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July 29th, 2020

Newsletter 6, 2020: SHOT Elections


Vote online until September 15 2020 via the online ballot


There’s no Electoral College or dodgy voting machine that gets in the way of your vote positively shaping SHOT’s future. The next few years will stretch our Society’s creativity and resources; the past decade gives little guidance in helping us confront worrisome health and economic trends — as well as exciting intellectual and scholarly directions. SHOT depends on volunteer labor. You can vote today and make an impact. Tomorrow, you can volunteer for a standing committee or special-initiative working group. Please demonstrate your engagement with SHOT!

Tom Misa
SHOT President 2019-2020

SHOT Elections 2020

This year’s ballot includes candidates for the Executive Council, Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Nominating Committee, and Editorial Committee. Only SHOT members are allowed to vote.

Executive Council (3 positions – 6 candidates)

Hyungsub Choi:
I am a historian of science and technology, focusing on modern Korea, and Associate Professor in the School of Liberal Arts, Seoul National University of Science and Technology. My research focuses on the importation and adaptation of everyday technologies. Although (South) Korea is currently known for its industrial prowess in semiconductors and automobiles, it is difficult to deny that the nation has imported most of the technologies from abroad at least since opening up its port to foreign trade in the late 19th century. I am currently in the early stages of working on an English-language book project discussing the tension between imported and “domestic” technologies in modern Korea.

SHOT has been my intellectual home since 2000, when I first joined the society as a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology. My first SHOT presentation was in Toronto (2002), for which I received the Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize. During the last twenty years, I have attended most annual meetings and served the community in many capacities, including the Robinson Prize Committee (2009), Bernard S. Finn IEEE History Prize Committee (2014-16), Nominating Committee (2015-17), and the Brooke Hindle Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee (2021-present). As someone who has received so much from the SHOT community in the early stages of my career, I can only hope that I can give back as much.

If elected to the SHOT Executive Council, I will continue to bring SHOT activities to East Asia, and vice versa. The region has been the locus of some exciting scholarly activities in history of technology during the last several years. There are colleagues in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, who are making novel contributions to our field without explicit connections to SHOT. I hope to serve as a bridge between SHOT and the smaller regional communities, in order to broaden the field and further incite the history of technology in East Asia. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, I am particularly interested in organizing small-scale online colloquia, connecting researchers from around the world with common interests. Even if we continue the large annual meeting model, it would be beneficial to have more agile meetings to maintain a sense of community in the age of limited international travel.

Alex Sayf Cummings:
I am an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the History Department at Georgia State University, where I teach about the history of American politics, cities, intellectual property, labor, and technology, as well as public history and digital humanities. I received my PhD in History at Columbia University in 2009, and subsequently taught labor history at Empire State College and media studies at Vassar College, where I spent two years as a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow.

As a historian, I am chiefly interested in the ways that we think about the economy, and how they lead us to create pictures of the world that advantage some while excluding others. My first book, Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2013), traced how intellectual property rights became vastly stronger and broader in scope since the dawn of sound recording in the late nineteenth century.  My latest book, Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy (Columbia, 2020), uses the story of North Carolina’s Research Triangle to show how Americans envisioned and planned a new high-tech economy since the 1950s, creating a policy blueprint that promoted economic development by catering to the interests of the most educated knowledge workers. Recently, I have turned my attention toward the care economy. Building on the work of scholars such as theorist Nancy Fraser, economist Nancy Folbre, and historian Jennifer Klein, I am working on a book tentatively called A World of Their Own: Affect and Care Work in the Postindustrial Economy. By exploring the workplaces of teachers, home health aides, and social workers, this project aims to re-center the affective labor of social reproduction within discussions of the contemporary economy.

Professionally, I have been most actively engaged in the Urban History Association, Vernacular Architecture Forum, and the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH), in which I serve on the organization’s board of trustees. I am also a member of SICGIS, the Labor and Working Class History Association, and the National Women’s Studies Association. I am a co-editor of the public history anthology, East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte, published in February 2020 by Rutgers University Press as part of its Latinidad series, and a senior editor of the history blog Tropics of Meta.  The ethos of this publication, founded in 2010, is “Historiography for the masses.” The site’s readership has grown steadily over the years, and we continue to promote diverse voices, especially those of women, writers of color, and LGBTQI authors, and scholars across a range of disciplines. My own work has also appeared in SalonAl JazeeraThe Conversation, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, Southern Cultures, and Technology and Culture, among other publications.

