RONALD KLINE: Wow, you quieted down rather quickly. OK? My name is Ronald Kline. I'm with Cornell S&TS, and instead of having a lunchtime speaker, we're having a lunchtime panel with editors and former editors of S&TS.
These folks I think you know pretty well, but we have Suman Seth from Osiris, Susan Cozzens, the former editor of Science, Technology, and Human Values. I feel like I'm in a time of [INAUDIBLE]. Mike Lynch, the former editor of 3S-- Ed Hackett, the editor of Science, Technology and Human Values-- Wes Shrum, the longtime secretary of 4S-- Sergio Sismondo, the current editor of Social Studies of Science-- Margaret Rossiter, a former editor of Isis and Osiris.
So the way we're going to do this is the panelists will speak for about five minutes each, and that should give us time for some questions. And so we're going to start with the person's slides [INAUDIBLE]
SUMAN SETH: So I'm going to be one of the historians of science talking today-- our first reminder of the role that the history of science has played within STS in the last 40 years. I'm here to talk about one of the two journals produced by the American History of Science Society. Osiris is a rather peculiar beast as journals go.
If appears yearly as a single volume. Every year, scholars-- usually at lease a couple working together-- submit detailed proposals for a volume. The editors and the editorial board then make up a discussion about the best of these, with then publication taking about three years. This volume is capped at about 175,000 words, which is actually pretty large. So we have, for example, about 18 9,000-10,000 word papers in each volume.
I've only taken up the editorship in last year. It seems, as far as I'm aware, the first time that there have been co-editors for the journal. I'm joined by Patrick McCray, Professor at Santa Barbara. Both of us served as members of the editorial board under the previous, wonderful editor Andrea Rusnock.
To give you an idea of what the journal looks like nowadays, I'm just going to-- this is the reason for the slide. It's so you can have a look at some of the titles that we've had in the last few years. Those coming out in the next few years will be on the history of the data, science, and science fiction, and science and capitalism.
Now, among the nice things about Osiris is that there's actually room, genuinely, for a kind of explicit editorial vision. So Patrick and I have tried to be clear about the kinds of proposals we'd most like to see. You can see, now-- all kinds of politics, and also the kinds of topics that we're interested in. These are the ones that we've listed on the website as things that we particularly encourage contributions for.
When [? Cathy Owesco ?] was editor for 11 volumes, she noted that she aimed to dissolve boundaries between history and literary science. Now, I have to say, I have my own issues with that project. On the one hand, I think that historians of science should, of course, be well-trained historians, and be interested in the general contextualization of scientific work. But I also think there's an onus on general historians to buy a product, and not just for us to sell one.
I'm often somewhat frustrated by how difficult it can be to engage many general historians on issues that should be of general importance. So Patrick and I are, I think, interested in dissolved boundaries. Different boundaries-- some, of course, you can see up here-- interest her-- to use a word I hate-- in a different kind of diversity.
Now, on the one hand, we're not exactly poster-boys for such a project. We began our lives-- both of us-- as historians in physics. Indeed, we actually hit the market at the same time. He interviewed here. I interviewed at Santa Barbara. Neither of us got offers from the other person's institution. But both of us-- like, indeed, many other historians of physics-- have moved away from our roots. Patrick is now working on science, technology, and art. I've moved to the colonial history of medicine and race, and also work on post-colonial science studies. I'm also know-- and I am, as far as I'm aware-- the first person of color to become an editor of any American history of science journal.
Thank you. It's well worth noting that if we have editors up here, I'm actually reasonably sure that I'm probably the person of color coming in through any of the major journals now. [INAUDIBLE] but we can work out whether that's true. If it's not strictly true, it's pretty damn close to true.
So the kinds of quote-unquote "diversity" that we've been explicitly pushing has been diversity of the kind that you see up here-- and interested, for example, in queer theory, an interest in disability studies, an interest in post-colonial theory of race, for example-- but also a kind of disciplinary diversity. So [? Andrea, ?] as you can tell some of the earlier topics, they don't really push the journal towards an emphasis on larger things, and insisted that proposals work, and basically now we're kind of at a through-line-- it's an insistence-- proposals have to show a geographical and temporal diversity.
There have been less of the particular science in a particular place kinds of volumes on Andrea's watch. Patrick and I have been following upon and expanding upon this logic. And I think this is why it's kind of useful to talk about in this setting-- we're not, for example, terribly interested in maintaining boundaries between the history of science and the history of technology and the history of medicine. I think all of that stuff needs to be getting away with-- I mean, we need to talk one another more.
I've been actually waging a surreptitious war for a few years about the temporal bounding of the history of science. So the special issue on race in Isis-- I made sure, for example, that genuinely contemporary work by [? Wangham ?] for Wiley-- that is to say, not just recent history but actually contemporary work-- was part of the mix. The special issue of post-colonial studies, [INAUDIBLE] science, colonialism, and post coloniality brought together work by historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.
So with Osiris we want to break down the boundary between the history of science and [? STS. ?] So as those of you who think about proposing things go forward, think about pitching stuff to us. You are our ideal audience. So if I could end on that note.
RONALD KLINE: Well, I think what we'll do-- we'll have each speaker speak their [INAUDIBLE] for five minutes, and then we'll have the discussion at the end. [INAUDIBLE]
SUMAN SETH: OK. Should I just pass the-- OK. I'm going to go back a little bit to the historical theme. I'm one of those [INAUDIBLE] that's doing the reminiscence, so it's good that we're enjoying so much. I believe I'm the only person here from Georgia Tech. But I do want to say that Georgia Tech, institutionally, has had a number of individuals who have been involved with 4S really closely over the years, and actually hosted one of the early meetings in Atlanta-- maybe the third of fourth-- something along that line.
I came into STS through sociology of science. Tom Gearing and I were actually graduate students together at Columbia. But I can very happily say I've never had to carry Martin's suitcases. A gendered roll, Tom, somehow. And contrary to Sal's hallucinations, I was actually not at the Cornell first meeting of 4S. I was getting married at that point, so I'm celebrating my 40th wedding anniversary along with the celebrations for 4S.
But I then got to the the second meeting, and went to 23 straight. The question of what actually got me to the difficult decision not to go to number 26-- I think I was actually a week in the way that Erin was talking about this morning. I made some conscious choices about being some place else, because what I was working on at that point-- and what was really important to me -- was not there in Florence.
