EASST Review: Volume 35(4) December 2016


Editorial

Politics by other means: Sitting at an angle by Vicky Singleton

STS Multiple

The Padova University PaSTIS unit and the infrastructuring of STS research in Italy by Paolo Magaudda, Federico Neresini

The emergence of PaSTIS was a bottom-up process, a sort of alchemic blend, the contingent product of a work of ‘heterogeneous engineering’ which was the response to a situation: the Italian university system. One of the positive circumstances that helped to develop and sustain PaSTIS has been the growing of a wider STS movement in Italy, making our local unit an intersection in a wider process of ‘co-evolution’ involving an entire national academic community.

Techno-scientific Issues in the Public Sphere (TIPS) by Paolo Giardullo, Andrea Lorenzet

The TIPS project is based on mass media and online newspapers as a source for analysing the representations of science and technology in the public sphere mapping its relevance and evolution. It monitors the eight most important Italian newspapers, in a time span ranging from 2010 to yesterday. In 2014 the TIPS platform also began collecting two UK, two US, one Indian and seven French newspapers. TIPS calculates ad-hoc ‘techno-science indicators’ based on more than 2.6 millions of documents: it computes ‘salience’, ‘prominence’ and ‘presence’ of techno-science. TIPS also provides a ‘risk indicator’, operationalising risk as an ontological analytical dimension of public techno-science discourse.

Materiality, Politics and Infrastructuring work by Stefano Crabu and Alessandro Mongili

The study of infrastructures in terms of “infrastructuring” and “infrastructuring work” represent a starting point for an in-depth disentanglement of the multidimensional process of technoscientific innovation and societal change. The project on Wireless Community Network led us to conceptualize bottom-up infrastructures as the emerging outcome by a heterogeneous process in which the mutual engagement of media activists, hackers and scientists turns a political project into an innovative digital infrastructure model. In performing our investigation on design and development in computing, we argued that infrastructuring is a field of heterogeneous activities and challenges extant relations, work positions, skills and hierarchies.

Cherish, not Perish

Somatosphere: a medical anthropology website by Eugene Raikhel

STS Events

‘Taken over by Gaia’ — A collective conversation with Bruno Latour by IUP_JI@MCTS

Special Feature: 4S/EASST Conference, 2016

How to inherit from Barcelona? by Ignacio Farías

Yet Another Industrial Revolution — A Dialogue on Tensions in Digital Fabrication by Yana Boeva, Bruno Chies

This year’s 4S/EASST annual meeting brought many tracks portraying the recent practices and activities in making, hacking, craft, do-it-yourself. One of them, organised by Johan Söderberg, Adrian Smith, and Maxigas, focused on digital fabrication. Track 011 looked at the conflicting nature of digital fabrication as it oscillates between democratising the future of technology production and design and its heritage in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technologies and deskilling of workers. The ten papers portrayed the plurality and tensions in contemporary digital fabrication through a range of empirical cases and theoretical developments. In this short conversation, we reflect upon the identified tensions to discuss further the relevance of historical comparisons within this research context.

From laboratory life to the living and tinkering laboratories of care: a new perspective in STS research? by Cristina Popescu

Inspired by the keynote plenary intervention of Madeleine Akrich on “Inquiries into experience and the multiple politics of knowledge” at the 4S/EASST Conference in Barcelona 2016, this article discusses the profile of an emerging perspective in STS research: a tinkering living laboratory of care. Moreover, it provides a closer examination of care theories and practices as they were addressed in three sessions from the same conference. A tinkering living laboratory of care is a source of knowledge “by other means”, it overpasses an individual way of thinking, and argues for collective-orientated theories and methodologies.

Elsewhere: a reflection on responsibility in and of the Anthropocene by Antonia Walford

A short reflection on my involvement in the only panel at the 4S/EASST this year that took the Anthropocene as its theme. The panel asked contributors to think about the responsibility of academics involved in discourse around the Anthropocene. The piece uses recent events in the science fiction community to think about how certain forms of speculation might be an important element of responsibility.