I admit that my research interests are all over the place, but the history of technology is the main thread that runs through these projects. Much as activists and scholars transformed the study of political history by expanding the scope of what counted as “political,” I believe today’s historians are finding new and creative ways to tell stories about technology and culture that might not have looked like “history of technology” a generation or two ago. I hope I can contribute a perspective that prizes inclusivity and interdisciplinary collaboration to SHOT.

Vincent Lagendijk:
I am an assistant professor at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. I am a Dutch historian with a strong focus on history of technology and global history. For some years, I worked on issues related to European integration and electrification (the topic of my PhD thesis), and I am currently wrapping up a book project on the global history of the Tennessee Valley Authority. My more recent research – pretty much work in progress – explores the interrelation between racial segregation and the built environment in the United States, starting with the notorious I-40 through Baltimore, MD.

From the onset of my academic career, SHOT has been important to me. I presented my first research results as a young grad student, have been an international scholar, and also served the travel grant committee for some years. Its conferences have been fundamental in my intellectual exchanges, within a friendly and cordial setting. It is thus both a pleasure and honor to run for Executive Council membership.

My aims for SHOT are to make it even more open and inclusive, in every possible way, and further enhance its increasingly global outlook and interdisciplinary perspective.

Julia Lajus:
It is an honor for me to be nominated for this election. I admire the thriving community of SHOT and an inclusive atmosphere during its conferences. Being a scholar from Russia — I am an Associate Professor at the Department of History, National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg — a country that appears to be underrepresented in SHOT but with technological history as an academic field rapidly developing at the moment, I see this nomination as a recognition of my broad international academic activities.

Being primarily an environmental historian and historian of environmental sciences, I have always been closely connected with the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH). For many years I was a regional representative for Russia at the ESEH Board and then served as Vice-President in 2011-2015. I have always put my efforts into promoting further and better connections between environmental and technological history, in line with the Envirotech paradigm cultivated in the SHOT.

I am convinced that as environmental historians we cannot explain relations between people and nature without addressing technology: all that people did in nature they did with the assistance of technology. I fully support the concept of ‘environing technologies’ that transfer nature into the environment and I always pay close attention to technologies when studying my own subjects, e.g. history of fisheries, oceanography and polar exploration. Thus, already in 2002 when the Center for Environmental and Technological History was organizing at the European University at St. Petersburg (the very first one in Russia), we purposely merged two fields together. The Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History at National Research University Higher School of Economics at St. Petersburg that I currently lead organically grew from that Center after being moved from one university to the other with all its faculty and most of PhD students.

During two decades I was participating as a leading scholar in a number of large international projects, e.g. (a) “History of Marine Animal Populations”, part of Census of Marine Life, funded by A.P. Sloan Foundation (USA), (b) ESF EUROCORES “Boreas: Histories from the North”, (c) “Assessing Arctic Futures: Voices, Resources and Governance” project of Royal Institute of Technology funded by MISTRA (Sweden),  (d) “Exploring Russia’s Environmental History”, Leverhulme Trust (UK); “Soviet Climate Science and its Intellectual Legacies”, funded by the AHRC (UK), and several others. In 2009-2010 I was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham (UK) where my main area of research was history of natural resources. After that formative experience, I led a team on the “Natural Resources in History of Russia: Institutions, Experts Communities and Infrastructures” project, funded by the Russian Science Foundation, where  we aimed to explore history of natural resources from both perspectives: environmental and technological. In addition, I am a proponent of a similar interdisciplinary approach in teaching that I developed as an Academic Head of MA Programme in Applied and Interdisciplinary History “Usable Pasts”, very first international MA in history in Russia. I am also a regular member of international conferences and an active supporter of public engagement with research initiatives. Sustaining a community of scholars who combine approaches of environmental and technological history in their research has always been my major goal which I would like to practice further if elected to SHOT Executive Council.

