Meet the Editorial Board Members

East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (EASTS)

Get to know the Editorial Board members behind East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (EASTS) . In this interview, we chatted with five members of the EASTS Editorial Team who gave us valuable insights into their work, day-to-day roles, aspirations and processes of running a journal.

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From left to right: Prof. Lorem Ipsum

    Please tell us a bit about yourself, your work, and your role on the editorial board for this journal.  

    I am a Professor of public administration and Dean of the International College of Innovation, at National Chengchi University, Taiwan. My research focuses on environmental policy and governance, risk communication, and public participation, especially related to the field of science and technology and energy transition. I have been involved in the environmental movement in Taiwan since the 1990s and am an active organizer of citizen deliberative forums on various kinds of policy issues in Taiwan. As the journal’s Editor-in-Chief (EIC), I oversee the journal’s quality maintenance – making sure that all submissions go through constructive reviewing processes.  

    I am Professor and Director at the Institute of Science, Technology and Society at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU), Taiwan. I was trained as a clinical psychiatrist and a medical sociologist and, currently serve as an Associate Editor. My role is to support the EiC in journal-related issues, such as screening incoming submissions, recommending initial assessments, suggesting potential reviewers, and other administrative work.

    Since graduating from the STS department at RPI in 1999, I have been teaching at the Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies at Shih-Hsin University. My initial research interests include anthropology of technology and appropriate technology, which are closely connected to my involvement in the labor and environmental movements both in Taiwan and internationally. 
    For the past 15 years, I have developed a keen interest in law and science, spurred by my involvement with colleagues in the STS community in a long-running collective lawsuit filed by RCA workers in Taiwan against their former employers for workplace-related cancers. As an Associate Editor, I assist the EiC by screening incoming submissions, finding suitable reviewers, and helping authors navigate the review and revision processes. 

    While serving as Managing Editor of EASTS, I am also currently a postdoctoral fellow at National Chengchi University with academic background in cultural anthropology. My role at EASTS includes assisting the EiC in making initial assessments to new manuscript submissions, keeping track of each manuscript’s progress and organizing the contents before the publication of each issue. 
    I prepare and edit various documents on the EiC’s behalf, such as editorial articles, editorial letters, and meeting agenda for annual international editorial meetings. Along with our Project Manager Ting and the Editorial Assistants, we keep track of the progress of each article, communicate with authors, reviewers, editorial members and special issue guest editors, and report on the progress of the articles at our editorial meeting to ensure smooth operation of the journal. 

    Holding an MSc in Sociology and a BA from the Interdisciplinary Program of Humanities and Social Sciences, with a major in Sociology and double minors in Gender Studies and Literature & Creative Writing, I am pleased to serve as the Project Manager for EASTS. Sponsored by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in Taiwan, EASTS operates as a long-term project that requires comprehensive management, including proposal and report writing, budget planning and execution, and various logistical tasks. 
    In my role, I assist the EiC to ensure that these administrative tasks are handled smoothly. This involves facilitating communication between NSTC, the EASTS Editorial Office (including our book review and cover curating teams), and several publisher departments to coordinate online and in-print publications, as well as journal mailings. Beyond administrative duties, I also coordinate local and international meetings and lectures to promote academic exchange among scholars from different regions and generations. 

      As Editor-in-Chief of the journal, what do you find most rewarding about your role? 

      There is a consensus in the EASTS editorial board that we are nurturing a scholarly ecosystem for those who want to devote themselves to science, technology and society studies in Asia. EASTS is not only about East Asia. “East” can be understood as a centering of focus on Asia in contrast to Western mainstream STS. This broader perspective defines EASTS. As the EiC of EASTS, my role involves coordinating editorial efforts to assist authors in publishing their work. The most rewarding aspect of this position is communicating with reviewers and editors to provide constructive feedback for authors, helping them in improving their manuscripts. 
      Given that STS is a cross-disciplinary field, we receive submissions spanning across a wide range of topics, including engineering, medicine, energy, and artificial intelligence. It is challenging to find reviewers for interdisciplinary work. However, EASTS serves as a platform where different works pool together, cultivating an excellent community of scholars. As the EiC, I have had the privilege of working with many excellent scholars and engaging in fruitful discussions with them.

      In addition to our scholarly achievements, I take great pride in the special effort and attention that EASTS dedicates to aesthetics in curating our articles. Many of our readers have expressed appreciation for the cover images featured in our issues. We have a dedicated team ensuring that each cover image is carefully selected to reflect the theme of the respective issue.  
      EASTS also serves as a social hub where we bring together scholars with similar interests through various social gatherings. For example, at the annual 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science) meeting, we uphold the tradition of hosting an event called “EASTS Night.”  In recent years, we have collaborated with our sister journal, Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society, to host this event. Last year, at the Honolulu conference, we were delighted to welcome over 120 guests, making it a great success. 

