In spring 2006 I received an intriguing invitation. With support from the National Science Council of Taiwan, Fu Daiwie was about to launch a new journal, EASTS. He and his colleagues asked me to join the editorial board and to attend an inaugural international conference in Taipei that summer. It was an irresistible offer and of course I accepted immediately!

Why did I find the EASTS project so attractive? One reason was that it was based in Taiwan. Over the previous years I had come to consider Taiwan one of the most exciting centers for historical or STS debate. I was struck by the vitality, openness, and acumen of discussions, whether they were about historical method or geopolitics. I had already enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with Daiwie Fu on a big historical project (Chemla et al. 2001)....

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