Now back in Cardiff after attending the 4S Annual Meeting in Cleveland. As the conference was co-located with the History of Science and Society (HSS) and the Society for History of Technology (SHOT), plenary sessions were especially abundant this year – one for almost every day of the conference in fact.
As might be expected given events in Japan, sessions about the nuclear industry in general, and Fukushma in particular, had a high profile this year. In contrast, biosciences and public participation felt less numerous to me although the official programme suggests there were lots of them too! My own paper – about Democracy and the ‘Third Wave’ – was part of the Science, Technology and Public Policy theme, which included over 120 separate sessions.
The conference was very enjoyable and presentations in the sessions I went to were all of a consistently high standard. Navigating through the conference program the size of 4S is inevitably somewhat arbitrary but I did enjoy several papers, hear the phrase ‘interactional expertise’ being used as if it were a standard explanatory term on at least one occasion, and find a couple of people to invite to the next SEESHOP.
Overall, therefore, I think it was a successful couple of days.