I was the program chair for the first meeting that we had jointly with East that was held again in Belgium. And then I was elected to council in 1985. And that must have been the moment when we decided on council that we wanted to have a journal for the Society of the Social Studies of Science. And Darrell [? Shusen ?] and I bravely took up the task of trying to start a journal from absolute scratch with no publisher, because that was what the society needed at that point.
And as with the people who don't remember a lot about the content of the Cornell '76 meeting but remember other things, what I really remember about trying to get this journal started-- called Science and Technology Studies-- was the typesetter that we working with. It was kind of early in the electronic publishing era, and I found this guy to work with. I was in Washington at the time. And it was just really hard. Deadlines had nothing to [INAUDIBLE] a struggle. And then, Darrell and I were switching places. He was coming in to Washington when I was leaving to go to my first job at IIT-- and I tried to get him to inherit this typesetter, and he wasn't putting up with the guy. So I ended up finding a new typesetter in Chicago.
But we struggled through a few issues at this journal. And then the offer came along from Science, Technology, and Human values to have that journal become the 4S journal. There were negotiations for about a year. Ed, are you going to tell any of the history of--
ED HACKETT: No, go ahead.
SUSAN COZZENS: --the earlier history. So ST&HV had started as a newsletter at MIT and Harvard, and then had grown up into a journal that was being published by Wiley. And Wiley was interested in selling the journal, and 4S was interested in taking on the journal. So we went through the transition. And Darrell had dropped out at that point, so I was kind of the looked for as editor, and thus inherited the first editorship for Science, Technology, and Human Values under [INAUDIBLE].
I have to say that, in some ways, where the society was at that point and what the journal was at that point were kind of oil and water. There was a lot of skepticism in the society about the name of the journal. There were questions like, human values? What other kind of values would there be? I remember a comment from Michel [? Kumone-- ?] and I'm going to slaughter the French-- but he said something like ooh, retro-- a little old fashioned. It was kind of, oh, I'm going back to the '70s with all the stuff they published in this journal.
And Kurt [? Kotchefor's ?] deal to the readers of ST&HV at that point to have epistemology and ethnomethodology and all those things starting to appear in the journal. But my view as editor was that the scope of the journal is the scope of the society, not what had happened under the various editorships. And so we moved on into that territory.
The other thing is that I wanted to call-- and I want to say that I had already decided to talk about these before our conversation in the last session-- where two editorials that I was able to do-- because really, as a journal editor, in many ways you are passive-- much more than when the books scare you with names like Osiris. You take what comes to you. And so, if there are gaps in the field in relation to what you think should be happening, there's not a whole lot you can do about that, because you can't write the articles.
But I did do two editorials during my time that I would like to call out. One was called Whose Movement? STS and Social Justice. If was based on some remarks I had made to the Science, Technology, and Society Society about, oh, we see our roots in all these other movements in the '70s. You know, we can see our roots in the women's movement. We can see our roots in the environmental movement. What happened to the civil rights movement? What happened to social justice? It's [INAUDIBLE]
And that was published in about '91 or '92. But the other one I wanted to mention was something called the female founders of STS, which was published in 1993. It was actually the editorial in my last issue of Science, Technology, and Human Values. The back-story on that was that this young society was growing up-- it was forming-- we started with prizes. And we had several prizes already in the works. And I said at a business meeting, when a suggestion came forward for a flag prize, to add to [? Mullen's ?] and [? Burnow. ?]
And I raised my hand and said, is it time for us to have a prize named for a woman? [? Everett ?] [? Negel ?] had actually just given a great talk at this meeting. And when she brought up Rachael Carson's name, I said, oh, wouldn't it be interesting to have a prize named for Rachael Carson. Harry Collins was the president.
[INAUDIBLE] he went down with his thumb, very [INAUDIBLE] he was terribly offended. And he came up with a wonderful bureaucratic procedure for dumping the idea, which was then taken up by the next president, [INAUDIBLE], who then engineered a process in a different direction. And we did end up with a Rachael Carson prize as-
SPEAKER 1: There is a mafia.
SUSAN COZZENS: --the result of that. Hmm?
SPEAKER 1: There is a mafia.
SUSAN COZZENS: There is a mafia. It's an excellent quotation from the [INAUDIBLE]. But actually I want to give that as an illustration of the fact that one of the things that we've been blessed with in 4S and in the STS is men who are feminists, and who are willing to take up these issues. So the editorial ends by saying-- and actually, I gave some of the figures-- the 1993 figures that would be the equivalent of what Michael presented this morning. Because it was very clear that we either had a sticky floor, a glass ceiling, or something along that line at that point.
So I ended the editorial by saying I am delighted to be able to hand over the editorship to [? Alda ?] [? Amsterdamska. ?] And if there is some legacy that I would really like to see carried forward in editorial policy, it's thinking about science, technology, and society in ways that actually open up who we're looking at, as well as who's participating. Ron, do you want Ed, as the other ST&HV editor to follow on this?
RONALD KLINE: Oh, OK. Ron editor, right?
ED HACKETT: All right, so I'm the current ST&HV editor. And I was just asked to continue on five more years, so if other things hold up, that's what I'll be doing. Where to begin? I really appreciate the task of integrating the history of science with STS. I tried to get started on that. I was the first non-historian program officer the STS program. Before that it was called the History and Philosophy of Science.
My predecessor, Ron Olberman, was the program officer for the grant that supported me as a graduate student. We defined it to include social studies of science, then declared himself incompetent to run a program such as that, because he was a historian. And so he was going to retire, and I became his successor. And my mission was to integrate history, philosophy of science, the history of technology and social studies of science and technology. And I kept trying to do that as program officer. And then I had the same job as the editor of ST&HV.
Before I forget, let me acknowledge the person who you really identify with ST&HV, which is Katy Van. She's my close colleague. We have like an Austin-Boston axis. But, running the journal, she remains in Texas, and we do a whole lot by email and Dropbox, which are marvelous. And the job of managing editors, you probably know, is to manage the editor. So I just do what she tells me. If something pops up in one of my Word files, I do it and send it back.
So I hope I don't miss the point. My view of the journal is through about 30 centimeters. I read every paper when it comes in. And Katy and I jointly decide whether to send it for review or not. And then I read every paper carefully before it's published. Well, I try to read it carefully. Some stuff is still slow.
So I see things at about this range. And it's actually a revelation to me to see what goes into an issue. Because I've also looked at the papers long before they actually appear in print between covers. And by the time it happens, hey, I've forgotten. I've looked at hundreds of papers.
My view of the journal, and my goal as editor, is really to manage a moderated conversation among authors and readers, with reviewers standing as like the elected officials of the readers-- standing in for the audience before the paper gets published. So I try to manage that conversation. And my agenda is to really have no agenda. That said, here are the principles-- the guidelines-- I think about it. I really am looking for work that's original. And I think, in the session just preceding this, we've just heard a rich vein for original work that we'll build on. What I think is a good foundation of work that addresses gender, race, and other inequalities in ST&HV. I think we have a bit of a foundation, but we really strongly welcome more.
So seeing Michael's talk is the brass band calling for your attention. We're looking for stuff that's consequential-- that makes a difference. That's the second question I ask of every manuscript. After saying, well, is this new-- then I keep asking, does this matter? Who's going to use this? What can we do with these ideas? How should we think differently, or act differently, knowing this stuff?
I'd like human values to be around somewhere in the paper, even if by inference or by imagination. You don't have have a segment that says "Addressing Human Values". Room But I think that what that journal wants to do is to bring science and technology into things that matter to humans. If I edited one of your papers, I hope you've discovered that I really care a lot about clarity. If that doesn't come through, then I'm not doing my job. But I spend an awful lot of time with papers, after their just about ready to publish, trying to make them clear. Because I think if it's clear, other people can make sense of it.
And part of that mission is I remove scare quotes wherever possible. Because, really, what those say is I'm going to use this term of phrase in an unconventional way-- which basically signals the reader that if you're not part of the group that knows how to use that term in this unconventional way, you're not going to understand what follows. And so that makes very little sense to me. So they're gone, unless there's a really compelling reason to do them.
And fifth, I look for work that enlarges the ambit of our activity. I look for work that gives us more work yet to do-- brings us into new spheres. So that's the way I see the history and present of ST&HV carrying us into what I hope will be a very exciting future.
A couple of things that I really would like to call attention to-- really specific needs. More comparative work-- we don't see enough of that. We see too much single-case stuff. I'd like to see more that's comparative. Related to that, I still think the empirical quality of our work could improve. It's gotten better. I'd love it to get better still.
I feel this isn't entirely our problem. I think that there is intense pressure on young folks to publish in academe. And so stuff gets rushed out-- like they try to publish the proposal right after it gets funded, figuring that they'll lay the groundwork for papers. And I'd really like to see the paper rather than the proposal. And I think, finally, this continued connection to action-- to policy, to making a difference in the world-- what we know is it should be a hallmark, going forward, of ST&HV. And I really welcome papers that do that. I hope that's five minutes' worth. Thanks.
RONALD KLINE: So in keeping with going forward-- former editor, current editor-- why don't we go with Mike Lynch, and then Sergio. MIKE LYNCH: Thank you. I'm going to talk about two things. One has to do with David [? Edge, ?] who was the founding editor of Social Studies for Science. And the other is the changes that occurred with that journal in the 10 years I edited it between 2002 and 2012.
I took over for David in 2002. And he and [? Roy McCleod ?] were founding editors, as I mentioned. And it was founded back in the mid '70s. David also was the president of the 4S, and the first director of the Science Studies Unit at Edinburgh, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary from its foundation. So it's a good kind of celebration.
David was immensely important for shaping the field in ways that aren't really represented in the publication record. There are a lot of things aren't often very visible, but he did so much of it, and with such passion, that it made me really appreciate his work. He was passionate about editing. And contrary to what many people may think, Social Studies of Science never had an official connection to the Society for Social Studies of Science.
And it came up this morning in one of the talks that David really wanted it to be separate from any official journal. And so it really was owned by Sage Publications, and still is. But he had the kind of huge hand in doing it. And just an indication of one of the things that happened is that when he retired as the editor in 2002, he offered-- in fact, insisted on being copy editor. Of course, I was delighted. To have him as copy editor. It lasted less than a year, because unfortunately he died about a year later. But he was actually passionate about copy editing. And he left a big void that I've tried to fill by doing a lot of kind of detailed work. And it's a kind of interesting way to-- It's the sort of like the work that an activist who reforms the field sentence by sentence, comma by comma, or scare quote by scare quote removed.
And it seems very trivial, but for many of us who published our first-- or one of our first-- papers with [INAUDIBLE] collaborating editors were very important. We're tutors. In some cases, more tutors-- and more effectively as tutors than our committee members. David was not enthusiastic about the information revolution that was happening before he left the editor's desk. He did reluctantly resort to email, but preferred handwritten letters, which were very difficult to read with his handwriting, and would often have a clipping about a sports team, or some other item of interest to the recipient of the letter. But during my 10 years-- and I've very backward in terms of information technology, but nonetheless we moved to, first, a kind of ad hoc designed electronic submission system, and then one that was imposed on us that is used by many, many different journals, including ST&HV.
So that necessitated really a change in the methods of the hands-on personal communication. But we tried to maintain that as much as possible in the face of those changes. And another thing happened in the early 2000s for reasons that I've really never had a very clear idea about. It had to do with growth in the field, but I think some other things as well. There was just a massive increase in the number of submissions. And I think that also happened with ST&HV.
So we probably doubles our submissions in the first five years of my editorship to about 200 a year. And now it's well over that. And with that increase in submissions it was much more of a wide range of topics. And as a gatekeeper, it was overwhelming to try to figure out how to pick some 30-odd publications to go out there. Now, the editor doesn't do that. There's lots of reviewers. There's lots of developers. [INAUDIBLE] like as Susan said, very reactive to what happens-- especially when we're [INAUDIBLE] the flood of submissions.
And yet, I think it's something that's noticeable at 4S meetings, as well, with the field. No longer is it just having permeable boundaries, but it's unbounded. And so there's many boundaries that are bureaucratically imposed or editorially imposed, seen and perhaps are inevitably arbitrary. And it's a difficult to selections being made, but it's something that has to happen. And you've got to trust in the people that are doing it.
