Not a Valediction

By on December 31st, 2022 in Articles, Magazine Articles, President's Message, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) has had many volunteers step into leadership positions for purposefully limited terms over the past half-century. We address the challenges and opportunities of our day and then move on, unlike some world leaders who cannot bear to fade away. Unlike them, we know we are dispensable and glad of it. It is the best way to refresh an organization.

SSIT leaders address the challenges and opportunities of our day and then move on, unlike some world leaders who cannot bear to fade away.

As I hand off the SSIT presidency to Luis Kun at the end of 2022, I want to thank the many volunteers who have worked with us to accomplish so much during the past two years. We continued our conference series right through the pandemic, thanks to a strong conferences committee led by Jay Pearlman and stellar Conference Chairs Heather Love, Rosita Dara, Laurie Lau, T. V. Gopal, Greg Adamson, Miriam Cunningham, and Paul Cunningham. Our standards committee led by Ruth Lewis has been amazingly productive and we have become a presence in the standards community. Publications Chair John Impagliazzo has nurtured success upon success. The new IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society under Founding Editor Katina Michael has become established as the go-to place for scholarship in our interest area. Our beloved IEEE Technology and Society Magazine continues to grow in size and impact under Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Pitt. The SSIT Newsletter edited by Heather Love provides valuable and timely information for our members. Webmaster Miriam Cunningham keeps our vital web presence up to date and has brought a stream of SSIT content to Terri Bookman, as both paid staff and volunteer, has smoothed editorial transitions and boosted our 50th-anniversary efforts. Student Activities Chair Saiteja Karingu has been at the center of a whirlwind of activities to engage our youngest members. The senior leadership team consisting of Past President Robert Dent, President-Elect Luis Kun, Treasurer Howard Wolfman, and Secretary Lew Terman has ensured that the organization functions well throughout. Committee Chairs Greg Adamson (technical activities), Maxine Cohen (education), David Mindham (membership), David Morton (public outreach and visibility), Shaikh Fattah (chapters), Ali Muffazar (young professionals), and Ken Foster (fellows) have advanced SSIT’s capabilities in each of these areas. Board of Governors members have played active roles during their terms in office, to the great benefit of SSIT. Many more of you have stepped up to carry out activities within committees, chapters, conferences, and publications.

The Metaphysical Poet John Dunne notes that a farewell can serve as a marker of inevitable and desirable transition that “makes me end where I begun,” a sentiment that is personally relevant. Often our roles change but we do not disappear. As a previous president of SSIT who was invited back to serve again, I look forward to the familiar transition to past president and then volunteer at large. I know that SSIT is in good hands going forward—your hands!

Author Information

Clinton J. Andrews is the President of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. He is a professor and the Associate Dean for Research with the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.; Email: