Taiwan STS Association (TSTSA) was formally founded in 2008. Every academic association has its history and background, so do we.

Official Logo of Taiwan STS Association
Official Logo of the Taiwan STS Association

Taiwan’s STS (science and technology studies, OR, science, technology and society) emerged in the late 1980s from the area of history and philosophy of science (HPS). With the popularity of Thomas Kuhn, and by cooperating with feminist studies of science/medicine and sociological studies of medicine/technology, Taiwan’s HPS gradually grew into an early “science studies” during the 1990s.

In the 2000s, the circle of Taiwan’s STS became more and more settled. Before entering into 2000, an email list for Taiwan’s science studies was created, which remains today with about 600 subscribers. In 2001, a journal now commonly called STM (Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine) was launched, and later adopted by us as an official journal.

As scientific and technological controversies grew in Taiwan during that time, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, including some progressive officials, came to the idea that STS could be a solution. Thus they entrusted to our STS professionals and related scholars Taiwan’s first big STS project with several follow-ups, and also announced the funding for an international STS journal in East Asia.

With the project, Taiwan’s first major STS conference was held in Sun-Moon Lake in 2004 and laid down two cornerstones: two volumes of Taiwan’s STS Reader, and Taiwan STS Virtual Community (website). This rich website was inter-active and multidimensional, supporting many subjects and international STS activities sponsored by the project, and thus also paved the road for the preparation of the international journal, EASTS (East Asian Science, Technology and Society).

During the process of preparing EASTS, Taiwan’s STS community began networking not only STS people within Taiwan but also in East Asian, including Japan, South Korea, China, and some scholars outside East Asia who had long researched on STS issues in East Asia. In 2007, EASTS published its first issue. Currently, EASTS publishes 4 issues every year.*

To communicate and interact with STS communities in other countries and regions, and to promote and strengthen Taiwan’s STS research energy, with the help of EASTS and Taiwan’s STS community, we—Taiwan STS Association—was founded in 2008. Since then, we have continuously held annual meetings, supported related STS research projects, helped with both international and domestic STS activities, and awarded young scholars for their theses and papers.

The Initiators of the Taiwan STS Association
Initiators of the Taiwan STS Association (2008)

Today, we have more than 200 members. To address various scientific and technological challenges we are faced with locally and globally, we hope to bring together experts from various fields, enlarging the reach of STS on the one hand and encouraging collaborations between STS and other fields on the other.

Current Chair:

  • Wen-Ling HONG 洪文玲 (Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology) (2018-)

Former Chair:

  • Bei-Chang YANG 楊倍昌 (Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National Cheng Kung University) (2016-2018)
  • Ruey-Lin CHEN 陳瑞麟 (Department of Philosophy, National Chung Cheng University) (2012-2016)
  • Chong-Hsi LIN 林崇熙 (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology) (2008-2012)

* The short history above is largely based on Daiwie Fu (2020), “Emergence, Social and Cognitive Trends, and the Next Step? Two Decades of STS in Contemporary Taiwan”. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 14: 1-8.