I expect in another 10 years we'll see even more changes in the very institution of the journal. There's the risk it could happen now. The ownership of journals and publishers-- the imposition of editorial policies and select and so forth-- is rapidly eroding at this period. Now, maybe that's a good thing, but nobody quite know. But I think it's going to be a very exciting time.
SPEAKER 2: Microphone please. Thank you.
MIKE LYNCH: Oh, OK. Sorry. Yeah, I would just say that we'll have exciting times ahead with these changes in the very institution of what a journal is.
SERGIO SISMONDO: OK, so I had the privilege of taking on the editorship after Mike Lynch, who left the journal in impeccable shape. It was just a pleasure to sort of take it on after Mike's careful work for a decade. But let me start with 1976. I was not there. But the journal-- Social Studies of Science was a little bit connected to the Society for Social Studies of Science in spirit, if not in any kind of formal way. And you can see it in what was being published in 1976.
So if you take a look at the publications in Social Studies of Science in 1976, they actually span very, very much the kinds of topics that were being represented in the first meeting-- the first 4S meeting as well. There were specialty studies. There were the citation studies. There was some Mertonian work. There was history of science that was inflected with sociology.
Somewhat contrary to what [? Saul ?] was saying about Thomas Kuhn, Thomas Kuhn played a big role in the articles that were being published in 1976. Many, many of the articles were setting out to do something that would draw on Kuhn, or that were saying explicitly they were doing something-- a Kuhnian style of sociology of science, things like that. So Kuhn was very, very present in the journal.
In the fall of 1976, 3S-- as we call it-- published a conference proceedings from a conference that was held at York. And it included papers by people like Nigel Gilbert, and [? Mike Mulkay, ?] and others. And it included the paper that Stever [? Wolldar ?] mentioned earlier today-- a paper from his work on pulsar discoveries.
And that's an interesting kind of collection. It also includes some history of science that is clearly linked to strong program concerns and things like that. It's an interesting collection because it's one of the things that 3S did-- it was probably known it in its early days-- is kind of nurturing the new-- what came to be STS-- but the new sociology of science. It was a place where that could be published alongside the other things. It wasn't exclusive. I mean, the specialty studies continued to be published in 3S.
But UK-- especially UK sociology of scientific knowledge and related kind of labels were very, very prominent in early days. Social Studies of Science had only just become Social Studies of Science a year earlier. It started out its life under the name Science Studies-- the first issue in 1971. But in '75 it switched to Social Studies of Science. So something was in the air, there, about the label.
So let me-- so Kuhn. I just want to say, use Kuhn to take me to the longer trajectory of Social Studies of Science. Kuhn wrote a lovely essay and then the book in which it was published most prominently is The Essential Tension. And that's a lot about different kinds of conservatism versus different kinds of innovation, and the kind of tension that fields have to deal with as they are negotiating conservatism and innovation.
And obviously, STS has been an incredibly innovative field. If you look at the publications from 1976, they're familiar but they're also a small subset of the kinds of things that would be published today in 3S. But it's all very, very familiar looking. It has that kind of STS sensibility that Bruno was talking about earlier. But you can talk to other people in STS. At the same time, there's been a lot of growth.
And some of this is-- I think this is just repeating some things that have already been said, but-- it takes place incrementally as reviewers and reviewers have to decide about one particular article. Is it this one that really doesn't fit the mold of things that we've been publishing in the past? Is this one going to make it in? And if it is, this that becomes a new expansion of the field, as least as represented by 3S or any other journal.
And so there's that kind of incremental movement. And there's been a lot of it. I mean, 3S has published some pretty wild things over the years. It has expanded into new territories. We published a reasonable number of articles on the new social studies of finance, which would have been an important discussion about whether this was really part of STS, originally. But all sorts of different areas are-- the journal is expanding, to some extent representing the expansion of the field.
Now, because there are a lot of graduate students in the room, I want to say that the expansion of the field-- this is you. As somebody else said earlier-- this is you. 3S-- the normative article in my mind about being published in 3S-- not the only kind of article, but sort of where the center of the journal is-- is a well-worked over chapter from a dissertation or immediately post-dissertation work of a scholar in STS or some allied field.
When I say well-worked over, this is how you get to move the field into a new terrain, or how you get to publish even in the old terrain. It needs to be-- it needs loving attention. What we really, really want is an article that you love. I won't guarantee that that will be published. But if you love it, it really has a chance of making it forward. And the fact that it's done-- the fact that it might be a little bit different from things that you think-- or have been published in the journal in the past-- may matter an awful lot less than that you are taking that STS sensibility, applying it in one way or another to traditional or new topics-- something like that-- but with that care, the attention to every sentence of every parallel, so that you're making the point with your statement. So I would welcome your submissions, especially if they're the ones you really care about, all right?
RONALD KLINE: Wes will do it, and then Margaret should be next.
WES SHRUM: [INAUDIBLE] I think this will [INAUDIBLE] because I'm the only person who's not here doing it-- or did it individually. Intellectual infrastructure-- this is all the intellectual. And I think this is an intellectual field. This is not really a good place to be. You know, I have to be-- the secretary is sort of in a down position. And this is a good place for it, because you can kind of see me, pretty much-- but a little bit lower. And notice that I'm still very much in the lens of the camera. So I really wouldn't want [INAUDIBLE].
SPEAKER 3: Can we talk about business?
WES SHRUM: So we have an amazing-- we've been lucky on editors. I think the field really is good. But in terms of this session here about where is STS going, I have no idea. I have no contribution to make to that. I don't know. Unless you consider 4S to be part-- not equivalent to, but just part of STS-- then I can tell you one or two interesting facts about that.
STS itself-- when I would hear people talk-- so far, everything I've heard today, it's almost everything is new. Because I wasn't around. I don't know anything about Boris until 1987-- zero. And since then, I think I probably do know more about it than, you know, probably [INAUDIBLE], I guess-- In the sense that I've worked closely with every president from 1987 to a couple of years ago. And that was really huge. And it was just wonderful.
I always thought that presidents were the-- it was very important to me. Because what I was just-- like organizational infrastructure. I don't even think I know that term back then, but now it's [INAUDIBLE] with all the-- with [? Fein. ?] And that's what I want to really stress. It's we've been really lucky. And look at all these great editors to do the intellectual stuff of the journal editorship.