A doctoral day by other means: Power-geometries of space, community and (R)evolution in El Poblenou by Kat Braybrooke

The doctoral day which preceded 4S/EASST 2016 saw 50 researchers from around the world come together to discuss the complexities of a PhD “by other means” at Hangar, an art centre and medialab in post-industrial El Poblenou, a neighbourhood in Barcelona’s Sant Martí district. This paper explores the power-geometries of spatiality and history that characterize our experiences of Poblenou and also its influence on the urban fabric of Barcelona. The neighbourhood’s local struggles during successive revitalization and gentrification processes are explored, in the words of geographer Doreen Massey, as “complex web[s] of relations of domination and subordination, solidarity and cooperation” (1992: 81), the collective energies of which now inspire our own work as hybrid researchers in between worlds of theory, practice and community.

From Innovator to Maintainer: The Anti-heroic turn by Michelle Kasprzak

The topics of repair, care, and maintenance, which were featured across tracks at 4S/EASST, also presented a rejection of the notion of the hero. This development might seem an inevitable result, given that narrative aggrandizement is considered unscholarly. In STS we often question who gets to perform science, or seek to understand larger structures and groups of people who enabled certain innovations and inventions. However, casting light on previously-unsung members of a larger team also runs the risk of heroicising them. In this article, I reflect on two papers which indicated a sensitivity to this danger and hinted at an anti-heroic turn.

Considering the performativity of STS research practices. And do it seriously! by Mariacristina Sciannamblo

This article portrays my experience at the joint 4S/EASST conference 2016 held in Barcelona. It provides an account of the two pivotal moments that characterized my participation to the meeting, that is the postgraduate workshop and the track in which I presented a contribution. These two events share a similar quite radical approach to the conference motto — “science and technology by other means” — which, in turn, reflects the spirit that drove me to the conference.

The Citizen Rotation Office: An immersive and speculative experience prototype. by Annouchka Bayley

This review considers the work presented by Luke Sturgeon as part of Track 070. The presentation, entitled, “The Citizen Rotation Office: An immersive and speculative experience prototype” discussed concepts including: the power of algorithms and their potential future in the development of smart cities; the changing styles of urban dwelling – with particular relation to issues of permanency / temporariness in the housing market; and the rise and character of state / corporate power in the everyday lives of citizens, with particular relation to control over housing, community experience and everyday purchasing ‘choices’ of individuals. The review focuses its consideration around the performance-style of the presentation given and how this develops concepts of diffraction, performatvity and material-discursivity found in the works of Karen Barad (2007) and Donna Haraway (2004) for the undertaking of critical research practice in the STS community.

Letters from Wanna Wonder and the Electric Nemesis by Anna Mann and Laura Watts

Illegal infrastructures: Technology as other practices by Khetrimayum Monish Singh

This review is based on the discussions in the 4S/EASST conference around big data analytics and institutional practices in the regulation and governance of illegality and ‘potential risks’ through data-driven categorizations of social groups and communities. However, the possibilities of resistance, of agency and rights can be made through a set of different political practices on building consensus around policies such as transparency, open data, open government initiatives, and digital rights in connection with biometrics based human machine interactions.

Data practice, data science by Klara Benda

Big Data has been attracting growing professional interest, and this has sparked intellectual curiosity and a sense of hope for exciting research within STS. In this piece I am surveying the discussions about data science and data practices at the recent EASST conference in Barcelona from the perspective of the opportunity for building a research practice at the confluence of STS and digital data. Some propose to bring the STS practices of research and analysis to data scienceby means of bringing either leadership or critique to the field. Others have taken the alternative path of embracing digital practices and taking up digital tools and programming for pursuing an STS agenda by other means.

STS and data science: Making a data scientist? by Daan Kolkman

Much data science related work was presented at 4S/EASST, demonstrating both the topicality of the subject as well as an enthusiasm of STS scholars to engage with this new phenomenon. The ongoing engagement of STS scholars with data science is paramount to counterbalance the considerable time and effort that are devoted to the technical advancement of data science. This essay builds on fieldnotes collected during 4S/EASST and identifies data-ownership, accountability, subjectivity-objectivity and transparency as topical themes for STS data science research. It then explores the definition of data science and data scientist through a short form digital ethnography.

