet/conference dinner will be held in the striking Turbine Hall of the Powerhouse Museum. At this cocktail-style event, contemporary Australian canapés featuring seasonal flavours and local produce will be served beneath aircraft suspended above, while guests will have the exclusive opportunity to explore the exhibition Human Non Human that will feature in the space during the conference. Read more about the venue.

Cancellation Policy

Through June 30, cancellations will be honored with a full refund. During July, cancellations will be accepted with a refund of 50%. Any cancellations after August 1 will not be refunded. If you must cancel, please notify the meeting secretariat, the 4S administrator, and (if known) your session chair.

Call for Papers, Closed Panels, Making and Doing Presentations, and STS Across Borders Exhibits

There are many ways to participate in the 4S 2018 conference: presenting a paper in an open panel, a closed panel, or a panel formed by the program committee; being a discussant; chairing a panel; participating in a Making and Doing session; participating in the STS Across Borders Exhibit, attending a pre-conference event, and taking part in the range of social and collegial events across the 4S conference.

The theme of the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science – TRANSnational STS – encourages presentations, panels, and other events that deepen and extend the transnational character of the Society itself, while engaging issues invoked by both the TRANS prefix (across, beyond, to change thoroughly), and by the problematic and evolving status of ‘nations’ in processes of global ordering. Click here for the full theme statement, or here for translations of the theme statement into a wide range of languages.

Participation guidelines

In order to maximise participation across the conference, the programme committee will be following a set of guidelines in reviewing paper submissions and panel abstracts.

In general terms participants will be limited to One ‘Presenter Role’ and Two additional ‘Non-Presenter Roles’ in the conference.

Presenter Roles will include:

  • Presentation of a research paper and;
  • Participation in a panel discussion.

Non-Presenter Roles will include:

  • Panel organisers and;
  • Panel discussants and;
  • Organisation or participation in a Making and Doing session and;
  • Participation in the 4S poster session.

Panel chairing is not counted towards a role.

Some example combinations:
Some possible combinations of these role limits might include, the presentation of a research paper (Presenter Role), together with chairing a panel (Non-Presenter Role) and presenting a poster (Non-Presenter Role).

Alternatively, you might like to combine a role as a panel discussant (Non-Presenter Role) with presenting a paper (Presenter Role) and participating in a team in the Making and Doing Session (Non-Presenter Role).


4S is committed to supporting the participation of parents and carers of children. Therefore, please indicate what you anticipate your childcare needs may be during the conference, at the time of abstract submission to help us plan for the best support possible (we will be exploring a range of options, that we will share before the registration deadline).

Twitter, photos and online presence

We are envisaging that 4S Sydney will have a lively participation across a range of online formats with some participants wishing to live-Tweet or upload photos to social media. If you do NOT want live tweeting during your presentations or photos taken of you or your slides, please let the audience know at the start of the panel and/or the start of your paper.

Good conference participation

We ask that all our participants are respectful of presenters’ preferences regarding live-Tweeting, or taking and sharing photos.

2018 Programme Committee

Emma Kowal (Programme Co-chair, Deakin University)

Matthew Kearnes (Programme Co-chair, UNSW)

Kim Fortun (4S President, University of California, Irvine)

Sophie Adams (Conference Secretary, UNSW)

Thao Phan (Conference Secretary, University of Melbourne)

Nicola Marks (UoW)

Timothy Neale (Deakin University)

Daniel Breslau (Virginia Tech)

Noela Invernizzi (Universidade Federal do Paraná)

Diane Gu (University of California, Los Angeles)

Aalok Khandekar (IIT Hyderabad)

Thomas Cousins (Stellenbosch University)

Sulfikar Amir (Nanyang Technologicall University)

Soraya Boudia (University of Paris Descartes)

Chihyung Jeon (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

Anto Mohsin (Northwestern University in Qatar)

Eli Elinoff (Victoria University of Wellington)

Anna Harris (Maastricht University)

Hined Rafeh (RPI)

Olga Bychkova (RPI)

National Organising Committee

Matthew Kearnes (Programme Co-chair, UNSW)

