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April 2nd, 2020

Message from SHOT President Tom Misa

Dear SHOT members,

In times like these, we are called on to figure out “what is ours to do in the world.”

Some of our communities need field hospitals and mass mobilization for required resources; others need reminders that while “the economy has stopped,” our communities are very much alive and, often, adapting in creative ways.

There are numerous instances where SHOT members are taking leadership in responding:

  • The discussion of “wartime” mobilization and the Defense Production Act (1950) is enriched by Mark Wilson quoted in Time Magazine
  • Gabrielle Hecht in Aeon gives us deep perspective on scarcity, disposability, and global flows of waste in 3700 well-chosen words
  • Daily “Covid Calls” feature Scott Knowles conversing with interdisciplinary disaster experts, now archived on Soundcloud
    • (… where you can also find SHOT’s social media coordinator Bucky Stanton’s interviews with 2019 SHOT prize winners and others)
  • The entire run of T&C is now open-access on Project Muse, along with other JHUP content
  • And with surveillance looming, we need the critical perspectives on AI, computing, and high-tech ventures of Colin GarveyMar HicksLaine Nooney, and the vital work of SIGCIS

Please post or send tweets of other items to Bucky at https://twitter.com/SocHistTech or his email.

Im terrifically proud of SHOT members’ engagement!

SHOT itself faces about two dozen pressing questions. SHOT officers are meeting regularly on Zoom, and the Executive Council is holding its monthly Zoom meeting in mid April with the scheduled topic of “SHOT Financials.”

We are closely monitoring conference postponements, delays, and re-schedulings. Many academic conferences through July are off, and so it’s (as yet) too early to decide about SHOT New Orleans in mid-October. SHOT’s finances are structured to be resilient during 1-2 years of economic downturns; but we have no experience with the financial penalties and/or financial risks of holding an annual meeting in these times. The Business History Conference recently held a “hybrid” in-person/online conference, and so we have several models to consider. We are in close contact with our fellow societies via the American Council of Learned Societies  (ACLS).

We are asking SHOT committee members “prizes, awards, fellowships, nominations” to continue their work, best they are able.

The Program Committee is working under extreme uncertainty, announcements about the annual meeting’s program will be delayed. We aim to have a full slate of officer-candidates, and a full range of awardees named by early autumn.

For daily/weekly updates, check SHOT’s Twitter account. Decisions about the annual meeting will be promptly posted on SHOT’s website.

With best wishes,

Tom Misa
SHOT President

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