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“To foster understanding of the history and social impact of science, technology and medicine in all their branches in the academic and wider communities, and to provide a national focus for the discipline”

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Latest News

Queering the History of Science: A Lunchtime Public Lecture on Narrative, Science, and Conformity (21st February 2019)

In what ways do our ideas about science, what it is, how it works, and who does it, need to change in recognition of LGBTQ+ lives? The history of science in public is still often told as male, white, able-bodied, and heterosexual. This does not reflect reality as evidenced by expanding historical and sociological scholarship, which in recent years has [...]

How the Earth Drives our Evolution (30th January, Royal Institution)

In 'How the Earth Drives our Evolution', Professor Lewis Dartnell will investigate how features of our planet drove our evolution, influenced civilisations over millennia, and shape politics even today. Visit the Royal Institution website for more details. Image credit: Pixabay

Poll Result: BSHS backs Rosalind Franklin to feature on £50 note

​The BSHS, Britain’s leading community of scientific historians, has conducted a poll to decide who should be pictured on the new £50 bank note.  The great majority of both men and women wanted to see this honour go to a woman – and their top choice was Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920-58), who has come to symbolise gender discrimination in the scientific [...]

Superwomen of Engineering

  BSHS Vice-President Patricia Fara recently performed at the Science Museum's Late "Superwomen of Engineering". Find out more about the Minerva Scientifica theatre-music project and its reflections on the lives and work of British Women Scientists on Electric Voice Theatre's website.

BJHS Preview: Issue 4 2018

Special issue: Science and Islands in Indo-Pacific Worlds The December BJHS issue will take us to the distant islands and waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The editors Sebestian Kroupa, Stephanie Mawson and Dorit Brixius open with a conceptualisation of the Indo-Pacific, its islands and their place within the history of science. Following the introduction, the five contributions reveal [...]

BSHS Translations: Wilhelm Johannsen’s ‘About Darwinism, seen from the point of view of the science of heredity’

The BSHS is delighted to announce the release of the second in our Translations series. Nils Roll-Hansen's translation of Wilhelm Johannsen's 'About Darwinism, seen from the point of view of the science of heredity' is now freely available on our website. Wilhelm Johannsen is a standard reference in the history of genetics. He clarified the distinction between genotype and phenotype, [...]

Local Narratives of a Global Pandemic: BSHS Engagement Fellowship at the George Marshall Medical Museum, Worcester

In the second post in our series about BSHS Engagement Fellowships, we hear about a project at the George Marshall Medical Museum (GMMM) in Worcester. Laura Mainwaring, PhD student at the University of Leicester, and Louise Price, curator at GMMM, describe their collaboration on local historical research that will complement the touring exhibition “Spanish Flu” (curated by the Florence Nightingale [...]

Jamaican Natural History collections at Bristol – First steps in a BSHS Engagement Fellowship

Over the last three years the BSHS has run Engagement Fellowships. These Fellowships are opportunities for postgraduate students to collaborate with museums, archives and other heritage organisations. The collaborations generate new engagement activities, exhibition content or resources that are based on emerging scholarship in History of Science. Over the next three weeks we will be presenting some of the fantastic [...]

Jeff Hughes, 12 November 1965 – 14 September 2018

We at the British Society for the History of Science would like to add our voice to those commemorating the life and work of Dr. Jeff Hughes, our former President (2008-09). His contributions to the history of science and to our organisation will continue to shape our field, and our thoughts are with all of his family, friends, and colleagues. [...]

Faking It: Forgery and Fabrication in Late Medieval and Early Modern Culture (August 2019)

The University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 15-17th August 2019 What is real and what is fake? And why does it matter? As soon as objects, texts and utterances (be they pragmatic or artistic) become imbued with a sense of authority or authenticity, there is a potential to produce other objects, texts and utterances which mimic and attempt to siphon off that [...]

“Wandering Womb” Exhibition Launch

“The Wandering Womb”: Women’s health past and present Exhibition at the Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN (18 October 2018 – 15 March 2019)   Women have long been viewed as at the mercy of their biology. In the ancient medical world it was believed that a “wandering womb” could cause suffocation [...]