And that's not what I did. You know, I did basically routine work. And you know, I've realized, people try to make the invisible visible and all that. And that's cool. But it's also possible to overestimate how hard that is. You can really overestimate it, too. You know, all I did really was-- David H asked can you be secretary, said I yes. And then I didn't really know what that meant, so it is easier than had I known. And I thought, well, you know-- OK, I'll do it a little bit. And then, again. And then the president would say, oh, don't leave now. And that basically happened for about 25 years.
MIKE LYNCH: It's still going.
WES SHRUM: So anyway, what happened to me was just this kind of role of being the infrastructure. And if you do something a long time, and just learn it a little by little-- kind of like doing a dissertation or something-- if you do something a long time and learn it a little by little, then you can do a lot. And you also have a memory. So you pin it down with what people did before. And that can be useful. And you have to also know when to forget, and when not to know too much. Because that-- that can be a problem. And it can-- you know, you could change, too.
And so at one point I had the experience of-- I think it was actually early on-- having someone sort of criticize something that I had done. And I was totally OK with that. If a president didn't like it, and said, remember, he's not my secretary. He's your secretary. And I thought about that for a very long time, because I didn't really know what that meant. And then I decided, well, yeah-- in theory. But the important thing is always to sort of stay within your role, and not to think that you have a decision making roll. Presidents might disagree with that or not. But that was the way I saw it-- don't make decisions.
How will the diversity of 4S move forward? And the answer I took was, if diversity is in the presidents and the council, then so I implement. I execute. I will do what they like. It doesn't matter if I agree, because it will change in two years anyway. And then I'm going to something else if it's a bad idea. So you know, don't make decisions. That's, to me, the diversity in the decisions made by the presidents and council.
Now, what didn't I tell you that's new? The new thing to me-- and this started just about under-- we have a lot of presidents here, so you know I'm not going to tell the truth. All the presidents were equally great as far as I'm concerned. But it was around Sheila's time that they started to kind of get bigger. Now, what got bigger? That's what I want to really exercise.
Everything was getting dicey, because basically we had no money, you know? And so I went to the oracle at Delphi, and then I asked what we should do. And the oracle said, build a treasury. Build a treasury. I didn't know that they meant a, like, Parthenon on the mountain. I just through they meant to increase the money. And so what I just started to do was take a very close look at what was happening on that. And it really appeared that the meetings were very important.
Now, I think you all know by now-- because somebody mentioned it-- we have 2,000 in Barcelona. That's a big [INAUDIBLE], OK? Here's the interesting fact that is affecting one of those harder senses. We have fewer members of 4S now than we have at any time since about two years before Paris. And that was 2004. So we're talking about 2002. The membership in 4S right now is not at an all time low, but it's pretty low.
OK, why is that? Well, because people join, and then they drop out. And then they join, and they drop out. And a lot of people dropped out after [INAUDIBLE]. And then they rejoined because it was in Europe, and that was far away-- and you know, that kind of stuff. That's predictable. But it just means that, as far as the growth of 4S, we're not very large right at the moment.
Does it matter? Well, not really. Because people don't really join because of ST&HV. Pick [INAUDIBLE] copy of a journal. Ed and others are renegotiating that. And so what we have to do-- they have to have enough resources to go forward. And it is getting larger-- the means are getting larger. And we're able to now maintain ourselves financially, because we know how to run a meeting better than we did earlier, OK?
And so that's basically what happened to me. It's that I just said, you know what? We need to have a professional meetings planner-- professional, but not being paid. It didn't sound professional in announcements. But so that's kind of what I did. And I talked about this in a second journal of history that I love for Trevor, I guess it was. I don't know what we decided, but we didn't publish it.
But it's [INAUDIBLE] there. And the idea was to reorganize the society. Make the secretary a treasurer-- it's a different position. I used to be a meetings planner, and that's kind of what I do. And the idea of 4S is promoted in the meetings. This is the big question, you see. The idea of 4S is being international, being interdisciplinary, be inclusive, and being open to everyone. Now, how do you instantiate that in a professional meeting? Well, you try to really accept almost everything. So everybody can come, and everybody can do their thing.
And then everyone is included. I mean, it's very simple. However, when the [INAUDIBLE] has got 2,500 submissions and only 2,000 slots, that presents us with a different problem. And I'm not going to tell you that I know the solution. But you wouldn't want to have-- I mean, one solution is go home and tell everybody not to get into ST&HV or whatever. That will increase your chances of getting accepted to meetings that have fewer submissions. Anyway, I guess-- so that's just something to convey.
So I just want to end this by-- we have our little makings and doings. [INAUDIBLE] you know making and doing. So I just thought I would show you how to be a proper-- let me just set this-- how to be a proper secretary. And so you look at this, and you say, this is our little packet that we've got. Then you say, Trevor and Mike, you guys are the ones. Who's from Cornell? You guys are the ones responsible for this. OK, we're going to look at this, and we say, well, we learned in the 4S meeting-- a program. Excellent. We need a program. Although it should be quarters, you know, it's so small. Reimbursement report-- yes, I think we all agree with that. Pen-- Trevor, what? Please. [LAUGHTER] What's the deal with the pen? I thought we got rid of that during your presidency. A map? Google. What is this? This is a glossy program map? This costs a fortune. You can't make any money like that. We don't need that. [INAUDIBLE] come on. Do you think we should get rid of this? Beth? Come on. We don't need it. All of that stuff is unnecessary. And here-- we're all friends here. We know that he knows we do.
RONALD KLINE: OK. So this is Margaret Rossiter who is the former editor of Isis and Osiris.
MARGARET ROSSITER: [INAUDIBLE] I've realized I was in quite a different universe with a different set of [INAUDIBLE]. Isis, as you may know, is the official journal of the History of Science Society. We styled that in 1910-- this is by [INAUDIBLE] in Belgium. In the 1920s it became connected with the US History of Science Society. So my goal when I was elected editor was to keep it the premium history of science journal in the world. The circulation was about 2,300, and I think it's been dropping ever since.
Anyway, on the business side of things, it's a contract for the University of Chicago press that allows us 848 pages a year. And my goal was to fill it with the best history of science I could. And I think that if I lowered that to 840, I had failed the members in a certain sense. They had pre-paid money for those 848 pages. It turned out to be hard to do that, because everything was through one copy editor-- Jill [? Greenford-- ?] who's been with Isis probably 30 or more years. And he mother had problems, and she had eye trouble, and there were a lot of very human reasons why sometimes we didn't achieve our goals.
