Today, the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Germany opened its doors to the public. For the first time, electric cars are in the spotlight. Within a year, the conviction that there will be a worldwide mass market for electric cars in the decade between 2020 and 2030 has spread throughout the brains of hp-minded engineers. The topic of our forthcoming annual conference “Energy and Innovation” comes at exactly the right time.
The famous Swedish historian of technology Svante Lindqvist once said that history is a discussion of present times with the past about its future. Historical studies and discussions about energy and innovation in transport, travel and mobility are in fact at the same time research activities for exploring the future. The organizing committee and the programme committee did a wonderful job preparing an excellent program with provocative sessions. On Friday afternoon, we can expect breathtaking excursions with and to historical trains. The conference hotel invites us to experience the Grand Hotel feeling of 19th Century Switzerland (including wlan, of course). ‘I am very much looking forward to seeing you soon in Lucerne – remember, if you haven’t already registered, please do so soon to secure your place at the conference.
For a few months, T2M has had a new homepage. I ask you to send new and old information and links, which are interesting for our community, to our homepage coordinator (Jamey Wetmore, Jameson.Wetmore@asu.edu). Our homepage is the most read publication in the history of transport, traffic and mobility.
For about a year, our affiliated Journal of Transport History has had problems finding its way to our letterboxes. Besides the delay in producing the issues, obviously some members have not received their issue(s) at all. Please continue to write to our secretary, Sonja Beekers (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you have the feeling that you have not received your issue. I hope that we will solve both the address problems at Manchester University Press and the delay of issues soon.
The T2M Yearbook, which we decided to produce besides the JTH, is developing quickly. Thanks to the effort of Gijs Mom, many authors, and the publisher Edition Alphil, the first volume should be printed before our conference, so that participants will get their copy in Switzerland. All others will receive their copy by snail mail. I am convinced that the T2M Yearbook will add to communication, excellence, outreach and status of our historical Association and will live in good peace with the JTH.
When we look around in history, humanities, political, and social sciences, we can recognize many conferences on single aspects of transport, traffic, tourism and mobility. We are the integrative organisation and intellectual power, which can bring together scholars from museums and academia, from different fields in humanities and social and engineering sciences. Some have to learn from us that they in fact work as historians of transport, traffic and mobility. The late founder of the Society for the History of Technology, Melvin Kranzberg, was touring around as an eye opener in the 1960s to explain to his colleagues in history that they in fact are historians of technology. I urge you to do the same when you see a historian of transport, traffic and mobility, who does not know his identity yet. Send him to Lucerne.
Yours, Hans Dienel
Berlin, September 15th, 2009