Traditionally, scientific societies have been conceived as organizations whose main mission was to defend the interests of their members. Consistent with that vision, when it comes to publicizing them, much emphasis has been placed on the advantages they offer to those who become new members.
However, if I had to encourage joining the EASST, I would focus not as much on the benefits that it can bring to its members, but for the contributions to the common good that the existence of this association makes possible.
Certainly, there are benefits, but they are not only for members, but for the community of reference of that society as a whole. This is especially important in our case, because we are not a big community. It is true that STS has been gaining practitioners throughout its not very long history, but it is obvious that it does not constitute a field of study around which are gathered a number of academics comparable to other scientific disciplines. Therefore, a scientific society like EASST allows to start and/or sustain initiatives that are absolutely necessary for the maintenance and recognition of the community.
Whate are these EASST contributions?
– EASST organizes periodic scientific meetings that allow not only the dissemination of knowledge, but also the establishment and consolidation of collaborative relationships between colleagues from different countries.
– It contributes to make possible the publication of an open access quality journal such as Science and Technology Studies.
– It gives out awards that recognize the trajectory or achievements of academics in this field of knowledge.
– It assists local organizations with financial support for symposia or other academic activities. For instance, it played a key role in the support of the first meetings of our REDES CTS, the STS network established since 2011 between Spain and Portugal.
– It supports young people at the beginning of their academic careers by ensuring that they have a voice on their Council and that they find the support they need to participate in community events.
– It publishes and distributes an organ of expression, EASST Review, which has as its main objective to make visible the activity and concerns of the community
Obviously, to make all this possible, people are needed to support the association. Being a member is, without a doubt, already a contribution. But it is also obvious that membership alone is not enough. We need a strong Council to develop so many crucial activities. This is why we need people who are willing to give a little more. A little bit of their time, a little bit of their work capacity, a little bit of their enthusiasm to enable everything good that EASST does to be realized and, if possible, to go even further.
We want EASST to become a privileged interlocutor for all those actors who understand the importance of the interactions between science, technology and society in the contemporary world, whether they are government agencies or activists and members of social movements. Because to understand our present we need more science and technology studies, we need more EASST, we need you.