Anyway, we had about 16 maintenance groups a year, and things were in print on paper in those days. And I used to marvel that on this planet there were 60 people that put something in an envelope and sent it off to Isis. So I wasn't terribly excited about becoming editor of Isis, but we'll miss the committee of the History of Science Society, because they're sick and tired of hearing about George Sarton and IP Cohen, and all of these other people. It's time we had a woman editor. The department was new here at Cornell. My office was down in the former fraternity building on the edge of campus. So we had a little bit of extra space, so we could handle this.
So I got through the publications committee, and I got chosen for this. OK, so we've got submissions a year. We printed 14. So I probably told-- I think, in 10 years, at 60 a year, I accepted one on the first go around. A good many of them-- probably half-- I told them, revise and resubmit. And so my goal was to sort of keep them interested, keep them motivated, and be sure they did resubmit. Because if this went away and went to some other journal, then we're losing an opportunity.
So I would pick four or five reviewers when they came through. That was always exciting, the first go through. And then it just flew into your head over who should be reading this. And then a few months later, you'd have maybe three reports back, and it's time to really take a look at it. And my goal was to write the cover letter-- to figure out which of these, out of all the criticisms people had, were fixable, and which were not. And I remember telling one author, you've got to get to the point before page 17.
So that's fixable. When the tip was no evidence for this, that wasn't. And I also think the staff decided it was a good sign if in my cover letter I said, it's time to think about pictures. I don't think even one of these authors on the first rounds thought of pictures or submitted any potential ones. But if we were accepted, we'd need some. And sometimes it was a title or it was an abstract. But the pictures could be a book to somebody who was flipping through the journal and didn't realize how interesting it could be. Because sometimes they end up making it to the [INAUDIBLE] points that [INAUDIBLE].
So we had maybe three to five pictures per article. And a successful issue probably had four different articles on four different peoples-- maybe one early modern, maybe Asia, maybe the US. But I certainly never thought about having any themed issues. I think that would have been very disruptive. Because there are various constituencies in the History of Science Society that wanted to make sure I had stuff from-- say, the medievals were very forceful. Any article that wasn't on medieval was an opportunity missed.
And, in fact, there was a certain interest in having all subfields represented. Because during my time there was a new journal started in Europe on Medieval Science. And one reason given was that there weren't enough articles on medieval science in Isis. And I kept saying, well, I can't write them. There's not that many that are being submitted. So I'm not sure, then, that there were that many being written. But medievalists were insistent that I had to keep track.
Oh, and then in 1999, [INAUDIBLE] was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the History of Science society. So wouldn't it be nice if we had a special issue of some sort? And the society had allocated $15,000 for a banquet, and they were going to fly in all of the past presidents. Then we decided that was a little wasted effort, so we'd rather spend it on having a special issue. And I think that we asked people to write-- I think they may have done [INAUDIBLE] then people wrote about the Midwest's history of science of [INAUDIBLE]. So it became sort of a history-like kind of approach to our own history. So that was really successful.
But we had to struggle mightily to do it. And I think, we actually added [? Stephen ?] [? Weldon ?] to the staff. And he's since gone on to Oklahoma and become Editor in Chief of the [INAUDIBLE] Critical Bibliography, which is ever larger as time goes on. We're also 700 books a year to review. And that's quite a lot of books. If you go away for a week or two, when you come back there's a mountain of stuff. The FedEx man was coming every day with big packages.
So we began to get software, and had to enter them into the database, which is fine if they're in English. But if they're in Chinese or something, you've got a problem. And we struggled to just review half of them. And so that meant finding reviewers, which meant writing them a letter, then getting a response or not getting a response, prodding them, promulgating the final report, proofreading it, and making an 80 or 90 per issue. And they're all different writing styles. So that's quite a challenge to any of the editorial staff at home.
Then thankfully we had a chance to have a essay review. Some books [INAUDIBLE] review more space than most. I mean, you could put two or three of them together if they happened to coincide on the shelves. Isis turned out-- well, the business side [INAUDIBLE]. It's a year-round operation. But universities think about TAs for each semester. So we have to have a summer staff.
And in fact, maybe we were busier in the summer because people finished their book reviews and finished their articles and so forth. So [? Anita ?] [? Tude, ?] she directed the systems even then. And one of the early ones was a woman named Suzanne Moon, which has since gone on to become editor of Technology and Culture. So we began to build a real tradition of future editors coming through our staff.
One of my areas was obituaries and anglo issues. And I was on duty the day Thomas Kuhn died. And the phone started ringing with all kinds of people telling me about all kinds of fights and squabbles, and why they should write the obituary. So I thought it would be really nice if I had a little flag down here, and I'd get a little flag at half past. I think I eventually show John [? Highland, ?] a sort of conservative choice.
But then there was a day on [INAUDIBLE] office, and they said, Mary Joe has died. And they confused Betty Joe [? Doug ?] with Mary Joe Nye. So I went through two rounds of grieving thinking it was each one of them. Then I thought, of course I have to verify that she's dead before I write an obituary on someone. So I decided to call up Betty Joe, and of course, she didn't answer her phone. And she went out hunting in the Grand Canyon and never got back. So I think I expanded a but who was [INAUDIBLE] it wasn't just the grand old men, but various other people who had died younger than we wanted them.
I also got to appoint advisory editors-- about 30 of them-- which helps younger people who might want to be coming up for tenure get some kind of recognition. I generally appointed to reward the people who liked to do the work of reading things. Famous people are well known. You can send them stuff, and probably they won't read it. You want younger people who are maybe under-employed and who are thrilled when Isis called or sent them a letter, and they will actually do the work.
So over time I think we'd got it up to about a third of them were women by the time I finished. Then, as editor of Isis, I was on the executive committee of the History of Science Society for 10 solid years. And it met twice a year, including a spring visit from the publications committee. So we were closely monitored. I think it was very important, because you deviate when you start doing things. But I generally thought my role was to check the staff from the crazy ideas that some of them had. And one of them was that we should have five fewer book reviews, but have longer ones. And I thought maybe that I'd try to do some of that. bit the whole, they came, they did their duty, and they left.
