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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE and HUMANITY ENHANCED.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Journal of Evolution and Technology

I have been appointed, as of today, as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology ("JET") , IEET's flagship on-line refereed journal. It will take me a little time to be fully active in this role, partly for reasons that are well-known to readers of this blog. On the other hand, I've been associated with the journal for some years now as a semi-regular referee, and I already know much about how it works.

Henceforth, we plan to publish two issues per year, uploading articles and reviews to the JET site as and when they are approved and finalised.

Since its inception in 1998 (originally as The Journal of Transhumanism), JET has been publishing high-quality, fascinating, and important material about the human or post-human future. It is a key journal for transhumanist, technoprogressive, and technology-positive thought. Its implicit premise - at least on my interpretation - is that there's now a real prospect of human beings taking our further evolution into our own hands, using technological means.

That prospect merits investigation from many viewpoints - scientific, philosophical, historical, literary, and so on - but it is important that the investigation not be left in the hands of nay-sayers who are ideologically or emotionally wedded to current and historical understandings of the human condition. JET provides a high-level forum for those of us who are open to the possibility of change, whether we advocate a radical transhumanist agenda or whether we are more cautious, and simply willing to consider the issues rigorously and on their merits.

JET is open to a wide range of viewpoints, and seeks to encourage rigorous, systematic discussion of future prospects for humanity. Then again, it will never appeal to the same audience as a technoconservative journal such as The New Atlantis (but on the gripping hand, there may well be some individuals with viewpoints that are welcome in both).

There's much work to be done to raise JET's public profile and to expand its reach and prestige within the academic world, while we continue to find the outstanding articles, reviews, and other material that JET needs in order to thrive and to influence public policy. I, myself, need to think more deeply about my vision for the journal - beyond these very preliminary observations.

I'm excited to be making a start, and I'm looking forward to the challenges.

7 comments:

Brian said...

Congrats Russell. Sounds very interesting. I'm glad there's folks out there like you who are at the forefront.

Paul said...

"transhumanist, technoprogressive, and technology-positive thought"- this is exhilirating.

I stumbled upon your blog in the most ridiculously convoluted of ways, so I guess I'll leave that part at that.

And, it appears that this may not be the best time for an overzealous newcomer, and I hope that I am not intruding, but the buzz around this blog was infectious:
The principles it sung vibrated and glowed.

I want to be the transhuman technophile of the moment,
To unfold the walnut layers and free the ghosts within.
Do I contradict myself? Very well then...kidding!

Actually, I get nearly manic over these matters. They are so giddifying.

And, I have modified and impulsively veered my diet and lifestyle in such bizarre ways that the two, in synergy, emulate a self-avoiding random walk toward geek-friendly antiaging Shaka Ri.

Thus, I modestly assert that my dietary patterns emulate the most nebulous antiaging theory in the furthest banded cloud and, as such, I may be qualified to contribute to this wonderful Journal that I have only thus far browsed.

Check out me young and pretty face for 38.91 years of age:
paul-approaching40.blogspot.com

Finally, my biggest difficulty is adjusting from the frenetic pace of Wired to the more staid and pensive pace of JET.
Both are shadows on the wall of the future-loving technophilic vampiric cave.
:O)

Blake Stacey said...

Congratulations! May your impact factor be high and your controversies properly academic.

Blake Stacey said...

Incidentally, I just watched Neil Shubin's appearance on The Colbert Report, and they touch on transhumanism at the very end. It's an interesting age when we can seriously contemplate reworking our DNA and enhancing our cognitive abilities while millions of people still endorse the literal truth of Genesis!

stuart peace said...

Hey Russell that sounds like an interesting magazine and an exiting position. I've spent the last few weeks applying for interesting positions in publishing too, but so far no luck. (guess a few PhDs would help:) Anyway, I just wanted to say good luck, it sounds like fun.

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!

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