Amid celebrations and challenges, we mark another year of illuminating publishing
As 2022 draws to a close, we look back on a challenging—but endlessly rewarding—year of publishing. This year we reached our milestone 60th anniversary, affording us plenty of opportunities to reflect: where have we been? Where are we today? Where do we want to be 60 years from now?
Our mission remains as integral to our work today as it was in those first months of the Press’s history in 1962. We continue to push the boundaries of scholarly publishing, advancing knowledge in areas like science, technology, and the arts. We are always in search of ways to expand access to this knowledge within communities that need it most—especially now, with so much at stake around the world.
Read on to learn more about what we did this year at the Press, and sign up for our newsletter to hear more about where we’ll go in 2023.
We celebrated our milestone 60th anniversary—including a marquee event with authors and MIT luminaries, an all-staff retreat, and oral histories, interviews, and book lists on our blog.
The Press was formally established in 1962—and since then, it has provided a unique lens on the interplay among science, design, technology, and culture. We celebrated our birthday all throughout 2022; we held events in June, conducted interviews with some of our longest-running staff, built lists of our most influential books from each decade, and more.
Learn more about our celebrations below.
- Our decade series featuring readers’ favorite books of the ‘10s
- A reflection on our 60th anniversary events
- The history of our iconic colophon
- Our decade series featuring our best book covers of the ‘60s
- An interview with Terry Ehling, our director for strategic initiatives
- The history of the MIT Press Bookstore
We took a stand in defense of Ukraine.
After the outbreak of war in Ukraine earlier this year, we made a list of resources freely available online to help inform and educate readers. As publishers, we believe in the power of scholarship and books to spread knowledge, fight misinformation, overcome differences, and advance us all toward justice and peace. With these resources we hoped to illuminate our understanding in dark times, while centering and amplifying the voices of those who are most affected by the atrocities in Ukraine.
We argued for algorithmic equality for LGBTQIA+ individuals on major retailer sites (and, basically, everywhere online).
In June of this year, one of our marketing team members was uploading content for The Digital Closet by Alexander Monea onto Amazon, and discovered that the retailer would not allow “queer theory” to be included as a keyword in enhanced product descriptions. The content was flagged automatically by an algorithm because using the word “queer” is considered “a violation of community guidelines.” Our social media manager shared a viral thread about the incident on Twitter, arguing that the incident was a clear example of the anti-LGBTQIA+ bias that we encounter everywhere on the internet.
Read our Twitter thread on the topic—which has reached over one million people to date.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Roe vs. Wade, we provided resources for readers to make informed and evidence-based decisions about their individual private lives, healthcare, and futures.
In June 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned the long-standing Roe vs. Wade decision, ending nearly five decades of protected access to abortion for birthing people throughout the country. In the wake of the ruling, we provided a list of articles and books related to the topic of reproductive healthcare and justice in an effort to stem disinformation and offer resources for those looking for research and answers in a time of tumult.
Read our Roe v. Wade reading list and explore our Twitter list of MIT Press authors who are experts in the field of reproductive rights.
Our best selling book of the year tackled issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Published in March 2022, Ruchika Tulshyan’s Inclusion on Purpose slowly but surely became our best selling book of the year. The book makes an argument for how organizations can foster diversity, equity, and inclusion by taking action to address and prevent workplace bias while centering women of color. Over the past year Tulshyan has appeared everywhere—including the Brené Brown podcast, Publishers Weekly Soapbox series, and Fortune.com.
Read more about Inclusion on Purpose.
We made climate a priority, including a capstone series on our blog for Earth Day and an open access collection for Open Access Week.
Climate science is an increasingly urgent and integral part of the MIT Press’s publishing program. As the Earth grows hotter and time runs out, we focus more of our time and resources on providing well-researched, quality scholarship on the escalating climate emergency.
Read our blog series for Earth Day below.
- Exploring the science and technology of sustainability
- Creating sustainable cities
- Society’s role in sustainability
- Explore our open access collection of climate titles, compiled for Open Access Week 2022.
We continued to make quality scholarship freely accessible, via our open access product Direct to Open and other digital-first publications.
In 2022 we continued to make open access a major focus of our publishing efforts. Our latest open access product, Direct to Open, reached the level of support needed for the Press to make our 2022 list of 80 scholarly monographs and edited collections open access. To date, these books have been accessed more than 175,000 times. This year we also launched a landmark, digital-first, interactive open access publication, A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir, which offers a potential new model for open access publications of the future.
Read more about Direct to Open, and explore Shahzad Bashir’s A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures.
We began to plan ahead for our next 60 years of illuminating publishing by establishing the Fund for the Future.
Endowments and donations are critical to the success of university presses. Even with challenging times in the publishing sector, the MIT Press has shown resilience and continued to lead in innovation and excellence. To ensure that we can continue to push the boundaries of publishing for the public good for decades to come, we have established the MIT Press Fund for the Future. Gifts to the Press will directly benefit our extensive and wide-reaching initiatives in areas like open knowledge, publishing innovation, diverse voices, community engagement, children and STEAM, and design excellence.