4S Council Meeting, 27 January 2020

With Publications Committee

In attendance: Joan Fujimura, Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Hsin-Hsing Chen, Wes Shrum, Lesley Green, Katie Ulrich, Roopali Phadke, Bryn Seabrook, Pablo Kreimer

Joan Fujimura brought the meeting to order at 9:06 am US EST.

Publications Committee and Journal Editorship Succession:

Joan Fujimura summarized the Publications Committee meeting about selection of a new editorial team for ESTS.  Efforts were made to increase the number of proposals, but only one was received.  Several issues were raised: 1) Whether the recommended editorial team occupied overly junior level positions at their universities.  The committee was assured that these positions are secure. 2) How would the editorial team work with Managing Editor Katie Vann?  The Publications Committee will provide support in the transition and make lines of responsibility clear.  It also is understood that Vann works for the society, not the editors, and that the society will assist Vann with any issues that emerge.  During the development of proposals, it was also agreed that each editorial collective would assign one main contact for Vann, preferably the chair of the collective.  3) Questions were raised about the transition from the current editor to the new team.  It has been agreed that six months will be sufficient for the transition.

Concerning the term length of the new editorship, Fujimura recommended a term of five years but encouraged further Council discussion.  Teun Zuiderent-Jerak reminded Council that the team applied under conditions of a three-year term plus the possibility of renewal for another two years.  Lesley Green suggested that we retain the three plus two since that was how it was advertised.  Further discussion of this issue led to concern expressed about the possibility of needing to conduct another search in the third year if we do not continue with the current team.  Fujimura suggested that we wait until the end of the third year to conduct a review.  Fujimura also indicated that the editorial team has experimental ideas about changes in the journal and thus will need sufficient time to implement them.  There also was concern expressed about building the impact factor.  Roopali Phadke questioned how the decision of Council will be communicated to the society membership.  Fujimura indicated that she will take responsibility for this communication both with existing and future editors and via the President’s Message in Technoscience.  Phadke recommended that the new editorial team write a piece for Technoscience describing their vision and inviting contributions.  Zuiderent-Jerak recommended that this communication include the information that the new proposal reflected on concerns of the membership gathered in a survey.  Phadke also recommended clear communication with the current editorial board.  Fujimura indicated that it is Daniel Kleinman’s responsibility to communicate with the current editorial board but also recommended that the new team maintain some continuity between old and new board members.

Roopali Phadke motioned that we vote on acceptance of the new proposal for an editorial team of ESTS.  Joan Fujimura seconded.  The vote was eight in favor, zero opposed, zero abstained.  The 4S Council unanimously approved the motion.  There also was consensus in Council that the term would be set for three years plus the possibility of renewal for two more years, with review occurring during the third year.

An additional question raised about whether the editorial board is associated with the journal or with the editorial team.  The concern is over maintaining balance and continuity, bringing new people in and retaining older people and how to communicate change effectively.

Reappointment of Secretary and Treasurer

Council voted unanimously to reappoint Stephen Zehr as secretary for a term of three years to end after the 4S meetings in 2022.  Council voted unanimously to reappoint Paige Miller as treasurer for a term of three years to end after the 4S meetings in 2022.

Future Meetings

Joan Fujimura described ongoing preparations for the EASST/4S meeting in Prague.  Six subplenaries are planned and a speaker list is being developed.  Speakers will give presentations and engage in discussion with each other.  The Program Committee is now addressing different forms of content for the meeting.  A day-to-day plan for the meeting is under development.  The budget also is being carefully monitored.  As a joint meeting with EASST, any revenue will be shared between the societies as is common practice.  However, 4S will take responsibility for more expenses due to its larger size.  Fujimura also welcomed suggestions and questions from Council.  A ticketed banquet at a palace is being organized by the local organizers.  A 40 Euro cost is proposed with lower costs for students.  Food and drinks at the banquet will be unlimited.  There also will be a beer reception.  Teun Zuiderent-Jerak asked that sufficient vegetarian options be available at both events.

Joan Fujimura adjourned the meeting at approximately 10:00 am US EST.