Science, Technology and Security: Discovering intersections between STS and security studies by Clemens Binder

An important, yet overlooked aspect of the field of Science, Technology and Society (STS) is the study of security technologies. In this article I speak of the necessity of regarding security actors as influential on Research and Development and how technologies are shaped by security interests. Various concepts from STS apply to the investigation of security technologies, therefore, the intersection between STS and security studies should become a more prevalent topic in the future. This article describes some of the central issues were raised regarding security studies at the 4S/EASST 2016 Conference in Barcelona.

Dealing with numbers. Looking beyond the self-monitoring for a new technology of the self by Veronica Moretti

This article refers to the main contributions emerged during the EASST conference, session T102. Everyday analytics: The politics and practices of self-monitoring.
Through provoking and personal reflections, this short paper analyses self-tracking activity of everyday life into two axes: the role of the self as a laboratory and the meaning of data as the degree of extrinsic reality. The purpose of realizing a self-knowledge through numbers involves several technologies and practices that are leading us toward a new version of the self.

Digitalization of life — How technology redefine the self in the global context by Barbara Morsello

Which horizons can we imagine for subjectivity in the global digital society? Which technologies of the self can somehow re-establish a relationship with the individual and collective self? How might the technical and scientific progress change, or even enhance, subjectivity? What do we mean when we say ‘digital subjectivity’? The session entitled ‘Digital subjectivities in the global context: new technologies of the self’ tried to answer some of these questions.

Talking Between the Panels: Coffee and Lunch Breaks at 4S/EAAST, Barcelona 2016 by Vidya Subramanian

The 4S/EASST Conference in Barcelona provided a fantastic opportunity for early career researchers to not just present their research in front of a global audience of peers, but also great networking opportunities. This article tries to capture the ambience of the lunch and coffee breaks at the CCIB (Barcelona International Convention Centre) during the course of the conference, and how these breaks provide an interesting opportunity to interact with fellow academics and forge bonds that could result in future collaborations and friendships.

Beyond the single-site study: the biographical analysis of technology by Valeri Wiegel

This is a summary report on the track “Beyond the single-site study: the Biography of Artefacts and Practices” at the 4S/EASST conference in Barcelona. The track brought together an international community of scholars interested in advancing methodology for a better understanding of the role of technology in society. After a brief introduction of the biography perspective and an overview of the talks presented in the track, the report will reflect on the intellectual contribution of the biographical perspective inspired by presentations in the track “Emerging ‘forms’ of life”.

How to define and treat materials in social theories of practice: Exploring the role materials by Matthew Hanchard

This short review of the Track 091 ‘Exploring the role of materials’, sets out the key outcome of the track. The review draws out themes that lay under all the track talks, and the divisions the themes caused. The outcome of these themes was a set of theoretically informed questions on how to treat materials, where to approach practices, and also on what materials are. The review sets out some emerging avenues for future collaboration, highlighting the value of the conference in bringing together disparate sets of researchers focussed on similar narrowly specialised topics that might not have otherwise collaborated.

Postphenomenology, material hermeneutics, and aesthetics of art: modern haute cuisine and culinary aesthetics by Vasilis Tsiatouras

This essay was prompted by the author’s participation in the 2016 4S/EASST conference that took place in Barcelona. Session T153, in particular, on Don Ihde’s material hermeneutics offered an insight in the relation between Ihde’s postphenomenology, and Roman Ingarden’s aesthetics of art. This relation is briefly described in the text for the case of culinary [gustatory] aesthetics and the example of the Catalonian high-end restaurant
elBulli is presented as a potential case study.

The politics of antibiotic resistance: imminent threat, global policy, and the challenge for STS by Christian Haddad

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has arisen as a grand challenge and global problem confronting the world in the 21st century. AMR is truly global not only in the geographical-political sense, but also in that it runs across and proliferates through the complex interactions of human medicine and patterns of health care on the one hand, and veterinary medicine and the livestock industries on the other hand. Even though the ‘science-question’ seems rather subordinate at this point in the politics of AMR, STS has a vital role to play in researching and contributing to engaging this matter of pressing concern. Yet, it confronts STS with the need and the opportunity to engage more eagerly with other fields and communities of social science research, particularly the field of critical policy studies.

Infrastructures of Nuclearity: Exploring Entangled Histories, Spaces and Futures by Sergiu Novac

Organizing the track Infrastructures of Nuclearity in the context of the 4S/EASST conference in Barcelona was a novel and highly enriching experience for me. During the panel, I came to identify some important issues and threads for the future of nuclear studies in STS and its related disciplines. These include the role of the researcher in studying nuclearity and, second, the new wave of infrastructure studies and how it can feed into nuclear studies.