Emma Kowal (Programme Co-chair, Deakin University)

Thao Phan (Conference Secretary, University of Melbourne)

Sophie Adams (Conference Secretary, UNSW)

Jeremy Baskin (University of Melbourne)

Matthew Chrulew (Curtin University)

Peta Cook (University of Tasmania)

Radhika Gorur (Deakin University)

Declan Kuch (UNSW)

Kari Lancaster (UNSW)

Heather Lovell (University of Tasmania)

Nicola Marks (UoW)

Catherine Phillips (University of Melbourne)

Timothy Neale (Deakin University)

Juan Salazar (WSU)

Caroline Schuster (ANU)

Michaela Spencer (CDU)

Niamh Stephenson (UNSW)

kylie valentine (UNSW)

Sonja van Wichelen (University of Sydney)

Jeremy Walker (UTS)

Sydney Logistics Committee

Kari Lancaster, chair (UNSW)

kylie valentine (UNSW)

Declan Kuch (UNSW)

Sophie Adams (UNSW)

Matthew Kearnes (UNSW)

Niamh Stephenson (UNSW)

Jeremy Walker (UTS)

Wes Shrum (4S Program Officer, Louisiana State University)

Steve Coffee (4S Communications Administrator)


National STS Making & Doing Organising Committee:

Michaela Spencer (Chair, CDU)

Radhika Gorur (Deakin University)

Declan Kuch (UNSW)

Catherine Phillips (Melbourne University)

Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (Ex officio, Linköping University)

STS Across Borders Design Group

Managing Editor:  Aalok Khandekar (IIT Hyderabad)

Digital Editor: Lindsay Poirier (RPI)

Archivist: Vivian Wong (University of California, Los Angeles)

Gallery Editors: Noela Invernizzi (Universidade Federal do Paraná) and Hined Rafeh (RPI)

Exhibit Advisors: Vivian Choi (St Olaf College),  Maral Erol (Isik University), Kim Fortun (University of California, Irvine), Anna Harris (Maastricht University), Angela Okune (University of California, Irvine), Grant Otsuki (Victoria University of Wellington)

Prize Committees

2018 Bernal Prize Committee: Lucy Suchman (4S Past President, Lancaster University), Lesley Green (4S Council Member, University of Cape Town), Wen-Hua Kuo (former Council Member, National Yang-Ming University), Margarita Rayzberg (Student Representative, Northwestern University)

2018 Fleck Prize Committee: Shobita Parthasarathy (4S Council Member Chair, University of Michigan), Daniel Breslau (Virgina Tech), Tania Pérez-Bustos (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

2018 Carson Prize Committee: Sara Wylie (4S Council Member and Chair, Northwestern University), Oscar Maldonado Castañeda (4S Council Member, Universidad del Rosario), Tim Choy (University of California, Davis)

2018 Edge Prize Committee: Gwen Ottinger (4S Council Member and Chair, Drexel University), Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (4S Council Member, Linköping University), and Erika Szymanski (Student Representative to 4S Council, University of Edinburgh)

2018 Mullins Prize Committee (all members of 4S Council): Gloria Baigorrotegui, (University of Santiago), Anita Say Chan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Steven J. Jackson (Cornell University).

Mentoring Award Committee 2018 (all members of 4S Council): Noela Invernizzi (Chair, Universidade Federal do Paraná), Anita Say Chan (University of Illinois); and Oscar Maldonado Castañeda (Universidad del Rosario).

2018 Infrastructure Committee Award: Gloria Baigorrotegui (4S Council Member and Chair, University of Santiago), Steven Jackson (4S Council Member, Cornell University), Aadita Chaudhury (Student Representative to 4S Council, University of York).

Making & Doing Award Committee: Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (4S Council Member and Chair, Linköping University); Michaela Spencer (CDU),  Anita Say Chan (4S Council Member, University of Illinois), Nicholas Shapiro (Chemical Heritage Foundation)

Last but not Least

Thanks to Matt Harsh for organising the Mentoring program

Many thanks to our student volunteers.