Our April issue continues to provide rich and varied content, and we hope our political science readership appreciates the many-pointed hat the journal wears, as purveyor of original research, articles on pedagogy and the discipline, and our varied menu of symposia, which have become increasingly important to the journal. We hope like the jesters of old, the journal entertains, informs, and sometimes amuses. We are a profession but also a community, and we recognize the role that PS plays in providing some of the glue that holds this community together.
An important debate that continues to animate discussion within our discipline and the academy at large is how conscious and unconscious biases work to undermine efforts to broaden and diversity the professorate. PS is the go-to outlet for this kind of research, and we welcome this responsibility. This issue features four important articles that examine the sources of and solutions for the gender gap in political science. What we find particularly important about each is that they highlight the complex causes that result in differential citation patterns, co-authorships, and content of syllabi. Encouragingly, each article also points to specific solutions that can be put in place by researchers and teachers that may help bridge what has been a frustrating and persistent gender gap.
Because it is April and baseball season is upon us, we also want to highlight an article in a lighter vein: Teodoro and Bond’s article, “Presidents, Baseball, and Wins above Expectations: What Can Sabermetrics Tell Us about Presidential Success?” Their new and unique analysis of presidential success is sure to reignite many debates in the halls of political science offices and classrooms this spring. This issue’s cover art features some selections from Professor Bond’s extensive collection of baseball cards.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the four symposia that are included in this issue. The first symposium, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s America: The Legacies of a Professor–Politician” edited by Patrick Andelic, Louisa Hotson, and Daniel Rowe is based on papers delivered at a conference this past April sponsored by the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University. The articles in this symposium examine a variety of issues and policies important to Moynihan’s life and legacy.
The second symposium, “Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy: Politics and Policies of Transformation” edited by Tobias Schulze-Cleven, examines the changing role and expectations of higher education in our modern society and the critical role which political science can play in addressing these challenges. Current as well as aspiring faculty should give this symposium a close reading.
The third symposium, “Disembodied Shades: Teaching the Territories of the United States,” edited by Bartholomew Sparrow aims to explain why the study of the US territories is integral to political science. The individual articles address why the territories of the United States merit more rigorous investigation, why they are central to understanding US politics, and how the territories might be routinely included in political science syllabi and curricula.
The fourth and final symposium, “The 2017 Guide to Choosing Your Textbook” is a new feature which we plan to publish in each April issue of PS: Political Science & Politics. The goal of this symposium series is to provide faculty with a simple and useful resource to assist with selecting their textbooks. Our plan is to include in each April issue a review of several textbooks for four to six courses regularly offered in political science curricula to assist faculty with this critical decision in preparing their courses.
Finally, as a commemoration of 50 years of PS: Political Science & Politics, we begin this issue with a reprint of “San Francisco 1975: Saints and Sinners as Scholars” from our Winter 1976 issue (see Figure 1). The article offers some interesting and perhaps humorous reflections on the 1976 APSA Meeting in San Francisco. Highlights of the meeting included APSA’s “experiment in pre-registration,” the move from a five to four day schedule, and the inauguration of a joint book exhibit. Failures of the annual meeting including an experiment with selling tapes of panel sessions (only 12 were sold—though what are they worth now?) and chartered flights for members from Washington, New York, and Chicago.
However, most importantly, APSA experimented during the San Francisco meeting with arranging charter trips to Hawaii immediately following the meeting. Sadly, this tradition seems to have fallen by the wayside. Here’s to hoping that the Association revisits this community-building enterprise!
We hope you will enjoy this short reflection on our past as we look forward to 50 more years of highlighting the scholarship and progress of our profession in the pages PS: Political Science & Politics.