Examining planning ‘by other means’: reflections on STS and planning from 4S/EASST by Shula Goulden

Couched within themes emerging from the broader whirlwind that was 4S/EASST, the track “STS and Planning” included a diverse set of presentations that offered an opportunity to reflect on planning research within an STS framework. Of particular interest to me was the openness to the types of knowledge that go into planning and the sometimes unexpected ways in which they perform. Many empirically rich examples showed how boundaries between familiar categories such as lay communities and professionals, expertise and personal judgement, scientific models and non-scientific judgements, are fluid and porous. The unpacking of ‘rational’ planning processes opened up room to consider how planning occurs in practice, and what planning may represent for different groups.

Towards a Just Society: STS in the International Panel on Social Progress by Sameea Ahmed Hassim

The International Panel on Social Progress is attempting to produce a reflexive and interdisciplinary perspective on social progress. While STS articulations of the role of experts, expertise, power, governance and the social construction of science and technology have found meaning in such an endeavor, the IPSP could further reflect on its knowledge production process so that the global community recognizes the products of this endeavor as credible and legitimate.

Doing and Talking Research Excellence: By Other Means? by Ieva Puzo

In this short essay I reflect on two 4S/EASST Barcelona conference events in which I participated: the “Governing Research Excellence” track and the postgraduate workshop. While thinking through the themes discussed during both events, I highlight that STS scholars, like any other researchers, are affected by research policies that define excellence increasingly narrowly. However, I suggest that STS researchers are very well-positioned to engage with this issue by examining not only the expertise, but also the “humanity” of those enlisted to produce research excellence, thus offering critiques of and alternatives to the excellence rhetoric and structures.

Reflections on science-society relationship Improving scientific communication and practice by Michal Stevove

Scientific thinking and method have incredible potential to improve the world. To utilise it, a relationship between science and society needs to be positive and strong. Current post-truth environment, however, detracts from science’s legitimacy as a source of knowledge, worsening the perceived value of science in the society. At the conference, two relevant issues stood out for me the most: science communication and scientific research. Consequently, I formulated three questions to consider for science-society relationship: ‘Could we use museums as a platform for more direct engagement with science?’; ‘Could we improve science communication practices by a careful inclusion of lay knowledge?’; and ‘How to approach reproducibility crisis if open data practices are at best only part of the solution?’

Open Science in Practice STS by Katja Mayer, Eduard Aibar

Our conference track invited STS scholars to explore Open Science from an STS perspective and to discuss what STS can bring into the broader discussion. Open science is broadly defined as science that is transparent, accountable, and shareable, involving the participation of (all) relevant stakeholders in the scientific process. With this report we would like to highlight several discussion points of the broad spectrum from normative imaginaries of openness to undogmatic open practices. Therefore, while the emphasis of our remarks is on the diversity of enactments of openness, we can only present four snapshots of our track: co-production of knowledge in participatory settings, open data practices, scientific ethos and trust, and policy imaginaries of openness in research and innovation.

History, ontology, science studies How to study open science and scientific data by Judit Gárdos

Based on the tracks “Open Science” and “Lives and Death of Data” at the yearly EASST/4S conference in Barcelona I make some remarks on how science studies analyse the so-called “open science” and the “lifecycle of data”. I propose that including ontological and historical aspects when studying these topics might benefit our understanding of the methodological, political, scientific or cultural determinants of the emergence of these categories, and also help unveil what our own roles as scientists are in shaping the things we then analyse.

News from the Council

EASST Student Member on the EASST Council – one vacancy

Recent issues


Earlier issues can be browsed or dowloaded as pdf

EASST Review: Volume 33(3) September 2014EASST Review: Volume 33(3) September 2014 PDF

  • A tale of one two conferences

EASST Review: Volume 33(1) March 2014EASST Review: Volume 33(1) March 2014 PDF

About Time; First Croatian STS Section Meeting; Nordic STS – making ourselves relevant?; EASST and National STS Associations Strengthen Links and Discuss Collaborative Activities

EASST Review: Volume 32(4) December 2013EASST Review: Volume 32(4) December 2013 PDF

On the Geographies of STS; What if we don’t buy it?; Mattering Press.