        And what are some of the long-term goals you have for the journal’s development and impact in Science and Technology Studies (STS)?

        By providing accounts of the East Asian brand of STS, EASTS has played an important role in suggesting new possibilities to the scope of STS. We have also looked into the power of technology with double-edged risks and discussed controversies over technology development, and incorporated issues that emerge within the unique cultural context of Asia. Certain topics are prone to appear more often within a certain cultural context than another.  
        For example, the position of traditional medicine in a modernizing and globalizing society is a recurring topic in the Asian STS, although it might not be as mainstream in the global STS discourse. Carrying constant dialogues between EASTS and the global STS community can greatly contribute in defining the field of STS.  

          As Associate Editors, what are some key qualities you look for in a strong research paper submitted to EASTS?

          I always look out for impactful submissions that are novel, include rigorously designed and executed research, illuminating engagement with relevant scholarships, and derive insightful reflections based on what is known and what is to be known. I think all these factors add value to an article.  

          For me, the most admirable quality of a research paper is probably its relevance to social concerns of our day, broadly speaking and diversely defined. Academic rigor is of course a prerequisite: how well the empirical material is presented and connected to the main arguments, how well the arguments engage with existing literature in STS and related fields, and how much theoretical insight can potential readers of EASTS find in the published article. It is always a great delight to find work on a topic that I am not familiar with that sheds light on the on-going knowledge production of fellow STSers including myself. These exciting moments make editorial work particularly rewarding.

            As Managing Editor, can you walk us through the typical workflow for a manuscript submission, from initial submission to publication? 

            To start, all new submissions will undergo discussion with the EiC and Associate Editors. While some articles may face straightforward desk-rejection due to formatting issues such as manuscript length, we dedicate substantial time to discussing a diverse range of submissions. The range can include from well-investigated and well-written research but may not align with EASTS readers’ interests to intriguing topics that fit the journal’s scope but may lack research rigor or writing sophistication. We may opt for rejection if the topic diverges significantly from the discourse of STS, or if substantial revisions are needed before the manuscript reaches a publishable stage. In some cases, we will seek input from our advisory board members who are more familiar with the topic to assess the article’s viability.  
            Once an article progresses to the next stage, we consult our editorial board to identify potential reviewers. Often, an Associate Editor is appointed as a duty editor responsible for overseeing the article’s review process. Each article follows a unique path once we hear back from the reviewers. We collaborate with duty editors to determine the next steps, often involving multiple rounds of revisions and further reviewing before reaching the publication stage. Given the diverse perspectives among reviewers and editors, terms like “revise and resubmit” and “minor revision” may carry varying interpretations. It is our responsibility at the editorial office to navigate such inconsistencies and strive for balanced decision-making. 

              Can you share more about your day to day responsibilities in project management, and how you assist authors throughout the submission and publication process from the perspective of a Project Manager?

              Together with our Editorial Assistants, I ensure timely responses and actions to new submissions, review comments, revisions, technical issues, and any special requests or future cooperations. As Ryoko mentioned earlier, we assess submissions for suitability with our EIC and Associate Editors during meetings and seek suggestions from our editorial board for appropriate reviewers. We then send out review invitations and follow up emails to reviewers, editors, and authors to keep the review and revision process on track. 
              We also offer English editing services for authors where English is not their first language. Once the article is accepted after its rounds of revision, I will contact the author(s) and the publisher to sign the publishing agreement and production, following typesetting and proofreading.  

              Supported by NSTC and our publishing partner Routledge, the EAST Editorial Office designates some articles for open access publication without article processing charges, aiming to promote quality East Asian STS articles and to support scholars from economically disadvantaged countries.  
              We discuss the arrangements for each seasonal issue in our meetings. I will prepare the Table of Contents accordingly, in collaboration with the book review convenor and assistant, and organize the cover design with our cover curating team members (or sometimes guest editors) and designer to fit the specific issue with EIC’s approval. When an issue is typeset the managing editor, and I will double-check the proof for printing.  
              Even after publication, my responsibilities continue. Sometimes we receive requests about copyright and hear of future book publication plans. We always encourage the authors and publishers to contact Taylor and Francis Group to understand rights and permissions regarding reprinting, translation, and so forth; however, if there is any issue for further discussion, EASTS is also happy to provide assistance. Please feel free to contact [email protected] if you have any inquiries. 

              About the Journal