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December 14th, 2021

SHOT Elections 2021

Vote online until 28 December via the online ballot

President’s Message

Dear SHOT Members,

It’s time to vote! A little later than usual, but just as consequential—it’s time again for SHOT members to choose their representatives on the Executive Council and the weigh in on the membership of a few key committees.  Please take a few minutes to read through the candidate profiles then login to our online voting system to indicate your choices. You can vote until 28 December 2021.

SHOT depends on the commitment of its volunteer committee members, both elected and appointed.  If are interested in serving the Society, please let me know. The list of all SHOT’s committees can be found here.

For those of you who practice of end of year charitable giving, please consider remembering SHOT.  Donations to the General Fund, T&C Endowment, and Travel Fund are always welcome. If you have something else in mind or would like to include SHOT in your estate planning, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With warm wishes at year’s end,

Arwen Mohun
President

SHOT Elections 2021

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

Executive Council (3 positions – 7 candidates)

Martin Emanuel
I am a historian of science and technology (PhD 2013, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm). After postdoc periods at Uppsala University (STS Centre), TU Eindhoven (Technology, Innovation and Society group) and the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg (Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History), I am currently a researcher at the Department of Urban Planning and the Environment at KTH. Much of my research is at the intersection of urban, mobility and environmental history, and the history of technology. I have published on the history of mundane mobility practices, today widely considered as sustainable: walking and cycling, including how traffic policy, urban planning and grassroots initiatives have shaped the material and spatial conditions for these modes of mobility. Among my other research interests, one is (although currently resting) on Cold War techno-science and diplomacy, in particular Swedish-Soviet collaboration in space science.

With previous experience from various functions of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M), including as Vice President, I am now keen to serve on SHOT’s Executive Council. If elected, my aim is to develop the organization’s sustainability agenda in terms of research, teaching and academic practice. In uncovering how unsustainable presents came about, I firmly believe that we as historians can incite and give clues about how to achieve more sustainable futures. To that end, in the past years I have been instrumental (with Dutch colleagues) in developing the “sustainable urban mobility”-theme of the Tensions of Europe’s research agenda on technology’s role in societal “grand challenges.” With an educational background in engineering physics, I also strongly hold that engineering students need training in non-technical aspects to engage successfully with such challenges in their future work. As many history of technology groups struggle for space in university curricula, I envision a role for SHOT to support exchange of experiences about strategies to promote our knowledge field. Finally, in these times of climate change, I find it crucial that SHOT seeks ways to continue curating a sense of community among members without overly relying on extensive air travel to our (however encouraging and useful!) annual meetings.

Xiaochang Li
I am an assistant professor at Stanford University in the Department of Communication and affiliated faculty in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science and the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. My current project focuses on the history of speech recognition and natural language processing in the United States and how efforts to map communication to computation fueled the rise of “data-driven” analytics and machine learning as privileged and pervasive forms of knowledge. It follows how the specific challenges of making language computationally tractable in areas such as signal processing, artificial intelligence, and data management shaped both the epistemic priorities of computer science and the material configurations of computer machinery, opening the door for a narrow strain of data-centric statistical modeling into the sphere of everyday life. More broadly, my interests across research and teaching center around the relationship between media and information technologies, knowledge production, and the organization of social life. I am particularly interested in the role of media and information technologies as mechanisms of transfer and questions of how knowledge practices and power relations are reproduced and mobilized across diverse domains and at vastly different scales.

As a relatively new member of the SHOT community, I am honored to be nominated for this election. My primary point of entry has been as part of the Meetings Team for SIGCIS (Special Interest Group for Computing, Information, and Society), where I found myself to be part of a growing number of interdisciplinary scholars from media studies, STS, and related fields that have found an exciting intellectual home at SHOT. In organizing the 2021 SIGCIS virtual conference, I saw how the deliberate effort to make the event more accessible in both practical and disciplinary terms resulted in a diverse, vibrant, and incredibly generative gathering. I am thus deeply invested in continuing to build the rich and dynamic interdisciplinary networks that have emerged at SHOT, particularly through efforts that make SHOT more accessible to scholars across diverse disciplines and geographies and those that provide mentorship and professional support to students and early career scholars.