Teasel Muir-Harmony:
I am the curator of the Apollo collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and I teach in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program at Georgetown University. Before coming to the Smithsonian, I earned a Ph.D. from MIT, an M.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and I have held positions at the American Institute of Physics and the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

I am honored by the invitation to run for the SHOT Executive Council. The Society has been my scholarly home since I attended the 2005 annual meeting in Minneapolis as a graduate student. If elected, I will advocate for plans and policies that further enhance the society’s visibility and connections with allied fields, the policy community, and the public. Because SHOT was vital to my intellectual development, I will also try to develop novel ways of including and providing resources for graduate students and post-docs.

In my work, I have sought opportunities to engage with broader audiences. My current research focuses on the history of technology and diplomacy, examining how Project Apollo shaped and mediated the United States’ role on the global stage. My book on the topic, Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo, will be published in the fall. Motivated by my long-term interest in bringing insights and approaches from our field to a general audience, I published Apollo to the Moon: A History in 50 Objects (2018), and spearheaded the television series Apollo’s Moon Shot, and an associated augmented reality app. In 2019, after the editor of the Pacific Historical Review expressed interest in calling more attention to the history of technology in the journal, I co-edited a special issue on technology in the Pacific World. This issue grew out of a session at the 2016 SHOT meeting in Singapore. In a similar vein, I co-organize the Space Policy and History Forum, which bridges the space history and space policy communities through lectures and roundtable discussions. I have served on the NASA History Fellowship Committee, as a commentator for the SHOT Graduate Student Workshop in 2017, and have been a member of Albatross special interest group. I would be thrilled to extend SHOT’s reach and influence as a member of the Executive Council.

Ksenia Tatarchenko:
I first attended a SHOT meeting in Washington D.C., in 2006. I was an exchange student from the Sorbonne and I was expecting. What I saw there would become a game changer: it inspired me to apply to graduate schools in the United States. I remember the thrill that I felt, presenting my first paper in Lisbon at the 2007 SHOT conference. Then it was suddenly 2017, and I was running around solving unexpected issues as the head of the Robinson Prize Committee in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, my children became teenagers and I graduated from the Princeton History of Science Program, embarking upon what would turn out to be a long, transcontinental professional trajectory from Columbia University, to NYU Shanghai, to Geneva University, and finally to Singapore Management University where I am today. I joke that transnationalism is a curse. I research and teach the history of computerization in a transnational perspective, with an emphasis on the alternative paths to Informational Society – such as the example that the Soviet Union provides us with – not as predicated on the access to hardware but on algorithms and the transformation of the mind. This intellectual program means that I systemically attend meetings in, and collaborate with and publish in journals belonging to, several fields: Slavic studies, STS and the history of science. In the midst of this transnational and trans-disciplinary flow, the place that feels like home is SHOT.

The reason for this is largely the SIGCIS community. The dynamism of this group, paired with its inclusiveness, made the stretches of time between SHOT meetings periods of intellectual growth thanks to ever-evolving email threads and publication projects, such as Communities of Computing (2016), for example, or Exploring the Early Digital (2019). Many among us do not wear just one professional hat and the maintaining of conversations, even in the form of organizing or commenting at a SIGSIS session, is sometimes an exercise in establishing a common language. Certainly a challenge, such diversity is also a richness and an opportunity for development. This is the perspective and the commitment that I am eager to bring to the Executive Council.

Finally, I originally come from Siberia, and my professional responsibilities in Switzerland brought me back to my native region. From 2015 to 2019, I worked in close contact with the international polar research community at the fieldwork sites in remote regions from Yamal to Yakutia. My arctic journeys influenced more than my teaching of STS subjects or my manuscript, Soviet SCI_BERIA: Novosibirsk Science City and the Politics of Expertise; I believe that my first-hand experience of peripheries, extreme environments, and expedition management, represents a unique social capital that I would like to deploy at the service of SHOT.

