What is 4S?

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is an international, nonprofit association founded in 1975 that fosters interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship in social studies of science, technology, and medicine (a field often referred to as STS). Comprising researchers and practitioners, the field of STS includes Science and Technology Studies; Science, Technology, and Society; and comparable domains of research, teaching, and practice in many languages.

4S supports and encourages interested researchers and practitioners throughout the world. Among many activities, the Society currently:

  • Organizes an annual meeting in locations alternating between North America and other continents
  • Supports a Student Section (6S), including by providing travel grants to annual meetings and facilitating mentoring sessions
  • Edits academic publications:
    • print journal Science, Technology, & Human Values
    • Handbook of Science and Technology Studies
    • open access journal Engaging Science, Technology, and Society
  • Publishes:
    • 4S blog Backchannels
    • 4S website, with resources for researchers and practitioners
    • monthly e-newsletter Technoscience Updates
  • Assesses and recognizes distinguished scholarly work, bestowing the following awards:
    • John Desmond Bernal Prize (distinguished career contributions)
    • Ludwik Fleck Prize (outstanding book in STS)
    • Rachel Carson Prize (outstanding book in STS with a focus on issues of social or political relevance)
    • David Edge Prize (outstanding article in STS)
    • Nicholas C. Mullins Award (outstanding article in STS by a graduate student)
    • STS Infrastructure Award (exemplary contributions to building and maintaining STS institutional and intellectual infrastructures)

4S Membership

Membership in the society is open to anyone interested in the interaction of science, technology, or medicine and society.  Members currently include:

  • Scholars in traditional academic disciplines of sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, economics, media and communication studies, and psychology interested in social aspects of science, technology, or medicine.
  • Scholars in areas of study outside traditional academic disciplines, such as feminist research and cultural studies, interested in the relationship of science, technology, or medicine to their topic of focus.
  • Physical and life scientists and engineers interested in the social aspects of their fields.
  • Researchers in governmental and non-governmental organizations whose work intersects with relationships between science, technology, or medicine and society.
  • Members of the public who have an interest in the way science, technology, & medicine affect their lives.

Annual membership rates are $50 for professionals, $25 for reduced rate members, and $100 for sustaining members. The low cost of reduced rate membership is intended for students, retirees, un/underemployed scholars, and scholars from non-OECD countries. All additional revenue generated from sustaining members contributes to a fund in support of subsidies for meeting participation by students and other low-income scholars.

Our journal provided digitally and (if requested) mailed first class, at no extra charge, to all members worldwide. Members also receive Technoscience Updates, a monthly email publication summarizing events in the field.

Contact Information:

General inquiries: info@4sonline.org

Web site and membership issues: webmaster@4sonline.org

Official postal address:

c/o Aneesh Aneesh
4S | Society for Social Studies of Science
3210 N. Maryland Avenue
Bolton Hall 760
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI