Monday, 20 September 2021

Editorship Proposal: "Science, Technology & Human Values"

The Society for the Social Studies of Science - one of the world's key learned society for science and technology studies, or STS - was looking for nominations/proposals for Editorship of its flagship journal, Science, Technology & Human Values (STHV). It's one of the top two journals in the field of STS, so has some prestige behind it. I've been a member of its Editorial Board since 2018, and I was totally chuffed about being asked to join it.

I was thinking about nominating myself - and asking someone else to join me - for the new Editorship, but I'm already a Co-Editor of another STS journal, Science as Culture, so it didn't seem either likely that I'd be selected, or, even if I was, it didn't seem like it'd be a healthy situation for STS as a field to have one person as Editor of two key journals.

So, instead, I thought I'd do something different.

In short, I submitted a proposal for rethinking the editorial position, selection, and process itself, combining what I called support for a "meta-editorial process" with an open, transparent, and democratic selection of 10 new Editors to form an Editorial Collective. That way, anyone could nominate themselves and no-one would benefit from an advantageous position within an existing prestige or personal network.

With the proposal for a meta-editorial process, I'm suggesting that we need to rethink the way we, as a field, organize journal publishing altogether. And my suggestion is that we need to take a more collective and coordinated approach across STS journals, rather than thinking about editorial process as being the domain of each journal individually.

Here's my proposal.

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