Vice President (1 position – 2 candidates)

Gabrielle Hecht:
In the fall of 1986, my graduate cohort piled into a van and headed to Pittsburgh for the SHOT annual meeting. By then I’d been living in the US for four years. I’d managed to navigate college as a first-generation student (a detail I never mentioned). I’d developed a suitably generic accent that allowed me to pass as American (first-gen on this front too). Still, I was profoundly clueless. The 1986 meeting comprised four professional societies, so it was especially overwhelming. I stumbled around, trying not to get lost in a maze of windowless hotel lobbies, trying to focus my attention on academic talks, and above all trying to decipher the right behavioral codes so that I didn’t seem like an idiot. The SHOT talks were the only ones that made much sense, so I gravitated to those. I couldn’t have imagined that one day I’d have the honor of being nominated to run for leadership of this society.

SHOT has grown tremendously since then, both demographically and intellectually. Internationalizing our membership has played a key role in this movement. Starting in the 1990s, meetings in Europe broadened the society’s horizons, and emboldened it to look further. Thanks to the hard work of many, we’re continuing to recruit colleagues from Asia and Latin America. We’re also beginning to welcome members from Africa, a trend close to my heart and my research. As someone who’s lived on four continents, I see the active pursuit of these extensions as vital to our scholarly health and enduring relevance. I will work to foster ongoing expansion, along with modalities for physically distant colleagues to engage each other.

I’ve belonged to a great many professional societies. I like to think this promiscuity has broadened my sights, methods, and questions, and I hope to put that experience to work for SHOT. I’m also deeply committed to SHOT’s tradition of supporting young scholars, and will continue to cultivate new ways of elevating their voices. As I’ve learned from my graduate students, this is key to remaining fresh and curious. They – and the many other young scholars who present at SHOT – awe me with their inquiries into topics and places completely beyond my reach. Emerging scholars from a variety of backgrounds help us think ever more deeply about a future that is, after all, theirs.

In sum, I see diversity as the key to flourishing intellectually. And we’ve done well on many fronts. But let’s be real: we are still a vastly majority white organization. From the disparities evident in Covid-19 outcomes for Black and brown people, to ongoing displays of police brutality and racial violence around the world, 2020 reminds us of the urgency and importance of change. I’m eager to work with EDITH colleagues and others to expand our diversification efforts, educate ourselves on how systemic racism has shaped our professional lives, and build anti-racist structures and scholarly endeavors. Change can be painfully slow, but we must persevere in our efforts to accelerate it. I look forward to learning from other institutions and experiences while conducting this work. Additionally, I hope to draw on my work with the recently-constituted task force on racial justice at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, where I’m also a professor of history and, by courtesy, of anthropology.

My credentials don’t make for riveting reading, but if you want to dive in, I invite you to visit gabriellehecht.org. Thank you for considering my candidacy. I’m excited to do my part to strengthen SHOT and contribute to its vibrant future.

Helmuth Trischler:
What an honor to be nominated to run as candidate for Vice President / President Elect of SHOT. The Nominating Committee’s request came much as a surprise, all the more when I realized that, if I accepted the nomination, I would only be the second non-native English-speaking candidate after my long-standing friend Arne Kaijser, who eventually was elected Vice President / President. Needless to say that I first consulted Arne for advice, who told me in a long skype call from his scenic summer house in the Stockholm archipelago what a joy and pleasure it was for him to serve as president. In the end, he diffused my concerns about the restricted qualifications of a non-American candidate, who by definition is less familiar with specifics of US-American institutional settings and organizational frameworks.

Having browsed the statements of candidates in previous campaigns, it seems to be a requisite to refer to one’s first encounter with SHOT and to emphasize the formative role of it for one’s further career. Well, in my case, it definitely was. I vividly remember my first SHOT meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, 1990. I was a latecomer to SHOT. I just had finished my habilitation, a kind of second dissertation, which in the German academic system was obligatory to qualify for a professorship, on the history of aeronautical and space research. Otto Mayr, back then director general of the Deutsche Museum and later Leonardo da Vinci-medalist of SHOT, had hired me for a curatorial position in the aviation and space department of the museum. He introduced me to SHOT and strongly recommended to participate in the next meeting. Since I had just published an article in the prestigious journal Historische Zeitschrift on engineering education in the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany and Austria in comparison, I offered a talk on the subject for the Cleveland meeting and applied for the Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize. On the first view, the meeting was a disappointment. My talk received neither the prize nor any substantial attention. To the contrary, the commentator of the session lengthy referred to the other two papers, but lost no word on mine. On the second view, however, the meeting became a milestone in my career. As a newcomer to the field and community, I was so openly and warmhearted welcomed which was in stark contrast to the back then still very hierarchical academic community in Germany. Not only socially, I immediately felt at home, but also intellectually. I got so much food for thought from this meeting, let alone the many new friendships continuing to this day.

