Editorial: Research Cultures and editorial team renewal

by Jose A. Cañada, Roos Hopman, Stefan Laser, Sarah Schönbauer, Richard Tutton & Niki Vermeulen

Dear all,

The last issue of EASST Review began a necessary conversation on research cultures. The objective to open and analyse the field where most of us have been working for years is no easy feat. There is a lot of ground to cover, and it is not easy to be critical and constructive at the same time when so much is at stake. We therefore decided to give more space for the conversation to develop and so in the December 2023 issue of EASST Review, we continue the discussion. This issue has STS Live pieces that cover important topics that were left unattended in our previous issue: mentoring and decolonisation. We also have two contributions in the STS Multiple section, which illustrate ways in which STS communities try to develop spaces for sustained and sustainable, collegiate and heterogeneous forms of academic collaboration. We are satisfied with the way these two issues have opened up key areas for discussion. However, we want to remind all readers that EASST Review continues to be open, as it always has been, to discussing the challenges that STS faces in building welcoming and inclusive research cultures.

This issue also includes, sadly, another In Memoriam contribution dedicated to the passing of philosopher and historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller, whose contributions examined the relationship between gender and science, and whose insights into the importance of metaphor had a big impact in STS circles.

Only 6 months ago, we were proud to introduce Jose A. Cañada as a new member of the editorial board. After this issue, Jose will be the longest-serving member of the editorial team! The reason being that Niki Vermeulen and Sarah Schönbauer, who have been at the wheel of EASST Review since November 2020, will be stepping down after three years of fantastic work. Thank you! In their place, we have three new members of the editorial team who will join Jose in making sure the EASST Review continues to play its vital role in the STS community: Roos Hopman (Humboldt University Berlin/Museum für Naturkunde-Berlin), Stefan Laser (Ruhr University Bochum) and Richard Tutton (University of York).

Roos Hopman is a researcher between the Natural History Museum Berlin and the Humboldt University Berlin. In her work she spends a lot of time thinking about data practices, collections, and digital insects. Roos brings experience working in STS contexts in the Netherlands and Germany to the EASST Review, hoping to make space for the concerns of junior researchers especially.

Stefan Laser is a postdoctoral researcher with the Collaborative Research Centre Virtual Lifeworlds at Ruhr-University Bochum. He has a background in Sociology yet is firmly anchored in all things STS, until recently as a board member of stsing e.V. in Germany. In the EASST Review, Stefan focuses on early-career matters on the one hand and software and platform development on the other.

Richard Tutton is based in the Department of Sociology and co-directs the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) at the University of York. He has more than ten years’ editorial experience at New Genetics and Society and from special issues of Science as Culture, Sociology, and The Sociological Review. He also serves on EASST Council, having been elected to a second term in 2022. His research interests span social studies of outer space and sociology of futures.

With this extended editorial team, bringing diverse experiences and insights to the table, we hope that EASST Review continues to provide relevant content to the STS community, while also increasing the Review’s online presence, improving the functioning of the website and broadening its reader base. We look forward to this new phase in the history of EASST Review!

We end this editorial by reiterating our thanks to Niki and Sarah for all their work and thanking too James Besse. A special shout out goes to Niki Vermeulen. You kept it running (also when others e.g. went into parental leave, were sick) and your passion for the EASST community is inspiring to us and hopefully others as well. We cannot strengthen enough how important it was that you initiated the editorial team to keep the EASST Review alive. And not only this: you were always hands-on and have breathed new life into the review. Thanks for your commitment, your open eyes and ears and for steering the team from issue to issue. We also want to wholeheartedly thank Sarah for all her enthusiasm and creative contributions, bringing novel topics and perspectives to the EASST Review, including much-needed attention to precarious research careers and research culture more broadly and to the importance of environmental sustainability in STS, e.g. through the composition of a special issue on waste last year. They worked together with James Besse as editorial assistant, who has over the last three years carefully edited the many contributions and corrected our English language mistakes. We wish him all the very best for the final steps in the PhD process and on the new road afterwards.

Last but not least, we want to thank Anna Gonchar, who has played a central role behind the scenes of the EASST Review since 2015, being in charge of the layout of the pdf edition of the publication as well as the web edition. She is now dedicating her time to a PhD on the connections between press, politics and architecture in the Weimar Republic, with a case study on the architecture and curatorial concept of a press exhibition that took place in 1928 in Cologne. We wish her all the very best on the successful completion and thank her for her dedication to the EASST Review for so many years.

We hope you will enjoy reading this EASST Review and please do let us know if you want to contribute to the next edition, which will come out in Spring and before we all gather in Amsterdam in July.

With very best wishes from the editorial team

Jose A. Cañada, Roos Hopman, Stefan Laser, Sarah Schönbauer, Richard Tutton & Niki Vermeulen