In this editorial from the new EASST review editorial team…Okay, that sounds a bit too classic… perhaps démodé…Let us start again. It is our pleasure to…even worse. What if we cut this quick and collectively thank Ignacio Farias for the terrific job transforming the EASST Review over the past years? He has made it a much more central and contemporary communication platform for EASST and a great source for European STS info, including the new STS Live section to discuss contemporary issues. And of course also many thanks to Sabine Biederman and Anna Gonchar for their important work behind the scenes creating the reviews distinct style, and to the international editorial board members for their diverse contributions over the past years.
That was the right start! Surely it is difficult to replace Ignacio, we know that and, thus… we have decided a transition towards an editorial team consisting of Sarah Schönbauer (Munich Center for Technology in Society, Technical University of Munich), Vincenzo Pavone (Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos of the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid) and Niki Vermeulen (Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh). Niki was already part of the editorial board and as such it is very much our plan to continue and consolidate the current path of the EASST Review, but with some new faces and perspectives and with a special emphasis on the importance of collaboration in academia.
In our view, the EASST Review is occupying an important space, in between the research articles in our STS journals and the activities of our local STS hubs, connecting the STS community on a European level. The section STS multiple is showcasing local groups and their programmes, and we would also like to use this section to showcase the various national STS associations and their activities. Cherish not perish is set-up to tell about new journals and alternative publication platforms relevant for STS but we aim to broaden this further and go beyond publications platforms. We also want to shine a light on the great variety of experiences and impact that STS scholars are having as part of their work as consultants, in political activities, among civil society organizations, in non-academic educational settings and elsewhere.
STS Live is dedicated to developing contemporary themes and discussing current issues, whereby we invite a variety of scholars to contribute their work and thoughts. In our next issue (coming out in February) we will focus (surprise, surprise) on the impact of COVID on our scholarship and community, but for later issues we already have topics such as environmental pollution and toxicity, experiences and challenges of early career scholars, and the meaning of open science in STS in mind. But we also know that YOU have great ideas on themes and contributions and we welcome ideas and reflections from all EASST members to shape the future of the review. It is OUR Review, after all, and this is what it is all about. We want the EASST Review to be the journal you look out for and the place where you first send an idea or contribution when it pops up in your mind. Thereby we also hope to find new collective ways to expand our EASST online platform, facilitating the flow of information and posting about events, ideas, and contributions in a more immediate way and creating exciting interactions.
This current EASST Review is – as it is every two years – completely dedicated to our conference which took place in August, this time together with 4S. We enjoyed seeing many of you there on the various online platforms and of course we would like to thank the organising team again, as they worked wonders, transitioning from preparing a physical meeting in Prague to the hosting of an online version of Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and agency of STS in emerging worlds. The theme of the conference became even more relevant, creating an alternative conference format which allowed us to still gather in Prague, albeit virPrague. As such it might not be a coincidence that one of the organisers Filip Vostal suggested Kafka’s Runner (1907-8) for this issues cover illustration. For an account of his experience as conference organiser, please see his contribution which is accompanied by reflections of conference participants on topics or sessions from the conference. The first Vir_Conference has generated and shared much more than a huge amount of terabytes in videos, slideshows and image captures. This issue is showcasing some conference innovations, such as comics, podcasts and spin-off meetings, as well as crucial reflections on the effects of current times on academic labour, e.g. on how the digital conference experience can be combined with care. This latter contribution connects to our upcoming issue which hopes to take reflections on academic work in times of COVID further.
Finally, we want to emphasise the importance of the roles that the EASST president and council members are fulfilling in our European STS community. We have therefore dedicated some space to the announcement of the upcoming EASST members meeting and the call for a new president and council members and would encourage all to consider putting themselves forward. We are looking forward to work with Ulrike Felt and the new EASST president, the EASST council and EASST members, and would welcome all your ideas and contributions to the review. You can reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we are looking forward to hear from you, as the EASST Review consists of contributions from the community. Next contribution could, indeed, be yours.