I might be considered a historian of technology by accident, since in the early 1980s, when I studied history, social history was en vogue and for long, I was a true believer that research in the social and cultural dimensions of history was the essence of the discipline and it would continue to be so in the future. Hence, I did my dissertation in social history, on a subject, however, that alluded to technical issues: a history of pit foremen and mining engineers, 1815-1945. My aforementioned second book on the history of aeronautical and space research then brought me much closer to the field, I even started to regularly read Technology & Culture. When I later became curator at the Deutsches Museum and eventually Head of Research of Germany’s national museum of science and technology,

I started to develop into a full-fledged historian of technology (and science) – with an open eye on conceptual, theoretical, and methodological developments in other fields of history. This is present also in the denomination of my position as a Professor of Modern History and History of Technology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, which I hold next to my position at the Deutsches Museum since 1997. In 2009, I was lucky to receive a huge federal fund to establish the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) jointly with my Munich colleague Christof Mauch. Today, the RCC counts as the leading center in the flourishing field of Environmental Humanities.

Apart from history of technology, my main research interests are innovation cultures in international comparison; science, technology and European integration; and environmental history. I have published widely in the history of technology, and my recent publications include the volumes Building Europe on Expertise. Innovators, Organizers, Networkers (2014), Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands (2015), and Cycling and Recycling. Histories of Sustainable Practices (2016).

Since my first encounter with SHOT in Cleveland, the society truly shaped my intellectual agenda, even more so when I was named one of its very first International Scholars. SHOT has continued to do so ever since, be it through numerous annual meetings I have attended, through reading its flagship publication Technology & Culture, and through various committees I served. SHOT also served as midwife for a network that I co-founded a quarter-century ago: Artefacts. The idea of launching an association to foster object-oriented and collection-based research gained momentum at the SHOT-meeting 1995 held jointly with the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. At that conference, Bernhard Finn, curator of electrical collections at the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, Robert Bud, back then curator of biosciences and head of life and communication technologies at the Science Museum in London, agreed on the idea that these three repositories of material heritage in the field of science and technology should join forces to develop research programs and debates on how to value museum collections. The first meeting took place in connection with SHOT’s next annual conference at the Science Museum in August 1996. Ever since, the Artefacts network has held its annual meetings, often as a kind of pre-SHOT conference, and publishes its series Artefacts: Studies in the History of Science and Technology with Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

My longstanding involvement with SHOT and other academic associations – currently, I serve as Vice President of the German Society for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (GWMT) and I’m also a member of both Leopoldina, Germany’s National Academy of Sciences, and acatech, Germany National Academy of Engineering Sciences – as well as with large-scale international research projects such as Tensions of Europe has made me familiar with the inner workings of academic societies.

Let me finally briefly sketch my ideas for future trajectories of SHOT, if I were elected.

First, my experiences with the collaborative program Tensions of Europe which in total involved more than 200 scholars inside and outside of Europe – the vast majority being members of SHOT – have taught me the importance of international collaborations and the need to further internationalize our society. To me, the memorable meeting in Singapore, has impressively shown the add-on value of any effort to break out of our comfort zone in the Global North. To include scholars from the Global South in a seriously meant effort to truly internationalize, if not globalize, would very much enrich SHOT’s intellectual agenda. With its wonderful tradition of welcoming scholars from every possible region and culture, SHOT is perfectly suited to strife for a continuous internationalization – also to fight the threatening perils of nationalism, racism, and anti-democratic populism.

