Serving as convener of the EASTS book review board from roughly 2012 to 2018, I’ve enjoyed working with my collegial fellow book review editors, inspiring members of the editorial and advisory boards, visionary associate editors, and two charismatic editors-in-chief. In an earlier article, I elaborated on how book reviews have facilitated a conversation among STS scholars of a global community beyond national and parochial boundaries (Tinn 2016). My thanks go to editor-in-chief Wen-Hua Kuo for generously offering this space for me to reflect on the conclusion of my six-year tenure. As convener, I am most grateful to the scholars and supporters who have fostered values of multilingualism, interdisciplinarity, and diversity in our work.
First, we have remained committed to publishing book reviews written in East Asian languages: some 40 percent of our reviews from January 2012 (issue 6.1) to December 2017 (11.4) were of books written in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This has provided a unique window into otherwise underexamined scholarship in East Asian languages to scholars working in predominantly English-language environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In the future, I believe EASTS will continue to provide its readers with distinct perspectives on publications in East Asian languages. Although no easy task, the next book review editorial team will, I am sure, continue to seek out multilingual partners to promote exciting new scholarship from around the world.
Second, among the book review authors who kindly contributed to EASTS from 2012 to 2017, around 25 percent were affiliated with research or educational institutions in North America, 21.5 percent in Taiwan, 22 percent in Korea, Japan, or China, 20.5 percent in the UK or Europe, 8 percent in Southeast or South Asia, and 2.5 percent in Latin America or Australia. This all affirms our dedication to bringing together a global community of science and technology studies at both the authorship and readership levels. I’m positive that this dedication will be shared by future book review editors.
Third, we have worked with experimental formats for our book reviews. From 2012 to 2018, we gradually published more and more review essays in which more than one book is examined (e.g., Hsu 2016; Lee 2017; Fischer 2018). We have also asked scholars to review books published in different languages (Yen 2017). Finally, we also commissioned two authors to review different books on the German natural philosopher Ernst Haeckel (Huang 2017; Inaba 2017).
Broadly speaking, the book review board of 2016–18 consisted of five sociologists, two anthropologists, and three historians. At least four book review editors hold degrees from interdisciplinary PhD programs in science and technology studies. With collective effort, we have successfully constructed a repository of book reviews with disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary diversity.
To carry on the culinary metaphor proposed by ex-editor-in-chief Chia-Ling Wu and current editor-in-chief, Wen-Hua Kuo, I would like to conclude with the observation that our gastronomical laboratory has produced very palatable book reviews that have brought scholars together, whether as writers or readers, in a place that is inclusive, productive, creative, and fun. The scholarship and community on STS in East Asia has become so much more accessible and legible as a result of our adventurous endeavors. I’m extremely grateful to all the book review editors, authors, editorial and advisory board members, associate editors, and the two editors-in-chief from 2012 to 2018!