An international society which brings together scholars from five continents must have a regular online publication. It was the Finnish society that initiated the first journal in 2007. We are pleased to revive it and to make it an annual publication.
The engraving featured on the cover is a fitting logo for our journal. It was first printed to mark the birth of the telegraph, exemplified by the dual symbols of classical culture and scientific modernity. Mercury, the god of commerce and exchanges, recognizable by his caduceus and winged heels, represents Antiquity; the telegraph’s shutters, which transmit information, incarnate modernity. Modern science was established with the invention of the microscope and the telescope. In the 18th century, this rapid development required a more efficient means of transmitting information. Before the discovery of electricity, it was in the form of the telegraph. Maritime life had long been regulated by a network of lights and flags; in the 18th century, land routes started to be controlled by the system of semaphores and telescopes, two neologisms borrowed from ancient Greek in order to describe the most recent inventions.
Our society’s journal aims to give an account of the scholarly conferences which take place on the occasion of the executive committee’s annual meetings. In the future, the journal will equally cover other multidisciplinary topics and publish calls for papers. The publishing committee of the society will implement editorial choices. Project proposals and theme suggestions may be sent to the committee.
This journal would not exist without the commitment of several people: Lise Andries, current president of the international society; Conrad Brunstrom and Daniel Fulda, members of the publishing committee; Nelson Guilbert (UQTR) and Pascal Bastien (UQAM), with their invaluable advice; and finally, the help of Francis Turgeon, the graphic designer who designed our logo and the front page of this issue. I give my warmest thanks to all of them.