Second, from my experiences to collaborative in inter- and transdisciplinary settings and in running a center for Environmental Humanities, I highly value the intellectual exchange with other disciplines and academic communities. As director of the Rachel Carson Center, I’m well aware that it was SHOT’s Special Interest Group Envirotech that has pioneered the merger of “nature and technology” to stimulate research that aims at blurring the boundaries between these two seemingly separated spheres. SHOT members have continuously strived to transgress both academic barriers and disciplinary borders. SHOT as an academic association could go further in its attempts to foster inter- and transdisciplinarity, surely without losing its identity as a professional association of scholars interested in the temporalities of technology in and with society.

Third, from the current experiences of the corona pandemic and Covid-19 in combination with threating climate change and environmental degradation, professional associations in academia are asked to rethink their habits and cultures. By travelling the world to meet in workshops and conferences, scholars generally produce a huge ecological footprint. In our critical studies on the use of technology we are good at pointing to historical developments that have led to the crisis, we are currently facing. We are, however, less good at critically re-thinking our habits to foster new ideas how to exchange our thoughts and findings. I’m afraid, it is high time, to do so. SHOT with its wide-ranging professional expertise in technologies as means of communication could lead the way. 

Treasurer (1 position – 1 candidate)

Amy Bix:
Amy Bix has been serving as SHOT treasurer since 2019. She is professor of history at Iowa State University and director of ISU’s Consortium for Historical Studies of Technology and Science. She served as SHOT secretary for five years in the early 2000s, handling organization operations and the management of annual meetings, including the fiftieth-anniversary celebrations. Bix has also served on the SHOT Executive Council, the SHOT Finance Committee, and a number of other SHOT administrative and awards committees. Bix researches a variety of topics in the history of technology; her book, Girls Coming to Tech: A History of American Engineering Education for Women, won the History of Science Society’s 2015 Margaret Rossiter Prize . Her current book project analyzes the history behind today’s large and influential STEM movement for K-12 girls. 

Nominations Committee (1 position – 2 candidates)

Mats Fridlund:
My history with SHOT goes back to 1992 when I was an excited Swedish graduate student helping out at the SHOT meeting in Uppsala. Today I am an associate professor of history of science and ideas and deputy director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at University of Gothenburg. Since defending my PhD in history of technology in 1999 I have held teaching and research positions in history of science, technology and industrialization, history, STS, international studies, and political science in the UK, US, Denmark, Finland, Germany and China. I have served on several of SHOTs committees and interest groups and I served on the Executive Council 2015-17. I’ve also held positions in ICOHTEC and the IEE History of Technology Network in the UK.

I see the main priorities for the Nominating Committee to be able to seek out the finest candidates that we can find – new and old faces, senior as well as junior scholars – who are willing to serve SHOT and who are both representative of the Society’s existing diversity of members and professional interests as well as willing to take the lead to guide SHOT onto new unchartered paths. My most valuable assets as a member of the Nomination Committee would be, in addition to a long and varied experience of serving SHOT and working as a teacher and researcher in history of technology on three continents, a wide network of contacts among historians of technology worldwide.

I feel that the diversity of my research makes me well prepared for appreciating the diversity of interests among SHOT’s members. My first book was on the role of industrial nationalism, professional networks, and critical problems in the development of Swedish electric power technologies. My current research keeps a conceptual emphasis on technopolitics but has shifted empirical focus to the role of technology in the origin and globalization of terrorism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Additionally, I have been engaged in developing research and teaching on materiality studies, history of emotions, Chinese history of technology and digital humanities. As a student and young scholar SHOT and especially its Special Interest Groups provided me with intellectual stimulus and professional and personal companionship, and my long and very rewarding SHOT experience makes me very much value this opportunity to give back and pay forward to “my” society.

Ellan Spero:
It is an honor to be nominated to stand for election in this global community of scholars.  As a historian of technology, I draw upon a multidisciplinary background in history, science, and design, to address the ways that people envision human progress, through the institutions, objects, and narratives that they create.  A more equitable and sustainable future can only be imagined, let alone brought into action, with a critical and contextualized engagement with the past.

