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.