Fall 2020 thoughts

 

So, summer is almost over. Fall term has arrived, but in a different shape that what we’re used to. The Covid-19 pandemic completely dominated our lives—private and professional—during the Spring, and will continue to dominate our lives in the forseeable future as well. There is no doubt that our work in PASSIM has been affected. We’ve postponed our second workshop, originally planned for next month – “Patents as Capital” is now rescheduled for September 2021. Five of the PASSIM researchers submitted a panel entitled “Patents as Scientific Information – Four Translations” to the 2020 Annual Meeting of SHOT (Society for the History of Technology). Although we were delighted to be accepted, the conference has been postponed until Fall 2021, when we (José Bellido, Johanna Dahlin, Mattis Karlsson, Isabelle Strömstedt and myself) hope to be able to travel to New Orleans and meet old and new PASSIM acquaintances. Not being able to travel to conferences or hosting them ourselves is one thing, but far more problematic is the fact that fieldwork as well as archival research is now on hold. It really shows how much those desired “outputs” depend on “input” that we’re now unable to access and process in ways that we’ve become completely used to. I’m not sure it’s an altogether bad thing: at least not in terms of realizing how much we can do online in terms of meetings and mining digitized material from our home offices. However, the personal interaction and the stimulus of working in a group such as PASSIM cannot be replicated in any other format than IRL. Having said that, we hope to keep the PASSIM-momentum going during the Fall of 2020. We hope that you’ll follow us trying. And we hope that you’ll stay in touch.

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