Tiago Saraiva
I have been an assistant professor in the Department of History at Drexel University since the fall of 2012. Prior to that I was a research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) of the University of Lisbon for seven years and a visiting professor at UCLA (2007/2008 and 2011) and UC Berkeley (2011/2012). My current work deals with the historical connections between science, food, and politics. Mixing approaches from history of science, history of technology and environmental history, I follow the transnational circulation of Californian oranges from and into Brazil, Palestine, Algeria and South Africa. I am interested in what travels attached to Californian technoscientific oranges such as cloning practices, viruses, growers’ cooperatives and racialized labor relations. Together with Francesca Bray, Barbara Hahn, and John-Bosco Lourdusamy, I am now exploring new ways of writing global history through the history of crops. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science generously supports our ongoing project “Moving Crops and the Scales of History” aimed at producing a multi-authored narrative of crops on the move through areas of the globe beyond the West and crossing different time periods.

I have previously served on the SHOT Program and Robinson Prize Committees.

Jeff Schramm
I am an Associate Professor in the History and Political Science department at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. An Illinois native, I am an alumnus of Missouri S&T, having received a BA in History in 1992. I earned my MA and PhD from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1995 and 2003. The first SHOT meeting I attended was in Washington, DC in 1993. I currently serve on the SHOT sites committee and helped organize the 2018 St. Louis meeting along with Amy Bix and Jeff Manuel. I regularly teach undergraduate courses on the history of technology, history of modern architecture, and the US survey. I have been recognized for exceptional teaching with several teaching awards including a Faculty Teaching Award and multiple Outstanding Teaching Awards. My first book, Out of Steam: Dieselization and American Railroads, 1920-1960, was published in 2010.  I’m currently deep into writing a history of the United States Bureau of Mines. Future research plans include mining in the US Midwest and a sensory and cultural history of the steam locomotive. I am an advisor for several undergraduate student organizations including the St. Pats board and KMNR 89.7fm, the student radio station. Occasionally I even take over the airways as a DJ.

SHOT has been an intellectual home for me for over 25 years. It continues to be instrumental in shaping the scholar and teacher that I’ve become. The many fine papers presented at the annual meeting, together with the excellent articles in Technology & Culture and even informal conversations in the hallways and over meals inspire and educate me and directly influence not only my scholarship but my teaching. I was welcomed into SHOT as a graduate student and try to continue to welcome scholars of all types into our organization. I have no agenda other than continuing and improving on the great work that SHOT has done, especially in welcoming new scholars, improving public engagement, and enhancing the teaching, broadly conceived, of the history of technology.

Ashley Shew
Thank you for the nomination to run for this position. My name is Ashley Shew, and I am a huge fan of the Society for the History of Technology, having enjoyed your events, scholarship, people, and the sort of energy this society brings to both academic and public discourse. History of technology is of vital importance in understanding so many things and crucial to work in many other disciplines in the sciences, humanities, and arts. The SHOT conferences I’ve attended have been vibrant, welcoming, and energizing.

I’m a recently-tenured associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech in the United States. My work is in philosophy of technology with interests in disability studies, animal studies, and emerging technologies. Though I am not primarily an historian, I consider history of technology to be of fundamental importance to scholarship in STS, philosophy of technology, bioethics, and engineering studies. My current research is about the narratives disabled people tell that differ from the dominant social narratives we have about technology and disability (NSF CAREER #1750260). I am co-editor-in-chief of the Society for Philosophy and Technology’s journal, Techné. I’ve co-edited three volumes in philosophy of technology and written one scholarly book, Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge (2017). I am working on my second book, a more popular-oriented book about technology and disability, called Technoableism.

My interest in disability tech is both personal and professional, and I’d love to provide information and coordination about accessibility in this role. If elected to SHOT Executive Council, I would look forward to continuing SHOT’s role in co-locating and cross-dialogue with other scholarly organizations, like HSS, SPT, INES, and 4S. There is much I admire about how SHOT is currently run, its organization of special interest groups, its excellent publications, and rocking conferences. There is no society I regard as more vibrant or more aspirational in terms of engaging community. If elected to serve, I would humbly work to continue SHOT’s tradition of excellence and scholarly excitement.

Matthew Wisnioski
As a SHOT member since 2002, I am honored to stand for election for Executive Council. I am an associate professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech where I study the history of technology-society boundaries, mentor future historians, and work with practitioners to reimagine ways of being technologists. I received my BS in materials science from Johns Hopkins and my PhD in history from Princeton. My first book, Engineers for Change: Competing Visions of Technology in 1960s America, revealed how engineers’ participation in Vietnam era politics reshaped the meanings of “technology” in American life. SHOT’s origin and evolution was a crucial part of that history. In the volume Does America Need More Innovators? I worked with Eric Hintz and Marie Stettler Kleine to bring together champions, critics, and reformers to explore innovation’s promises and pitfalls. My current research, Every American an Innovator, traces the emergence and evolution of innovation culture from World War II to the present. In a new co-authored project, I use The Magic School Bus to investigate the co-creation of STEM education and new media technology. I contribute to a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project, the NSF’s nationwide reform program. Additionally, I serve in leadership roles for a journal, book series, and working group in engineering studies. I approach history as engaged scholarship by blending historical research, participant observation, critical pedagogy, and organizational change.

If elected to Executive Council, I will advocate to extend SHOT’s reach as a welcoming community for interdisciplinary exchange and help recruit new and non-traditional members to the society. I will bring to Council my experience with ground-level collaboration, publication venues, and community-building in engineering studies. I will apply this interdisciplinary, engaged perspective to aid SHOT in navigating its identity with respect to global “technoscience,” a project it shares with 4S and HSS.  When SHOT was founded, it distinguished “technology” as distinct from “science,” and did so squarely within academic history. SHOT can be a leader in scholarship on global technoscience, if it is clear-eyed about the convergence and reinterpretation of these boundaries, including the transformation in technology’s meanings, and open to collaborative engagement.

Liang Yao
It is an honor to be considered as a candidate for the SHOT Executive Council. I am an assistant professor at Peking University, China. My research focuses on how science and technology have played a role in negotiating east-west interactions since the nineteenth century when modernization and nationalism have become dominating themes. While yearning for western science and technology, modern China has a strong sense of nationalism in science and technology development. Such confliction was not only reflected in big science and engineering projects, but also in everyday technologies. Currently, I am working on a book manuscript centering on the history of Coca-Cola in China. It shows how science, technology and modernity became an ideology and embedded in commodity production and consumption.

I first joined a SHOT meeting at Tacoma, Washington in 2010 when I was a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The meeting was inspiring and greatly broadened my horizons. Since then, I have become a regular attendee and participant at SHOT meetings. After I returned to China, SHOT has been my important platform connecting to the western academia. Between 2019 and 2020, I was an international scholar at SHOT, during which we started to plan on organizing SHOT workshops in China. Beginning in 2021, I serve as a member in the SHOT internationalization committee and help to organize an East Asian-based panel at the annual conference.

SHOT is a vibrant scholarly community, and its progress needs efforts of scholars from all over the world. As a big country, China has a rich history in science and technology. Scholarly works from China and other East Asian areas could make important contributions to the field. Although there is an increasing number of Asian scholars in SHOT meetings every year, connections between SHOT and East Asia remain limited. If elected to the SHOT Executive Council, I will closely work with colleagues at home and abroad to promote further connections. I would be very happy to enhance SHOT’s visibility in East Asia and bring more Asian researchers, especially graduate students and young scholars, into the community. 