Cornell had a memo of understanding with the History of Science Society. It was written by [INAUDIBLE], who had sort of legal training. And this was certainly-- it was a blessing to a certain extent, because it provided certain guarantees-- that provides security and space needed and so forth. And the managing editor quit at one point. There were I think changes in three or four of them. But when this woman quit, it was during a hiring freeze at Cornell. So we were without a managing editor for a while-- a couple of months.
And then when I hired somebody the first day after the freeze was over, the personnel became very upset because I hadn't run a proper search. But he'd done the follow up to the person I did hire who didn't stay so long. So the work really piles up fast at a quarterly journal. And luckily we weren't in worse trouble after that.
I suppose my time is probably up. But I could say, towards the end there was a plagiarism case involving a major research institution in Berlin. And it was not exactly nice, because they went around my back to try and overrule the editor who had turned out this article. So I became sort of tired of all of these governing boards that I was accountable to. So I generally liked helping the young authors get things right. I guess that I was the first person outside some seminar somewhere that read their stuff. And if I could understand it, it was probably intelligible. And I wanted to print the best paper I could. So my role is to sort of take their good work, praise them a bit, and say that it can be better. And we want to go through you again. Be sure and resubmit. So thank you very much.
RONALD KLINE: OK, thank you very much. So we have about 15 minutes we can-- if there's questions.
SPEAKER 4: Well, Sergio, you will remember me as the author of The Myth of Kuhn. I've been trying to redirect Kuhn's image for 40 years. My biggest problem is with Kuhn himself. Prior to Kuhn receiving the [INAUDIBLE] I had been criticizing what is happen in the sociologies of science-- [INAUDIBLE] said that he held the sociology of science back.
How can [INAUDIBLE] one of the first [INAUDIBLE] Murton himself had said about Kuhn, we are at one with the sociologists. When Kuhn got the [INAUDIBLE] and he said he didn't want to accept that prize. He said he'd never made a contribution to the sociology of science-- that his work was primarily internalist, and an homage to all these [INAUDIBLE]. That talk was not published. The talk was published-- heavily edited-- by Bernard [INAUDIBLE], who couldn't believe that Kuhn was saying these things. So you had to have been there to have heard what Kuhn said. And what Kuhn said was, I am not Thomas Kuhn. But you're right about [INAUDIBLE]. Kuhn, by the way, the [INAUDIBLE] book he wrote is the only major history of science book of that period that doesn't pull on [INAUDIBLE].
RONALD KLINE: Yeah, I have somebody [INAUDIBLE].
CHANNA: Hi. My name's Channa. I'm a graduate student STS here at Cornell. I have a question. And it's kind of something that's been alluded to in all of your discussions. It's the academic labor and work that goes into producing a journal publication-- I guess I was wondering, given that a lot of these journals then get sold back to universities for enormous amounts of money-- there are pay walls that prohibit access-- where do you see STS going in terms of questions of open access in the future? Thanks.
RONALD KLINE: Anyone want to take this up? Did you raise your hand?
ED HACKETT: Um, it's a delicate matter. [LAUGHTER] All right, so we have a contract with Sage that's up for negotiation. And we've begun the negotiation. You know, this is the publication [INAUDIBLE] so proper channels. We have an open access journal that we publish that is building rigorship and authorship. And depending upon how the negotiations with Sage go, we may be depending on that open access journal even more.
MIKE LYNCH: That's a great question. I don't know where we're headed in that direction. I really don't. I think it's really-- it'd be intriguing to watch. A Pulitzer Prize, probably. But I think the trend is that the mechanics of publishing was always exclusively done by other than the publishers-- or it can be. What keeps the publishers in business with the journals is, of course, the price that some university libraries pay for it, and the voluntary work that goes into the process producing publications, and above all, the prestige attached to particular journals-- the metrics attached to that prestige. But you know in some fields-- I mean, we're in the principle science building here-- they're dispensing with much of that with open access archival-- they call it archives, but it's systems-- and there are some publications about that in Social Studies of Science.
But they are still maintaining the journals for that professional kind of granting and promoting and so forth. And if that ever gets detached from the particular journals, then I think it will be self-publication. Although that is a lot of work, but we're already doing that work.
SUSAN COZZENS: Let me just make the comment that there's more at stake here than just journal publications. And it relates to the history of 4S, because [? Wesset ?] is worried about money, and they build a treasury. And in fact, it was Science, Technology and Human Values in the early relationships, at least with Sage, when the publication business was good, that gave 4S resources-- the two handbooks have also put money into that treasury. And those options just aren't out there for new societies starting up. And if you think about it, there are ways in which those publication have helped to hold us together as a community. So if we actually have a world in which it's all self publication-- we're putting 2,000 papers on the program for the meeting-- we're probably going to need a different kind of community in some way that it's worth thinking about. Because we are moving into a new world on that. The trains have all kind of left the station on that. But that's what I think it would be interesting for you all to think about-- it's how do you make an intellectual community without some of those publication institutions to hold this together.
SUMAN SETH: Just in terms of numbers, a big chunk of the cost is professional copy editor for our scholars, and to raise the bulk chunk of the small amount of money that it costs a little bit in honoraria to [INAUDIBLE] for the journal. Yeah, there was a very small amount of money that went to helping editors get to the conference. It was so small, but Patrick and I made it up so that we could actually pay a larger honorarium to the people who were reading 175,000 words, because that was an enormous amount of work.
So there's that current problem that you-- I mean, I don't know if you can get rid of the cost of copy editors-- pages and so on-- but they certainly shouldn't cost anywhere near the amount that they do, given that all of the other work is free. And then I just know that, in terms of the other side of this, I think institutions like Cornell and others are also pulling back resources on this kind of thing. So I don't even think they have a course release. So they have it in their sights, right?
So I think there's this squeeze that's going on at both ends. And the people who are really giving out all their money and their time for free are the people working for these things. And I think we'd be the first ones to say let's make it open access, right? Because it wouldn't change our lives at all, except we'd get larger readers for the work that we put in, all right? If we had the power, that's where it would go.
RONALD KLINE: Anyone else?
