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Society for Social Studies of Science
Formation1975; 49 years ago (1975)
Region served
Official language
Emma Kowal
Main organ
Science, Technology, & Human Values
Parent organization
International Social Science Council (ISSC)

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is a non-profit scholarly association devoted to the social studies of science and technology (STS).[1] It was founded in 1975 and as of 2008 its international membership exceeds 1,200. In 2016, over 2,000 people attended the society's annual meeting in Barcelona, co-hosted by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST). Its 40th anniversary celebration at Cornell University was attended by notable STS scholars such as Trevor Pinch, Sheila Jasanoff, and Bruno Latour.[2]

Its charter was drafted in 1975,[3] and its first President was the American sociologist Robert K. Merton.[4] It is currently based out of the Department of Sociology at Louisiana State University. It publishes the quarterly academic journal Science, Technology, & Human Values and has a large annual conference attended by hundreds of scholars from a diverse range of fields, including Science and technology studies, sociology of science, science studies, history of science, philosophy of science, anthropology of science, economics, political science, psychology, as well as science educators and scientists.

It gives out the Ludwik Fleck Prize annually for "best book in the area of science and technology studies", the Rachel Carson Prize for "a work of social or political relevance", the John Desmond Bernal Prize for an individual who made "a distinguished contribution to the field", and the Nicholas C. Mullins Award for "outstanding scholarship in science and technology studies" by a graduate student.[5]

As of 2020, the President of the society is Joan Fujimura, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison. 4S is governed by a nine-person council as well as its president.[6]


  1. ^ About the Society for Social Studies of Science.
  2. ^ "Society for Social Studies of Science celebrates 40 years". 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2023-01-23.
  3. ^ Arnold Thackray, "Many Happy Returns," 4S Review 1, no. 1 (Spring 1983): p. 2.
  4. ^ 4S Past Officers.
  5. ^ Prizes and Awards, 4S.
  6. ^ "Current Officers and Council", 4S Website. Accessed: 26 October 2020.