Please feel free to repost or publish this notice anywhere you think is
Upon subscribing to the FASTnet electronic discussion list, you become a
provisional member of the Federation of Activists on Science & Technology
network. To become a full member, submit by conventional (i.e.,
non-electronic) mail the information requested on a FASTnet membership form
and you pay annual dues (see below).
FASTnet is a network of progressive-minded, action-oriented people and
organizations concerned with promoting a democratic politics of science and
technology in the United States. If you discover that this is not your
interest or these are not your values, please unsubscribe to the FASTnet list.
However, you are welcome in that case to subscribe instead to the sibling
discussion lists: Pol-sci-tech and Loka Alerts (see below).
To subscribe to the listserv, send a message to email@example.com
To send a message to all FASTnet list subscribers, send your message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The FASTnet list provides a means for alerting
other progressives to opportunities for action, coordinating with other
activists and organizations, formulating and implementing strategies and
tactics, seeking new cross-cutting alliances, requesting advice from other
progressive organizations, etc.
The FASTnet list is intended primarily for
addressing issues in U.S. science and technology politics that cut across
issues such as telecommunications policy, environmental racism, defense
conversion, biotechnology, health research, workplace issues, etc.
A SAMPLE CROSS-CUTTING ISSUE: securing
grassroots, public-interest group, and worker representation on U.S.
government science & technology advisory boards (such as the National
Science Board or the President's Committee of Advisors on Science &
Technology). This is an area ripe for fruitful alliances among groups
with very different substantive areas of concern. That is, all would
benefit from more open advisory mechanisms, but achieving that result will be
impossible politically without some new alliance-building.
The FASTnet list is also a place to seek ways
for enrolling organizations (such as civil rights, environmental, and
women's groups) that have not traditionally had much active involvement in
science and technology decision making but whose core agendas are
nonetheless greatly affected by science and technology developments.
In addition, the FASTnet list is a place where
grassroots or other activist groups that would like research support can
seek collaborations with sympathetic scholars and students concerned with
science, technology, and society.
The FASTnet list welcomes non-U.S. members and
postings that are not specifically about the U.S., provided that the thrust
is toward contributing toward a more democratic politics of science and
technology within the U.S.
FASTnet List Etiquette:
The overwhelming hazard in electronic
communication is information-glut.
- Keep your postings succinct,
well-organized, and polite; don't dominate conversations.
- Include an accurate description in the
- Rather than lengthy postings to the entire
list, try a short posting that invites people who want more information
to contact you directly.
- If your reply to a posting is
unlikely to be of general interest, please send it directly to the
person who made the original posting, not to the entire list.
- Please _do_ print out and share pertinent
postings from the list with people and organizations that do not have
- Invite other interested people and
organizations to subscribe to FASTnet (or to its sibling lists,
pol-sci-tech and Loka Alerts; see below).
- If your posting is specific to a
particular substantive area of concern (such as biotechnology or defense
conversion) please try to frame the posting in a way that will engage
people who have different primary interests.
FASTnet is currently a moderated list.
This means that all posts to the list are reviewed first by the list manager
(staff members at
the Loka Institute), before reposting to the entire list membership.
At present, the list moderator performs just 3 functions: (1) Posts not
germane to the list's purpose are rejected. (2) Any post obviously
intended as a personal reply to one other person (e.g., "Hi
are redirected to that person (i.e., not posted to the entire list
membership). (3) Multiple, simultaneous posts on a single subject are
grouped into a single message.
Questions concerning the operation of the
FASTnet or pol-sci-tech lists should be E-mailed to <Loka@Loka.org>.
FASTnet and Loka's other E-mail
lists are projects of the broader Technology and Democracy Project
(hereinafter "the Project"), an activity of the Loka Institute.
The end of the Cold War has opened a little- noticed strategic opportunity
to reorganize U.S. science and technology institutions and policies--the
best opportunity that has existed since World War II. This puts into play,
for example, U.S. government research-and-development (R&D) expenditures
of $75 billion/year, plus federal incentives and policies affecting new
technology investments and private sector R&D (perhaps another $1
trillion or more per year).
That is the opportunity. The converse danger is that
science and technology policy will be remilitarized--e.g., by emphasizing
elaborate Star Wars nuclear missile defenses--at a time in history when
exactly the opposite emphasis is both socially and strategically warranted.
Within this context, the Technology & Democracy
Project is promoting a strong grassroots, worker, and public-interest group
voice in U.S. science and technology decision making (including at local,
state, national, and transnational levels). The Project's initial efforts
have been made possible through the generosity of individual donors as well
as grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Albert A.
List Foundation, the Foundation for Deep Ecology, and the Menemsha Fund.
Project activities to date have included:
- Publishing constructive policy critiques (e.g., in the
Washington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education) and the books
"Technology for the Common Good" (available from the Institute
for Policy Studies, Washington, DC) and "Democracy and
Technology" (Guilford Press, 1995).
- Giving media interviews (e.g., to The New York Times
and The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour)
- Making public presentations (e.g., to grassroots
organizations, U.S. government officials and leaders, and universities)
- Posting electronic Loka Alerts about democratic
politics of science and technology
- Co-organizing conferences and public forums (such as
the first annual conference on "Technology and the African American
Experience" at Howard University and "Challenges to
Citizenship in an Age of High Technology," a multisite interactive
discussion series broadcast live by satellite.)
- Functioning as an informal information clearinghouse
that answers queries from other grassroots and public- interest
organizations, journalists, government staff, trade unions, businesses,
students and scholars.
- Producing "Technology, Society and Democracy: New
Problems and Opportunities," a major report on emerging
developments in U.S. technology policy for the John D. and Catherine T.
Organizing FASTnet and pol-sci-tech are recent Project
The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004-0355,
USA; tel. (413) 559-5860; fax (413) 559-5811; e-mail Loka@Loka.org
Upon subscribing to the FASTnet list, you become a provisional member of
the Federation of Activists on Science and Technology network. You become a
full member when you submit by conventional (i.e., non-electronic) mail the
information requested on a FASTnet membership form (see below) and you pay
annual dues. Asking for financial contributions is somewhat unconventional on
Internet. However, dues are regrettable but necessary:
(a) to help directly finance the administration of the FASTnet list and
other activities of the Technology & Democracy Project (running the
Project is costly and funding in this area has traditionally been notoriously
(b) to help demonstrate to foundations and other major donors that there is
an organizable constituency for the Project and that the Project is making
headway toward financial self-sufficiency.
Individual U.S. $25/year
Institutional (government or nonprofit) - $60/year
Low Income What you are comfortable contributing ($ 0 is acceptable,
but even a small amount adds usefully to the donor base that can be reported
Angel What you can; e.g., $100 to $25,000 and up is extremely
The Loka Institute is incorporated as a non-profit corporation and is
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
organization [Tax I.D. #04-3334217]. To pay your dues, please write a check
drawn in U.S. dollars to "The Loka Institute." Send it (along with
information requested on the membership form) to: FASTnet, c/o The Loka
Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004-0355, USA. Dues and additional
contributions are tax deductible. Thank you!
FASTnet Membership Form :
: E-MAIL ADDRESS:
: I enclose my annual dues payment of U.S. $ _______.
: Optional (but appreciated):
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: MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST:
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If you would rather browse a conference than receive e-mail, FASTnet,
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