About the conference


VU Amsterdam Main Building

The conference will take place at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 16-19 July 2024.

There is no such thing as ‘Dutch STS’ and these are some lines about it

This joint meeting returns to Amsterdam after 36 years. The 1988 meeting was hosted by the Science Dynamics department at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and included some 400 contributions, for which all abstracts were submitted by regular mail.

Throughout the decades STS scholars in the Netherlands have continued to contribute to conversations in the field. As far as Amsterdam goes, the Athena Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Science Dynamics department at the UvA were both founded in 1982. Nationally, this was the time where STS departments were gaining prominence at the universities of Amsterdam and Twente, soon to be followed by the universities of Eindhoven, Groningen, Leiden, Utrecht, and Maastricht. In 1984 the National Office of Technology Assessment, the predecessor of the current Rathenau Institute, was founded, strengthening connections between the many ‘… & Society’ departments and S&T policy through approaches such as Constructive TA. Science Shops further dotted the Dutch STS landscape.

In 1987, before universities were expected to each set up their own graduate schools, the informal collaborations between Dutch STS groups resulted in establishing the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC – the acronym works in Dutch). Its core task is to provide PhD training, and it has long served to strengthen the ‘invisible college’ of Dutch-based (or Dutch-trained) STS scholars. WTMC was awarded the inaugural 4S Infrastructure Prize in 2016. To this date, it continues to strengthen ties between established and budding scholars in the field. Over the decades, the Dutch STS landscape has come to include strong groups at Radboud U Nijmegen, Erasmus U Rotterdam (host to the illustrious 2008 joint EASST-4S meeting), and various others. Some groups dissolved formally, only to return in rhizomatic form in a range of departments. Could ‘Dutch STS’ perhaps exist in its infrastructurally fostered diverse collectivity?

This 11th quadrennial joint conference of EASST and 4S is hosted by the Athena Institute at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). STS research at Athena aims to contribute to transformative change through involvements in addressing complex societal challenges and by studying and designing science-society interfaces.

In-person meeting

Given the relatively short notice at which this conference needed to be organized, a multi-hub conference turned out to be unfeasible. Given the mixed experiences with hybrid conferencing, the conference will take place in-person with streaming of plenary sessions. At the conference a session will be organized on other modes of conferencing so that preparations for EASST-4S 2028 can commence early.

Conference communications

All constructive suggestions are welcome at conference(at)easst4s2024.net; we will do our best to accommodate all reasonable wishes participants may have. Concerns are ideally formulated as questions, and we would be grateful if those who raise them are also happy to be involved in possible solutions. We are not monitoring conversations on X or other platforms.

The program committee consists of scholars from Dutch STS institutions, especially those participating in Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC).

Program committee

Michiel van Oudheusden, Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (Athena Institute, VU Amsterdam)

Ex-oficio members
Maja Horst (EASST President)
Anne Pollock (4S President)

Members (alphabetically)
Alana Helberg-Proctor (Anthropology, University of Amsterdam)
Alexandra Supper (FASOS, Maastricht University)
Andreas Weber (KiTeS, University of Twente)
Anne Loeber (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Barbara Regeer (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Carina Pittens (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Eduardo Muniz Pereira Urias (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Esha Shah (Wageningen University)
Evelien de Hoop (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Geert Somsen (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Koen Beumer (Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University)
Kristiaan Kok (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Lieselot Vandenbussche (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Lotte Krabbenborg (Institute for Science in Society, Radboud University)
Makoto Takahashi (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Michelle Habets (Rathenau Institute)
Michiel Van Oudheusden (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Renate Baumgartner (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) 
Rik Wehrens (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Sarahanne Fields (Pedagogy & Educational Science, University of Groningen)
Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent (Ethics, Law & Humanities, Amsterdam UMC)
Willemine Willems (Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University)

This 11th quadrennial joint conference of EASST and 4S is hosted by the Athena Institute at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). The Organizing committee thus consists of Athena staff members.

Organizing committee

Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (chair)
Michiel Van Oudheusden (vice-chair)
Evelien de Hoop (vice-chair)
Anne Loeber
Barbara Regeer
Carina Pittens
Christianne Blijleven
Eduardo Muniz Pereira Urias
Evelyne Griffioen
Geert Somsen
Jessica Coetzer
Kristiaan Kok
Laura Paschedag
Lea Lösch
Lieselot Vandenbussche
Lotte Snellenburg
Makoto Takahashi
Marjoleine van der Meij
Mirjam Dijkxhoorn
Renate Baumgartner
Victor Avramov

In case of questions, please contact the local organizing team at conference(at)easst4s2024.net or use the form.