4S Newsletter Volume 02 Issue 03 (Summer, 1977)

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Quote of the issue: “On 26 August 1975 … fifty scholars assembled … [to] declare themselves members incorporate in 4S” (August 26th is 4S’s birthday!) Aarnold Thackray and Daryl Chubin, 1977.

Issue in brief (PDF is here: 1977 Volume 2 Issue 3 Summer).

  1. Editorial on the origins of the professional society — interesting,
  2. Preliminary program for the 2nd annual meeting — at Harvard University. You’ll also note that in the elections for members, the status hierarchies of old are all represented,
  3. Fact Sheet for 2nd annual meeting — $15 pre-registration; $20 at the door … makes me wonder what a 1976-2014 registration fee chart might look like,
  4. Thought and opinion section about citation research with an odd opening remark that I think might be about Latour’s 1976 presentation at 4S (but I can’t be sure),
  5. David Edge offers a retort — an excellent one — to the (at best peripheral) acceptance of quantitative (co-)citation analysis in the sociology of science. Well done!
  6. Commentary on the Psychology of Science, which is a field no longer in strong standing (to my knowledge),
  7. A piece on teaching STS in Papa New Guinea — interesting,
  8. STS in the Netherlands,
  9. Excellent reviews of about Zuckerman’s Scientific Elite (a text that challenged the idea that scientists needed to have their great breakthrough by 30, but a book that also did not necessarily support Merton’s Matthew Effect among elites … where it was thought to be strongest), and
  10. The closing pages contain the freshly revised charter.

This newsletter contains information about the origins of the society. According to opening editorial, in connection with the Montreal Congress of the International Sociological Association (who knew?), the earliest foundations of the professional society were laid and an informal committee was established in 1974-75. On 26 August 1975, 50 members assembled in San Francisco to ratify a charter for 4S. Apparently, the 26th of August is 4S’s birthday!

In the second meeting, Merton, still president of the fledgling 4S will deliver another address — anybody have a copy of any of these addresses?

I’ll devote just a moment to registration fees. I am simply recalling — after writing about a few of the presentations at the 2012 meeting in Copenhagen — that a number of members were expressing some dismay about the registration costs for the annual meeting (some arrived and refused to pay). The meeting, as I recall, was held in the lovely Copenhagen Business School ( possibly during a break period, given the openness of the rooms for our presentation, but possibly not). I remember not being able to get a cup of coffee much past 10:00 in the morning or after lunch. Likewise, while I enjoyed the lunch, I heard a number of people, more or less say, “how in the world did I pay 100s of dollars for a small box lunch and no coffee?” … we even saw a few members leave and get lunch somewhere else on their own. But this is just a lunch, so …

For individuals whose registration is paid by their home universities or for scholars who have grants to cover their expenses, it may be a mute point to discuss registration fees.

In 1977, the registration fees were $15 in advance. This year, for the 2014 meeting held in Buenos Aires, the registration fees (for pre-registration) was $240 due May 31st (a full three weeks before a preliminary program was available — even though, on balance, early acceptance was communicated over automated e-mail). Registration upon arrival is $400, which is interesting because I’m not sure who this would apply to given that if you are not registered at the time of the program’s production, papers were dropped. Those are member fees. Tack another $75 on for non-members.

One of the things that might be fun to track is how registration costs have transformed over time. During our 2012 Copenhagen meeting — and I recognize that Copenhagen is an expensive city — pre-registration for members was $290, late registration was $500 (for non-members registering late, a whopping $750 … talk about an implicit “please don’t drop in” policy). Last year, in San Diego, pre-registration was $250. Cleveland in 2011 was only $120. 2010 in Tokyo was $200. 2009 in Washington, DC, was $150. I won’t belabor this further, for it is obvious that each year is different because each city is different, and surely organizers do their very best to provide a value to members. Still,

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