Hearty congratulations to Bruno Latour, to his colleagues and collaborators, and to the field of Science and Technology Studies as a whole. Bruno was recently awarded this year’s Holberg Prize.

Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754), though probably best remembered as a playwright, also held professorships (plural!) in metaphysics and logic, Latin rhetoric, and history at Copenhagen University. In 2003, the Norwegian government established the Ludvig Holberg Memorial Fund, the interest of which is used to finance three annual awards:

  • The Holberg International Memorial Prize (or just the Holberg Prize for short) is awarded annually for outstanding scholarly work in the fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology. The prize amount is NOK 4.5 million (Approximately EUR 590,000 at current exchange rates).
  • The Nils Klim Award of NOK 250,000 is awarded to an outstanding young (under age 35) Nordic researcher in the same fields as for the Holberg Prize, and
  • The Holberg Prize Schools Project is a research competition for pupils in upper secondary schools in Norway.
    Bruno’s name has now been added to the growing line of winners of the Holberg Prize. As usual, the announcement of this year’s winner triggered considerable debate. More on that below under the title “Science Wars Redux”.

But for now let me point out that the Holberg Prize is not awarded for a single book, or even for an entire life’s work, on the basis of its inherent qualities. The award is given for a body of work that has deeply affected the course of one or more disciplines or interdisciplinary fields. In other words, a winner never wins on his or her own. It takes a whole community’s participation in an intellectual project for that project to earn a Holberg Prize. Therefore, I repeat:

  • Congratulations, Bruno!
  • Congratulations all colleagues who have participated in constructing Actor Network Theory!
  • Congratulations to the entire STS community that has critiqued, developed, embraced, and generally put the theory to use!

Editorially yours, Ann Rudinow Sætnan