STEVE JACKSON: Steve Jackson, Cornell University. One of the things I've been most excited about in the publishing landscape in recent years has been the proliferation of things that don't exactly look like journals. There are web-based things. They can often be innovative and informed-- partly because they are web based, they're not bound by histories that other journals are bound by. I'm thinking of things like [? LEM, ?] Third Text, Theta-- there are things a lot of junior scholars have been involved in, although senior scholars have played a really important role in lending weight and credibility to these exercises at various points.
I wonder how do you think about the relationship between the cell of the established world of journalists-- with all the wonderful journals we have represented on the stage-- and these kinds of new publishing formally innovative ventures, and what that landscape looks like 10 years from now, I guess, for both sides?
RONALD KLINE: [INAUDIBLE] Anyone?
SERGIO SISMONDO: Just a really short-- to start, I think that this can be entirely complementary. I wrote an editorial in 3S this year just talking about some of the new venues in STS. And it included [? LEM, ?] for example. It included the Journal of Video Ethnography that Wes is co-editor of that. And so on and so forth. So I think that there is a lot of room. And yeah, there's room for complementary activities. And the fact is, we still value old fashioned articles and old fashioned venues as well. And I think-- so I don't think that the journals are going to suffer from the fact that there are new opportunities for reaching audiences in different ways. It's all going to work together, I suspect.
RONALD KLINE: Other questions?
SPEAKER 5: This may be more a comment, but a comment that can be built on. My partner moves between academic writing and fiction. And one of the things that he's been amazed at recently is when you submit an article you get great feedback from some of the most important people to read your stuff in earnest. And I worked at 3S with Mike. And since publishing articles that-- those three readers might the best you ever get, and the most feedback.
So any model that-- I mean, we tend to think of peer review as quality control. The ways that [INAUDIBLE] are interested in science, you know-- fraudulent and so on. The kind of care work that happens-- as opposed to my partner, when he sends things off to 100 different places as a short story, you get nothing. You just get no, no, no, no, no. And so even when his papers were rejected, he was thrilled by academic journals, because someone engaged with his ideas.
So I don't know-- self publishing might go around the peer review process, and I think we should [INAUDIBLE] that's one of the best things about the old fashioned kind that we should hold on to, although it's a lot of physical labor, and we get to procrastinate, and some are more detailed than others. It's still something that's nice about peer review publishing.
NIKKI: Hi. I'm Nikki. I'm a senior at the Washington University in DC and a traveler to the STS Traveling Conference, so thank you for having me. What you guys are saying about STS today has a lot in common comm as a discipline-- communications as a discipline-- where people have had their disparate PhDs, but they are coming together to [INAUDIBLE] the discipline, questions of disciplinary, questions of race and ethnicity, and something that I think we have a divergence on that picks up on this last question-- it is the idea of engagement with the public, and also engagement with the larger academic public.
So, for example, comm scholars have good sense of what's going on in journals outside our field. In fact, many comm scholars publish in comm and maybe even try to publish in an STS journal. Whereas it seems like there's a very discrete sense of disciplinarity among the journals you're supposed to publish in in STS. So one question is, how aware are you guys as journal editors about the other parts of academe using research in STS?
The second thing that I wanted just to sort of poke your brains on in terms of alternative publishing-- is there a sense of where STS is going in terms of public engagement, branding through the popular press, how important that is to the future of the field. All right, a double-layered question there.
RONALD KLINE: Thank you. OK, this should be the last question. Well, who wants to start?
MIKE LYNCH: It's too bad Bruce [? Willenstien ?] isn't here. He was going to be part of this panel. He was an editor of Public Understanding of Science. And public engagement exercises are a big part of that journal-- and also in this field, especially in Europe and the Scandinavian countries, and England. It's quite on the agenda. One thing that occurred to me about this panel, even before you asked the question-- and I'm really glad you did-- is that there are lots of journals that people in this room publish in that are on the small number of history of science and STS journals represented in this panel. I think we could have very well recognized journals represented.
But there's lots of others, like medical anthropology, medical sociology, lots of different history of science journals, and journals like [INAUDIBLE] which is one of the major journals. You know, journals like biology societies-- so it's quite a broad set of things that people are publishing. And some of myriad STS journals are kind of [INAUDIBLE] In fact, it's part of looking for more variety from-- although I do encourage the [INAUDIBLE] issues to journals that we have here. But it is also worth looking more widely.
ED HACKETT: Well, to answer your first question-- every year, Sergio and I each receive a publisher's report of our journal. And it includes detailed statistics about exactly which journals cited our journal-- the journal which the report is about. So we know in exquisite detail who on the side of STS uses our stuff.
RONALD KLINE: OK.
SPEAKER 6: Can I take a moment on that?
RONALD KLINE: Sure.
SPEAKER 6: I worked at the Science Museum in London, and I can say that one of the really big shifts in my 14 years at London has been the relationship of academia with STS [INAUDIBLE]. If I was in the room when I started, I could say, well, they [INAUDIBLE] for a pen PhD, and assign [INAUDIBLE] university [INAUDIBLE] academic [INAUDIBLE]. You were sort of like the wall flowers [INAUDIBLE]. It is utterly [INAUDIBLE]
Partly, this is because of the funding agencies which demand impact factors. And suddenly, everybody who gets a grant for abstract issues in Kantian epistemology comes along and says, we'd like to do an exhibition at the science museum. And this is fantastic, because what it has done is actually bring together the concerns of people such that they know-- if they're the sort of people who'd want to get grants, they will [INAUDIBLE]. And they will be imaginative about how the can engage with the museums. And the museums are becoming more imaginative in reaching out to them. So the public engagement which was 40 years ago are finally getting my little part of the communication vision of the [INAUDIBLE]. It's really become an important part of the horizon. And I see that in all my [INAUDIBLE].
RONALD KLINE: OK, so, Michael--
MIKE LYNCH: Why don't we take a few minutes to bus our tables here, and-- because we want to start again very soon for the next session.
RONALD KLINE: So we do need to thank our panel. And thank you very much.
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Journal editors Susan Cozzens (STHV), Edward Hackett (STHV), Bruce Lewenstein (Public Understanding of Science), Michael Lynch (3S), Margaret Rossiter (Isis and Osiris), Suman Seth (Osiris), Sergio Sismondo (3S) and Wes Shrum (4S) discuss literature in the field of science and technology studies Oct. 28, 2016 at the conference, "Where has STS Traveled?" The two-day event celebrated the developments in the field of science and technology studies (STS) over the last four decades.