I am an instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and co-founder, and lead instructor of Station1, a nonprofit higher education institution focused on socially-directed science and technology.  Previously, I held appointments at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, and Singapore University of Technology and Design.  I develop and teach integrative, interdisciplinary curriculum where I bring the history of science and technology and a material culture approach to collaborate with scientists and engineers.  My current primary research project addresses the materiality of water infrastructure systems, and technologies of resilience.  Previously, I have worked on academic-industrial partnerships, and envisioning progress, with a recent chapter about Singapore and the multicultural garden ideal (World’s Fairs in the Cold War).

Within the SHOT community, I am especially interested in supporting global connections, pedagogy, and collaboration with practioners in science and technology.  I served on the local organizing committee for the Singapore meeting.  Preceding the meeting, I organized a pedagogy-themed THATCamp at SUTD.  I serve on the Robinson Prize Committee, and participate in the Prometheans and EDITH.  I hold a Ph.D. from MIT in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society, B.S. and M.S. from Cornell University in Fiber Science and Apparel Design, and a M.A from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Museum Studies and Textile Conservation.

Editorial Committee (1 position – 2 candidates)

Maria Paula Diogo:
I am Full Professor of History of Technology and Engineering at the School of Science and Technology of NOVA University of Lisbon and member of CIUHCT (Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology), the major Portuguese research unit in our field of expertise. I served as President of the Department of Applied Social Sciences and as Coordinator of CIUHCT for more than a decade. Having pioneered the field of History of Technology in Portugal, I strongly contributed to create a considerable, vivid, high-quality and internationally driven community of Portuguese historians of technology with strong interactions with historians of science.  I served in a large number of scientific committees of research networks, editorial boards, and professional societies, including SHOT Scientific Committee and, presently, the ESHS Scientific Board.

It is an honor to be considered for membership on SHOT’s Editorial Committee. Participation in SHOT has been a central part of my professional development since my Ph.D. and through my stimulus also of the Portuguese group of historians of technology. My first SHOT meeting in 1996 (London), was an unforgettably remarkable experience from the academic, professional and personal points of view. Various professional friendships date back to this meeting.

My past experience in scientific management (including as Associate editor of the Journal of Engineering Studies), my strong relationship with other European research networks (ToE and STEP) and associations (ESHS) and with South American researchers enable me to be well-positioned to help broaden Technology and Culture’s readership and authorship.

My recent research interests intersect history of technology with globalization and the Anthropocene predicament. In this context I co-authored the book Europeans Globalizing. Mapping, Exploiting, Exchanging (Making Europe Book Series. Palgrave, 2016) and co-edited Gardens and Human Agency in the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2019).

Chihyung Jeon:
I am associate professor at the Graduate School of Science, Technology, and Policy of KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). I was trained in history of technology and STS by doing a dissertation on the history of the aircraft pilot as a model personhood for human-machine relationship. I continue to write about human-technology relationship within historical and cultural contexts and about the connection between engineering, environment, and politics in South Korea. Before and after I started my position at KAIST, I had good opportunities of conducting research as a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (2010-11) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich (2016-17).

Since my graduate school years, SHOT and T&C have been important spaces for my intellectual growth and professional engagement. I’ve had the honor of publishing two articles in T&C, one on highway construction and nation-building in South Korea (2010) and the other on flight simulation and pilot identity (2015). In recent years, I’ve served as a contributing editor for T&C and I am impressed by how much the journal has expanded in its thematic and geographical scope. I am especially glad to see that T&C has been publishing an increasing number of articles on Asia or by authors in Asia.

Currently I’m serving as an associate editor for the international journal East Asian Science, Technology and Society and as the editor-in-chief for Journal of Science and Technology Studies, the official journal of the Korean STS Association. If elected to the SHOT editorial committee, I’d be eager to build a stronger connection between SHOT and a growing group of historians of technology in East Asia in terms of publishing and other types of scholarly exchange. It will be a great honor to contribute to the academic society from which I’ve learned so much.

Vote online until September 15 2020 via the online ballot

In case you want to vote by regular mail or e-mail please use the paper ballot that you can find in the SHOT Election Newsletter or you can download the Election Newsletter 2020 here.

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