in two weeks, T2M will meet in Philadelphia and discuss Spinoffs of Mobility (Technology, Risk and Innovation) at our twelfth International Conference and the third one in North America, and the first to elect an American president who combines both American and European scholarly experience, and historical, sociological and ethnographic perspectives on transport, traffic and mobility.
Looking back on the history of our association and the broader research field, I am both happy and thankful to see, how cultural and social sciences integrate again to understand (and shape) the history and future of transport, traffic and mobility. But still, the organisational and institutional structure of our field is split and underdeveloped. Besides of T2M, we have Cosmobilities, the PanAmerican Mobilities Network, the EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network, ICHTT and a couple of other associations and networks. I have the feeling that all these associations including our well-established T2M are interesting but too small to gain more influence in academia and support the creation of academic jobs. The same is true for our periodicals (Journal of Transport History, our Yearbook, Transfers, Mobilities and others) to sustainably influence and shape the academic discussion in history, sociology, political sciences and cultural studies. Transport planning, which became more sociological and cultural in the past (see e.g. the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research), is underrepresented in our field. The same is true for Museums Studies.
We have to and we are going to change this, in order to flourish and grow as an interdisciplinary field of research on transport, travel and mobility. Our joint conference with the PanAmerican Mobilities Network on “Spinoffs of mobility” in Philadelphia is a big step in this direction and the next annual conference 2015 together with Cosmobilities another one. We need further activities to intensify cooperation and maybe merge in order to develop and flourish our field. I invite you to openly discuss these issues in our members meeting in Philadelphia and I am looking forward to seeing you there,