The Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network (APSTSN) formed in late 2008. It offers an ‘Asia-Pacific regional identity’ for STS scholars to complement their local, national and sub-regional STS associations and networks, which recognizes the APSTSN as the third largest international grouping of STS scholars outside Europe and the USA. In following UN conventions, APSTSN members are typically STS researchers in Australasia, Southeast and East Asia, and Oceania; or researchers outside the region conducting research within it or who have an interest in Asia-Pacific STS research. The APSTSN focuses on developing collaborative networks and collegial relationships through a biennial meeting, other events and initiatives, and in sharing STS research news. For members there is also a google group email and an e-newsletter. There are no formal membership criteria or fees. With some 500 members, current membership hails from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, China (including Hong Kong), Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, The Philippines and Vietnam, and those from outside the region. Governance is provided by the Convenor and a Steering Group.
According to the APSTSN Strategic Plan, which provides the organisational blueprint for the APSTSN, the aims of the APSTSN are to:
- 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.