The Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network (APSTSN) formed in late 2008. It offers a new regional identity for STS scholars to complement their local, national and sub-regional STS networks. In following UN conventions, APSTSN members are typically researchers within Australasia, Southeast and East Asia, and Oceania; or researchers outside the region conducting research within it. The APSTSN focuses on developing collaborative networks and collegial relationships through a biennial meeting and other events. For members there is also an online directory of members, a google group and an e-newsletter. There are no formal membership criteria or fees. With over 230 members, current membership hails from Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, The Philippines and Vietnam, as well as over 20 members from outside the region. Governance is provided by the Convenor and a regionally representative Steering Committee, supported by an International Advisory Board.
According to the APSTSN Strategic Plan, which provides the organisational blueprint for the APSTSN, the aims of the APSTSN are:
- Encourage science, technology and society (STS) research, teaching, collaboration and critical discussion on current STS themes and issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Seek wide representation from regional STS communities to increase professional and scholarly capacity (with special focus on including Indigenous members).
- Foster collaboration between STS researchers; other scholars and researchers; and ‘end users’ in government, industry and the community; to ensure better information dissemination and policy and decision making.
This offers four distinctive qualities:
- A specific regional focus as signified by the term ‘Asia-Pacific’, which constitutes littoral East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and all Pacific Island/Oceania states.
- A commitment to indigenous STS involvement and capacity building.
- A commitment to a strong regional geographical spread of members.
- A strong focus on generating practical insights for policy and decision-making.