EASST Review: Volume 32(3) September 2013EASST Review: Volume 32(3) September 2013 PDF

Are You Paranoid Yet?, Conference Report: Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities, Launch of Science in Society: caring for our futures in turbulent times

EASST Review: Volume 32(2) June 2013EASST Review: Volume 32(2) June 2013 PDF

Congratulations!, Science Wars Redux, Science and Technology Parks in Italy, Broadening the Knowledge Base in Policymaking: Notes on a Symposium on Technology Assessment in the Walloon Parliament, First Nordic STS conference, April 2013

EASST Review: Volume 32(1) March 2013EASST Review: Volume 32(1) March 2013 PDF

European Spring?; Prototyping an Academic Network: People, Places and Connection;, Bridging the gaps – Summer Schools on Climate Engineering; SAME, SAME BUT DIFFERENT,

EASST Review: Volume 31(4) Dec 2012EASST Review: Volume 31(4) Dec 2012 PDF

Place-Making; Dr Brian Easlea; Fred Jevons 1929 – 2012; Questioning Marginalisation Within STS; Dutch STIS Celebrates 25 Years

EASST Review: Volume 31(3) Sept 2012EASST Review: Volume 31(3) Sept 2012 PDF

My Climate Sin, Opening Up Societal Futures through EU Research and Innovation Agendas, The Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network, Making Data Accessible for All.

EASST Review: Volume 31(1) March 2012EASST Review: Volume 31(2) June 2012 PDF

EASST, North and South; “Centring on the Periphery”: STS Field in Latin America; How do you Manage? Unravelling the Situated Practice of Environmental Management; New Centre for Design and Innovation for Sustainable Transitions at the new Aalborg University campus located in the South Harbour of Copenhagen

EASST Review: Volume 31(1) March 2012EASST Review: Volume 31(1) March 2012 PDF

Organising STS; What Works Where and for Whom?; The birth of the Belgian Network for Science, Technology and Society (BSTS network); A pioneer in trouble: Danish Board of Technology are facing problems

EASST Review: Volume 30(4) December 2011EASST Review: Volume 30(4) December 2011 PDF

Coming Together in 2012; The EASST Awards; Cities, Infrastructures, Networks

EASST Review: Volume 30(3)September 2011EASST Review: Volume 30(3)September 2011 PDF

Crossroads as Places; “Making Visible the Invisible” STS Field in Spain; Feminist Technoscience Studies: Articulating the Human and the Non-Human

EASST Review: Volume 30(2)June 2011EASST Review: Volume 30(2)June 2011 PDF

Does […] matter?; Reconsidering uncertainty, a brief note on track 06

EASST Review: Volume 30(1) March 2011EASST Review: Volume 30(1) March 2011 PDF

Democracy, coming soon to a theatre near you; Farewell, Michel!

EASST Review: Volume 29(4) December 2010EASST Review: Volume 29(4) December 2010 PDF

STS and Neuroscience Objects and Practices; Cuts to academia, 25 years of EASST conferences

Archived Issues (PDF Only)

EASST Review: Volume 29(3) September 2010 PDF

Transdisciplinary Interaction; Development Label as Sense and Nonsense, 25 years of EASST conferences

EASST Review: Volume 29(2) July 2010 PDF

In Memoriam: Susan Leigh Star

EASST Review: Volume 29(1) February 2010 PDF

EASST Nationally; Technoscience & Global South

EASST Review: Volume 28(4) November 2009 PDF

Thinking big at 4S; Urban laboratories

EASST Review: Volume 28(3) October 2009 PDF

Olga Amsterdamska; When Species Meet

EASST Review: Volume 28(2) June 2009 PDF

EASST Forum; Digital Methods

EASST Review: Volume 28(1) February 2009 PDF

Revisting Relevance in STS; Participatory Policy-making

EASST Review: Volume 27(2) June 2008 PDF

EASST Forum Bots; Trails through the 4S/EASST Joint Meeting

EASST Review: Volume 27(1) March 2008 PDF

Maintaining Scientific Communities; Developing Complex Technologies

EASST Review: Volume 26(3/4) September 2007 PDF

Friedrich Dessauer; Qualitative Inquiry and the Conservative Challenge

EASST Review: Volume 26(2) July 2007 PDF

Summertime; The Problem of Health Technology

EASST Review: Volume 26(1) March 2007 PDF

Counting Edges; Publishing Practices Debate

EASST Review: Volume 25(4) December 2006 PDF

Science in the Context of Application; Re-viewing the EASST Review

EASST Review: Volume 25(3) September 2006 PDF

Cultural Assessment of Nanotechnology; Eco-knowledge; Reflections on the 2006 EASST Conference, Lausanne

