Translation is the life-blood of scientific communication as well as historical research. Reflecting its commitment to international learning, the BSHS is delighted to support an exciting new series of scholarly on-line translations, available to all completely free of charge.
Welcome to our website!
The BSHS is the main organisation in the British Isles working to bring together people with an interest in the histories of science, technology and medicine and their changing relationship with society.
“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”
Conferences: the Society’s broadly-themed Annual Conference helps participants from all periods and fields to meet and exchange ideas. The Postgraduate Conference is organised by and for graduate students, while other meetings include collaborative events with a variety of institutions and with our international sister societies.
Members of the BSHS are eligible for benefits, advanced invitation to events & conferences, member networks, discounts on select publications, and electronic access to our journals.
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 [...]
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 [...]
The centenary of the 29 May 1919 eclipse is a great opportunity for specialists to gather in Paris from 27 to 29 May 2019. This international conference aims to bring together physicists, philosophers and historians, in order to discuss the works and achievements of Arthur S. Eddington. It is jointly organised by IPC-Facultés Libres de Philosophie et de Psychologie and [...]
Sleep and Stress, Past and Present 7th December 2018 9:00am—5:00pm Kohn Centre, The Royal Society A one-day interdisciplinary symposium in the Kohn Centre at the Royal Society, Sleep and Stress, Past and Present brings together expert scientists, medical practitioners, historians and literary critics to discuss the intersections between sleep and stress, both historically and in contemporary society. Prof Russell Foster [...]
With plenary addresses by Ingrid Rowland (Notre Dame/Rome) & Rob Iliffe (Oxford) and plenary panels led by Subha Mukherji (Cambridge) & Marco Sgarbi, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, and Craig Martin (Venice). Scientiae is the interdisciplinary conference on intellectual culture, 1400-1800. It is centred on, but not limited to, developments in the early-modern natural sciences. Philosophers, historians, literary scholars and others are invited to share [...]
The British Society for the History of Science invites book nominations for the 2019 Dingle Prize. In keeping with the Society’s concern to communicate history of science to broad audiences, the 2019 Dingle Prize will be offered for the best book in the history of science, technology, and medicine, first published in English in 2017 or 2018, which is accessible to [...]
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.
The following call for submissions comes from a group of student members of the BSHS We are asking for Sources and explanatory text for a history of science sourcebook that focuses on women in science (broadly construed) from a global perspective, from antiquity to the present day. Aims Our sourcebook is designed to complement the teaching of undergraduate history of [...]
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 [...]
The Changing Role of Consultants in Industry, 1850–2000 Workshop at the Maison Française d’Oxford, 2-10 Norham Road, Oxford OX2 6SE, United Kingdom 10-11 May 2019 Submission deadline for proposals: 7 December 2018 While historians have explored the role of R&D in industrial progress, consultants as a specialist professional group are largely neglected. With few exceptions, only passing reference is made [...]
In the final post in our series about BSHS Engagement Fellowships, we hear about a project at the Polar Museum, at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. Ed Armston-Sheret, PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Charlotte Connelly, curator at the Polar Museum describe how Ed’s research will provide visitors to the Museum with a long view [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD October – December 2018 DISPLAYS WOMEN IN SCIENCE: Portraits, Archive Material, Trails and Talks Basement Gallery March – December 2018 100 years ago, the first group of women won the right to vote in the UK. In this centenary year, there is widespread recognition of the political role women have played [...]
The Linda Hall Library is now accepting applications for its 2019-20 fellowship program. These fellowships fund research stays in Kansas City, MO lasting between one week and four months for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and independent scholars in the history of science and related STS fields. The Linda Hall Library offers outstanding primary sources that document the evolution of science, [...]
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 [...]
“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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The Royal Society's Lisa Jardine Grant Scheme is named in memory of the eminent British historian Professor Lisa Jardine CBE FRS. The Lisa Jardine Grant Scheme is designed to offer the opportunity for early career scholars to exploit history of science collections, including the Royal Society’s own, in support of their research in the field of intellectual history. The scheme [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
The Bank of England recently announced that the next £50 bank note will feature someone who made an outstanding contribution to science. The British Society for the History of Science is delighted at this recognition of the importance of the history of science, and we will be adding our voice to the debate. President Tim Boon and Vice-President Patricia Fara [...]
King Richard III: the resolution of a 500 year old cold case 7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 26 November The Theatre, The Royal Institytion The 500 year old skeleton of Richard III was uncovered in 2012 and identified a year later. In this year's Genetics Society JBS Haldane Lecture, Turi King will discuss leading the international research team involved in the DNA identification work [...]
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BSHS Monographs publishes work of lasting scholarly value that might not otherwise be made available, and it aids the dissemination of innovative projects advancing scholarship or education in the field.