Remembering Professor Chyuan-Yuan Wu, a Pioneer in East Asian Technology Studies

It is with great sadness that we report on the loss of Professor Chyuan-Yuan Wu (吳泉源), who left us this past November after a battle with liver cancer. In addition to his many achievements at the National Tsinghua University—where he had taught for more than a quarter of a century as a professor and also served as director of the Institute of Sociology as well as deputy dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences—Professor Wu was recognized as an authority in technology studies and a pioneer of STS in Taiwan. A researcher and teacher devoted to understanding the “aesthetic characteristic” of industrial development and technological practice in this energetic island where he was born and raised, Professor Wu’s scholarship revolved around engineers and innovators, figures often ignored in latecomer countries such as Taiwan. In addition to his academic work, Professor Wu was also the producer of two documentary films (one on injection molding technology and the other on the design of integrated circuits) and a veteran consultant to exhibitions on technology and industry in Taiwan.

As a firm supporter of STS, Professor Wu also served as editor of the Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine (科技、醫療與社會) and as a council member for the Taiwan Science, Technology, and Society Association (台灣科技與社會研究學會). He was also an important friend of EASTS, although his editorial commitment was to our sister journal, Engineering Studies, where he served as an associate editor. Our advisory editor and the former editor-in-chief of Engineering Studies, Gary Downey, has kindly written an obituary (on Facebook at is.gd/JfU2hS). But it is a statement by Professor Wu himself that best summarizes his life and career: “When people stand at my grave, I hope they’ll remember me as someone who worked hard on the history of technology in Taiwan (一個曾經為台灣技術史打拼過的人).”

We are very sorry to lose such an outstanding STS scholar, communicator, and teacher. May he rest in peace.

Editorial Collaboration between EASTS and Tapuya

After a year of discussions and preparation, we are delighted to announce an editorial collaboration with the newly established journal Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology, and Society.

Although it is a regional STS journal, EASTS also reflects deeply on STS as it spreads to communities other than mainstream ones in the so-called global North. Just as the name EASTS reads like a plural form of the word East and might be understood to be how East Asia can be approached in multiple ways with global STS, tapuya too is a term that invokes multilayered reflections on indigenous knowledge, colonial constructions, and self-recognition in global STS (see Raoni Rajao and Sandra Harding’s editorial “Why ‘Tapuya?’” at www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/25729861.2018.1539562). Though located on opposite sides of the globe, EASTS has two reasons to feel close to Tapuya. One is that the effects of our scholarly endeavors will be enhanced, with both journals setting forth in areas other than Europe and North America; the other is that both EASTS and Tapuya are comparative newcomers. With little additional effort, the two of us can make the most of our editorial flexibility and help each other in promoting alternate scholarships.

Our collaboration is project oriented. The first project features three papers from Tapuya that reflect on provincializing STS, a theoretical call by John Law and Wen-yuan Lin on the making of non-Western STS scholarship (see EASTS 11.2 for Law and Lin’s paper and a forum contribution to it). The Tapuya papers were scheduled for publication in early 2019, while EASTS in turn scheduled a related review paper—“Where Is East Asia in STS?” by Lin and Law—and reflections by Casper Bruun Jensen in its spring issue (13.1). Although Tapuya is an open-access journal by a different publisher, Duke University Press has been kind enough to offer perpetual access to all EASTS papers that are discussed in Tapuya. We are very grateful for their generosity.

Other collaboration projects between EASTS and Tapuya will be announced in early September during this year’s 4S Annual Meeting in New Orleans.