EASST Review: Volume 25(2) June 2006 PDF

STS & Science Policy; Reviewing Humanness

EASST Review: Volume 25(1) March 2006 PDF

Middle-range theory; Policy advice & quality control

EASST Review: Volume 24(2/3) September 2005 PDF

Nanotechnology & Society; Assembling Things

EASST Review: Volume 24(1) March 2005 PDF

Actor Network Theory and Psychology; Objects of Knowledge

EASST Review: Volume 23(3) September 2004 PDF

Reports from the joint 4S & EASST Conference, Aug 2004; Shifting boundaries between science and politics?; Science narratives

EASST Review: Volume 23(2) June 2004 PDF

Reality is …; Making sense of the seams between science and society; Sites of knowledge production

EASST Review: Volume 23(1) March 2004 PDF

Framing GM food; When public debate meets government; Styles of reasoning in the debate on GMOs

EASST Review: Volume 22(1) March 2003 PDF

Tributes to David Edge

EASST Review: Volume 21(3/4) December 2002 PDF

Contentious science; How not to think about biotechnology; The issue crawler

EASST Review: Volume 21(2) June 2002 PDF

Telling stories – to some effect; In the land of Lomborg

EASST Review: Volume 21(1) March 2002 PDF

Does interdisciplinarity really exist?; Knowledge in plural context; Genetics and the interstices of knowledge

EASST Review: Volume 20(3) September 2001 PDF

When science meets film

EASST Review: Volume 20(2) June 2001 PDF

On writing beyond rationality; The technology of voting; An introduction to green knowledge; STS and the Dutch

EASST Review: Volume 20(1) March 2001 PDF

Deep play and social responsibility in Vienna; Governance & Science Group; The international science shop network

EASST Review: Volume 19(4) December 2000 PDF

Cyberculture studies at the turn of the century; Report on the 4S / EASST Conference in Vienna

EASST Review: Volume 19(1) March 2000 PDF

The politics of computer profiling; Pretentions and politics; About not being afraid of the technological sublime

EASST Review: Volume 18(4) December 1999 PDF

The dialectics of sustainable technology; Preferring the wild west; Real issues in virtual space

EASST Review: Volume 18(1) March 1999 PDF

Regulatory futures; Did NASA become the post office gone to space?

EASST Review: Volume 17(4) December 1998 PDF

Germ theory in a colonial setting; Understanding scientific reearch on the periphery; EASST Lisbon conference; Socio-economic studies of science, technology & innovation in Spain; REDES and the building of a Latin American tradition in STS studies; Transition within the transition; Whither public participation in technology?

EASST Review: Volume 17(2) June 1998 PDF

The auscultation of medical practices from past and present; The globalization of environmental discourse; Introducing SSK; Response to domesticating biotechnology; A future perspective on STS and scientometrics; Forum on genetics and society

EASST Review: Volume 17(1) March 1998 PDF

Domesticating biotechnology

EASST Review: Volume 16(2) June 1997 PDF

When technoscience rewrites biology; How can we educate green engineers?; Letter from London

EASST Review: Volume 16(1) March 1997 PDF

Technological culture and literary representation; Diverging perceptions of hazards and risks; Science, gender and science fiction;

EASST Review: Volume 15(4) December 1996 PDF

Knowing the sociology of technology; Future for SSK?; The environmental movement and science policy; STS participation in TSER Programme; A network of European centres in STS; The future location of research

EASST Review: Volume 15(3) September 1996 PDF

Sociology of Science – Should scientists care?; Comparing notes; Mathematics, quantication and social change; Quantitative measuring or qualitative understanding?

EASST Review: Volume 15(2) June 1996 PDF

No surfing on science beach!; How I learned to start worrying; STS on other planets; Letter from London

 

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