Minutes of the Society on Social Implications of Technology (SIT-30)

Board of Governors Meeting

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Andrews Conference Center of Saint Xavier University
at conclusion of ISTAS 2011

1. Welcome and Introductions

The meeting opened at 12:30 PM, with Vice-President Bradley Kjell presiding in the absence of Jerry Engel. The members present introduced themselves.

2. Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

3. Approval of the Previous Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were not available.

4. President's Report - No report

5. Past-President's Report - No report

6. Treasurer's Report - No report

7. Publications Report

The new issue of T&S will be out in a week. The summer issue will contain papers from ISTAS 2010. The December issue will be a regular issue. A future issue is planned to contain papers from ISTAS 2011.
We are transitioning to a new editor and are currently interviewing two candidates. This will be done in a week or so.
We have a new e-newsletter editor, Deepak Mathur. He is IEEE Region 10 Sections Congress Coordinator in India and already an active IEEE volunteer. Dr. Emine Cagin will assist in this.
At the last BoG meeting in New Brunswick, NJ, March 26, a motion was passed to move T&S to on-line electronic publication in 2012. However, the IEEE has decided to move all publications to electronic form in 2013. It is not clear if printed versions will be available at extra cost. The IEEE publications staff suggested that publication of T&S be part of that move and not be an independent effort.
The Publications Committee prepared the following motion:
Moved, on behalf of the Publications Committee that SSIT defer the on-line publication of Technology and Society magazine so as to align it with the IEEE-wide program in this area.
The motion was voted on by e-mail and passed with 11 votes (e-mail from Lewis Terman on May 10, 2011). So electronic publication of T&S will be deferred until 2013. Hard copies of issues also will be available with "print on demand" if subscribers wish to have a hard copy of a particular issue
IEEE TAB is going to a new membership model, where all members get an automatic free membership into a society and geographic unit, and may add other societies if they want. Since all publications are going electronic it is not expected that this will cost IEEE much. We need to create a new "value added" membership for members who chose SSIT as a second society. This new model may help us since it is likely that members will choose the most expensive society as their free first choice and perhaps add us as an inexpensive second. We should have enough stuff to be attractive to members. The model may hurt the Computer Society.
IEEE often does membership surveys to estimate how many members to expect in each society. Was this done? Not clear that it was.

8. Conferences Report

ISTAS 2011: There were 35 registrants. Things were done as cheaply as possible. The hotels were fine. The low attendance will not hurt us too much; we may break even. The signers were an unexpected expense. We got a 50% reduction in facilities rental. The van was paid for by U of I Springfield. The Monday field trip worked out OK, but travel was slow through Chicago. The Tuesday event at Gillhoolies went well.
The strategy of meeting in Chicago should have worked. Not clear why it did not. There are now more conferences competing with ISTAS than in the past, some meeting at nearly the same time as ISTAS: (International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, CEPE Computer Ethics Philosophical Enquiry, IEEE Women in Engineering, others). We had the same problem when ISTAS was in Los Angeles with three competing conferences all in the same city at approximately the same time.
Many state institutions are getting slammed financially which means faculty can not go to conferences they might have gone to in the past. Maybe the narrow theme of the conference discouraged some contributors. Perhaps next year the theme should be the broad area that SSIT covers. Conferences at universities often work well since students can be induced to attend. Perhaps that should be tried again.
ISTAS 2012: So far, there are no bids for hosting ISTAS 2012.
Greg Adamson: An Asian conference is likely to be held next year about this time. It will be half sponsored by SSIT, but we won't be asked for financial support. We may get some of the profits, however. Several countries are involved with the conference. A short proposal is being prepared for the July BoG meeting. A call for participation will go out in June, however.
Greg Adamson: Another conference is being planned to commemorate Norbert Weiner. 2014 will be 50 years since his death. The conference might be held at MIT. Details have not been worked out, yet. Norbert Weiner thought more about social implications of technology than most engineers of his time.

9. Committee Reports

Nominations - Two BoG positions are becoming. If anyone is interested, please forward their name to Karl Perusich.
Fellows - No report
Membership - Greg Adamson asked to be chair of the membership committee.
Distinguished Lecturers - No report.
Virtual Community - IEEE is developing a social media strategy. This may constrain what we do.
Chapters/GOLD - No report.
Awards - No report
Ethics - No report.

10. Old Business - None

11. New Business

The IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society proposes changing the titles and scopes of their three transactions. This will be discussed during the June TAB meetings. The BoG discussed if the proposed changes impact SSIT.
The sense of the group was that the title changes had no impact on SSIT
The IEEE Professional Communication Society (PCS) wishes to revise its Field of Interest (FOI) to:
The Professional Communication Society's interests include the study, preparation, production, delivery, use, improvement, and promotion of human communication in all media in engineering and other technical and professional environments.
The sense of the group was that this has no impact on SSIT
IEEE governance wants to reduce the size of FOI statements, which is probably what motivated this change.

12. Next Meeting and Adjournment

July 16, 11am - 4pm, at the University of Connecticut Stamford Campus. Skype will be available for those members who cannot attend in person.
Meeting adjourned: 2PM.





Greg Adamson

U. Melb. and BoG



Clinton Andrews




Terri Bookman

Managing editor, T&S



Joe Herkert

ASU and BoG



Bradley Kjell

Vice President

kjell at ieee dot org


Janet Rochester




Michael Loui

U of I



Joe Meyer

DoD (retired)



Keith Miller

T&S Editor-in-Chief



Karl Perusich




Tim Kostyk

Smart Grid Liaison



Kimball Williams