Hebe Vessuri endowed Chair in Latin American Science, Technology and Society: A Tapuya initiative

By Leandro Rodriguez Medina

1. Introduction

Tapuya is a highly innovative yet editorially challenging journal because of its multiple connections with institutions and academics throughout South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as around the globe. In addition to making editorial decisions, the founding Editor in Chief (EiC), along with the Editorial Team, have devoted time to financial issues, scholarly networking, negotiations with the publisher, setting up journal infrastructures, recruiting staff, and problem-solving related to the daily activities of the journal. Editing the journal will continue to remain a demanding part-time job, though a highly rewarding one.
Tapuya has decided to support future EiCs by creating the Hebe Vessuri Chair in Latin American Science, Technology and Society. Future EiCs will hold the Vessuri Chair for 5 years and must reside and work in a Latin American or Caribbean country during this time. The position is renewable for an additional 3-year period whenever justifiable by on-going Tapuya projects.

2. The Hebe Vessuri Chair in Latin American Science, Technology and Society

The Vessuri Chair has an endowment of USD 10,000 annually. It will be awarded to the incoming EiC for developing their activities.
(a) USD 5000 will cover travel costs to STS-relevant local and/or international conferences
(b) USD 5000 will be allotted to the EiC to hire an assistant and, where possible, to gain released teaching time from their institution.1
As occupant of the Hebe Vessuri Chair, the EiC will give the inaugural lecture at their institution (or, alternatively, at 4S and/or ESOCITE), which could become a TTAP editorial, and will run workshops for TTAP at conferences.

3. Editor-in-Chief job description

The Editor-in-Chief will advance Tapuya’s missions:
(a) To engage diverse social, economic and political actors in local and global debates around science, technology and their roles in the future of Latin America.
(b) To be a gathering place to encourage and strengthen STS networks across the global south; that is, to strengthen what global northerners think of as “periphery studies.”
(c) To foster global, comprehensive dialogues between centers and peripheries.

For 6 months before their term starts the EIC is required actively to shadow the outgoing EiC in order to become familiar with journal routines and issues. Beginning July 1 the preceding year, they will in effect join the Puebla editorial office in order to follow journal processes. Beginning July 1 of their year 5, they will similarly be shadowed by the incoming EiC to guarantee
a smooth transition. The EiC will retire to the International Board in perpetuity.

The EiC duties include:
(a) Approve every publication and every rejection, with assistance of submission editors
(b) Recruit articles, thematic clusters.
(c) Help/guide clusters’ editors in their tasks.
(d) Help the Editorial Office in Puebla with issues as needed2
(e) Write annual Editorial Welcome to each volume and/or commission additional such Editorials focused on the relevance of current social/political issues to Tapuya.
(f) Chair
(1) Editorial Team monthly skypes; agenda circulated ahead of time.
(2) Weekly skypes with the managing and deputy editors; agendas ahead of time.
(g) Negotiate issues with the publisher, Taylor & Francis.
(h) Manage all special projects, such as prizes and exchanges with other journals,
(i) The EiC will be a visible and vocal presence in Latin America and international STS conferences, boards, and other institutional contexts.
(j) The EiC bears final responsibility for all editorial decisions. However, it is recommended that the EiC consult with all editorial boards when major changes are under consideration. In this sense, the EiC is expected to be a team player who can put the interests of the journal before their own.

A Financial Officer will be appointed by 2022 to monitor and manage journal financing after the new EiC takes office. (Leandro Rodriguez Medina will initially hold this position.) Previous EiC and Senior Advisors will be available for consultation as needed.
EiC work will require about 15 hours per week (a one-third time commitment). The EiC’s institution is expected to provide office and computer support. Tapuya’s EiC need not hold a permanent institutional position. The journal welcomes applicants of all genders. It encourages diversity in every aspect of its operations.

4. Selection process

Early in year 4, the EiC will constitute a committee to nominate, discuss, reach consensus, and select the new EiC by the end of Year 4.

The committee will consist of
(a) Current and all past EiCs.
(b) Current Senior Advisor.
(c) 2 Senior Editorial Boards’ Representatives, one from Latin America and one from other
regions.

Applicants should submit: a CV, a 250-word statement of their vision for Tapuya, and a brief statement of potential support from their institution. Applications should be submitted to Tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx, to the attention of Luisa Fernanda Grijalva Maza.

The schedule for the selection of the second EiC is as follows:

  • January 2021–March 2021: circulation of job call, description, and process.
  • May 2021: Receipt of applications, and their assessment by current EiC and one member of committee.
  • June 2021: A short list of candidates sent to the Committee.
  • July–September 2021: Applications evaluated by Committee, 3 selected and interviewed.
  • November 2021: Committee selects a new EiC; agreement with his/her institution is signed.
  • December 2021: New Editor-in-Chief is announced.
  • January–December 2022: Incoming EiC reorganizes their schedule to enable TTAP work, prepares Vessuri Chair lecture, and starting July 1, shadows outgoing EiC.
  • January 2023: Editor in Chief and Vessuri Chair

5. Questions?

We welcome questions. Please contact our Managing Editor, Luisa Fernanda Grijalva-Maza: tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx

1 Legal and fiscal issues should be discussed between Tapuya’s Financial Officer and the new Editor-in-Chief to find the best arrangements, respecting national and institutional regulations.

2 For the foreseeable future, the Editorial Office of the journal will remain in Puebla, regardless of where future Editors-in-
Chief reside. It currently contains a half-time Managing Editor, a half-time Associate Editor, a quarter-time Assistant
Manager who organizes book reviews, and an hourly-hired Technology Manager.