2018 Pickstone Prize – Winner Announced

    The 2018 BSHS Pickstone Prize has been awarded to Michael Wintroub for his book The Voyage of Thought: Navigating Knowledge across the Sixteenth-Century World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) Judge Charlotte Sleigh, editor of the British Journal for the History of Science, described The Voyage of Thought as: ‘Extraordinary. This book changed my perspective on the history of [...]

Have you had research funding? Info request from BSHS

The Council of the British Society for the History of Science is seeking to gain a better understanding of the extent to which HPS and STS are benefitting from research funding, whether that be for substantive research projects, fellowships, networks, impact projects or studentships. If you have been investigator on a funded research project in the last 10 years, we [...]

Marie Skłodowska Curie voted most significant woman in world history

Marie Skłodowska Curie has been voted the most significant woman in world history in a poll conducted by BBC History magazine. She was nominated by Patricia Fara, President of the British Society for the History of Science. The magazine compiled a shortlist of '100 women who changed the world', chosen by 10 experts, and asked its readers to help rank the [...]

2018 Singer Prize winner announced

The BSHS is delighted to announce the winner and runner-up for the 2018 Singer Prize, which is awarded every two years to the writer of an unpublished essay, based on original research into any aspect of the history of science, technology or medicine. This year's winner is: Pierre Verschueren, ‘“Great things are done when (Wo)Men & Mountains meet”: The Summer School [...]

BSHS Dingle Prize Lecture 2018

Adventures in the Anthropocene by Alexander von Humboldt, father of environmentalism Roger Highfield describes a recent encounter between Royal Society science book prize winners Andrea Wulf and Gaia Vince, held in the Science Museum to celebrate Wulf’s latest literary prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Science. You can listen to Wulf's lecture here. Alexander von Humboldt [...]

New ‘Perspective’ section in the BJHS

The British Journal for the History of Science is pleased to announce a new ‘Perspective’ section to appear semi-regularly in the Journal from 2019 onwards. Its contents will take one of three main forms: First, International Advisors of the British Society for the History of Science have been invited to contribute their views on the field in their home or adopted countries. Second, very [...]

Literary Agents Seek History of Science Authors

Antony Harwood Literary Agents are actively seeking authors with an interest in public engagement to develop ideas for books and broadcast media projects dedicated to the history of science. Our interest extends across all periods and disciplines, and topics may include biography, the history of ideas, and the social history of science, in particular the role of patronage in supporting [...]

Celebrating 50 Volumes of the BJHS!

The British Journal for the History of Science (BJHS) is celebrating 50 volumes just as the BSHS celebrates its 70th anniversary. In celebration of this great achievement, Editor Dr. Charlotte Sleigh has commissioned a virtual special issue for which each surviving former editor nominated one favourite paper from their period of tenure. As you can imagine, this takes us way back [...]

Otterden Place, Faversham, Kent

Otterden Place, Faversham, Kent By Charlotte Sleigh, University of Kent, with thanks to David Clark. This simple picture below, well known to historians of science, shows one of the earliest experiments in the conductance of ‘Electrick Vertue’, performed in 1729.  ‘A’ is oiled, wet thread, supported on silk strands that run between poles C and D.  The Vertue is communicated [...]

Travel Guide: Bar Italia, Frith Street

By Tom Ritchie, Associate Lecturer and Ph.D. student, University of Kent. On first entering Bar Italia, one is confronted by the overt Italian-ness of the café. From Italian flags to football memorabilia, one can see that the aptly named ‘Bar Italia’ sits easily alongside its peers in Frith Street, Soho, with patrons viewing it as a comfortable, family-run establishment. [...]

CFP: History of Science Society Annual Meeting (Utrecht, 2019)

Hosted by the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences & the Humanities Department of Utrecht University, convening in the historic buildings of Utrecht University, the History of Science Society’s annual meeting is coming to Europe for the first time. Be part of the history of the history of science by joining HSS in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Deadline for submitting papers: [...]

Hosts wanted for our next round of BSHS Engagement Fellows

The British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) is delighted to announce the third iteration of a scheme to support small and local museums, archives, galleries and libraries whose collections connect to themes in the history of science, technology, engineering and medicine. The BSHS is inviting museums and archives to apply to the scheme in order to support their [...]

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