4S and EASST 2008 Joint Annual Meeting “Acting with science, technology and medicine”. 20-23 August, 2008. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Call for papers

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.

For each paper proposal, the lead author should submit a one-page abstract by 15 February 2008. Abstracts for papers should be 400 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. 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. Session proposals should be limited to 450 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. All papers in pre-arranged sessions need also to be submitted individually by their lead authors, including abstracts as specified above. 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. 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.

Submission information

Submission of abstracts and pre-arranged sessions will be managed electronically through the website https://4sonline.org/meeting.htm. Please do not submit abstracts or session proposals in any other way. Session submitters, please include full names, institutional affiliations, and postal and e-mail addresses for all authors.

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