Nominating Committee (1 position – 2 candidates)

Slawomir Lotysz
I am a professor of history based at the Institute for the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland, where I defended my PhD in 2005, and subsequently my habilitation (second dissertation) in 2014. My research focuses on the relation between technology, politics and health, but I am also interested in environmental history. Quite recently I started gravitating toward intersection with disability studies. My recent books Welfare factory. Penicillin beyond the Iron Curtain, 1945-54 (Warsaw: Aspra 2020), and The Pripet Marshes. Nature, knowledge, and power in Polish Polesie until 1945 (Krakow: Universitas 2022, forthcoming) are being translated into English and will be published with international publishers soon.

I attended my first SHOT conference in 2003, still as a PhD candidate, and has been named the International Scholar in 2007-08. Afterwards, however, I got engaged myself chiefly with the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), where I served as its Secretary General (2013-17), and subsequently its President (2017-21). Aside of SHOT meetings (also in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2019, and 2021), I was regularly attending the conferences of Tensions of Europe, European Society for Environmental History, and the symposia organized by the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies at Shanghai University. Among practical results of these extended networks are joint research projects with partners from Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, and the UK.

If elected to the SHOT Nomination Committee, I will take advantage of my extensive scholarly networks, which I have managed to build over nearly two decades of activity within diverse fields of interests, and geographical settings. As a historian having a permanent research position in Poland, and well recognized abroad, I hope to serve as a bridge between SHOT and scholars in Central and Eastern Europe.

Andrew McGee
Andrew Meade McGee is a historian of the politics, culture, and technology of the twentieth century United States. His book-in-progress, Mainfraiming America, is a political history of the computer from the 1940s to the 1980s, examining the institutional, intellectual, and governmental policy origins of modern American information society. He has held national fellowships in technology history (the Tomash Fellowship in the History of Information Technology from the Charles Babbage Institute) and political history (the Dissertation Year Fellowship from the Harry S. Truman Library).

He is a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for the History of Technology, the Business History Conference, and the American Society for Environmental History. His broader interests include history of capitalism, policy history, urban history, digital humanities, and global environmental history.

Editorial Committee (1 position – 2 candidates)

Jahnavi Phalkey
Jahnavi Phalkey is a historian of science and technology. Formerly at King’s College London, she is now the Founding Director of Science Gallery Bengaluru and Sir Asutosh Mukherjee Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. She has been a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2013-14) following which she was on secondment to the Science Museum London as external curator (2013-2015).

Jahnavi is the author of Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India (2013) and has recently co-edited Science of Giants: China and India in the Twentieth Century (2016). She is on the editorial board for the British Journal for the History of Science and History and Technology. She is the director – producer of the documentary film Cyclotron (2020).

Edna Suárez-Díaz
I am Full Professor of History of Science and Technology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where I was trained in history and philosophy of science. Between 2005 and 2008 I was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, an opportunity that enabled me to build lasting international collaborations and friendships.

My previous work focused on the practices and technologies of quantification and automation in the field of molecular evolution. In the last decade, I made my way to the history of technology with a project on the impact of the Cold War and nuclear technologies in my country. The subject was relatively new for the region, and it opened countless possibilities to connect with historians from regions seldom studied in our field, until recently. My first contact with SHOT took place in 2016, when my colleague Gisela Mateos and I presented our work on the mobilization of radioisotopes to Mexico. We are now co-writing a book tentatively titled Expensive Toys. Selling Atoms for Development in Postwar Mexico. Nowadays, I began working on the history of socialist global health, under a project funded by the Wellcome Trust with colleagues in Germany and the UK.

In SHOT, I have found an energizing and generous community, which has been essential to think critically about technical assistance and development in the so-called Third World. In 2019 SHOT gave me the opportunity to act as an intermediary with the growing community of historians of technology in Latin America when I was named Core Regional Actor by the Internationalization Committee.

If elected to the Editorial Committee, I plan to use my experience serving as member of other editorial boards, including History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Osiris, Perspectives on Science, Theoria, and the History of Anthropology Review. More recently, I have been invited to serve as member of Isis and Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences’ teams. Working in those boards has been one of the most enriching experiences of my academic life, including the joy to help others to make out the best of their work.

Vote online until 28 December via the online ballot

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