News from EASST Council

by Fred Steward – EASST President

EASST Council meets twice a year to discuss on-going business. We normally rotate around the cities / institutions of Council members and in October we were at the recently founded Munich Centre for Technology in Society which is part of the Technical University of Munich. We were hosted by Ignacio Farias, EASST Council member and EASST Review Editor.

Some of the things we discussed extensively – including the forthcoming EASST / 4S Conference in Barcelona in 2016 and a new round of EASST Awards for Collaborative Activity – are reported elsewhere in the Review. We also discussed conferences more generally. This is part of on-going discussions about whether EASST should have conference more frequently. If you have views on this we would be pleased to hear them.

We had an extensive discussion about publications. Science & Technology Studies our peer reviewed, online journal is doing very well in terms of submissions and readership. There will be exciting developments to be announced in the New Year. Council is very pleased with the development of EASST Review and discussed plans for a group of people to support the editor, to generate more copy, and to make it more readable via the website. More widely we are upgrading our website so that it is more suited to tablets and mobiles.

Council discussed a range of initiatives in the field that we feel it is important to link to in various ways. One of them is the International Panel on Social Progress, a global initiative with a strong cross-cutting presence of STS colleagues which will produce a draft report in the middle of 2016. EASST will seek to facilitate dialogue around this. Another is our discussions with ESST on initiatives to promote and extend collaborative Masters level activities and knowledge exchange in Europe. These and others will be discussed in future issues of the Review. We are also planning a further meeting with National STS associations in the New Year where these and other issues will be addressed. If you are part of such an association and haven’t been involved in previous meetings, then please do get in touch.

There was also discussion of the way EASST business is progressed between meetings. Council members took on different areas of responsibility to try to ensure that all the good ideas that come up when we meet lead to tangible outcomes in the months ahead!