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Fostering understanding of the history and social impact of all branches of science, technology and medicine in the academic and wider communities, and providing a national focus for our discipline

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Latest News

Activism, Nursing and Women’s Rights: Then and Now

Tuesday 26 November, 5.30 – 7.30pm Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN Nearest tube: Oxford Circus/Bond Street Join Helen Pankhurst and Anne Marie Rafferty for a history of women’s rights. The early twentieth century was an important time for nursing activism. Nurses were involved in the campaign for women’s suffrage in 1918, and the introduction [...]

Last chance to see: ‘Celebrating Ellen Hutchins’ at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (closes 22/11/2019)

Celebrating Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815) Ireland’s first female botanist and a talented botanical artist  Exhibition in the Library at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, until 22 November 2019, free https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/what-on/celebrating-ellen-hutchins The story of a remarkable young woman botanising in a remote corner of Ireland - Bantry Bay, West Cork - in [...]

Hans Rausing Scholarships at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (King’s College London)

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at (CHoSTM) at King's College London invites applications for Hans Rausing Scholarships to begin in October 2020.  The scholarships are available to students from overseas, the EU, and the UK to study the history of science and/or technology at Masters and PhD-level at the Centre (please note that research [...]

Registration Open: British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 49th Annual Conference “Natural, Unnatural and Supernatural”

8-10 January 2020 at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom Plenary speakers: Donna Landry (University of Kent at Canterbury): ‘In one red burial blent’: The Natural, the Unnatural, and the Animal at Waterloo Hannah Williams (QMUL): ‘The Religion Problem’ The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all [...]

Diamond Anniversary Year: History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries

The Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries celebrated its 60th anniversary on 21 October, and marks its Diamond anniversary year (2019-2020) with a packed programme of events, open to all. Click here for more information on faculty events Click here for more information on courses run by the faculty [...]

Ayrton Prize 2019 – Nominations Open

The BSHS Outreach and Engagement Committee is delighted to invite nominations to the BSHS Ayrton Prize 2019. This prize is awarded once every two years to recognise outstanding digital engagement in the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM). We interpret the term "digital engagement" broadly to include: publicly accessible websites, or clearly defined contributions to existing web-based projects podcasts and audio or [...]

Call for Applications: Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology, Exploration, and Innovation

The Library of Congress is accepting applications for the Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology, Exploration, and Innovation, which has in the past been held by historians of science and technology as well as philosophers and scientists. For more information please visit the Library of Congress website: https://www.loc.gov/programs/john-w-kluge-center/chairs-fellowships/chairs/blumberg-nasa-chair-in-astrobiology/

IEEE History Center Funding Opportunities 2020

IEEE Life Member History Fellowship, 2020 – 2021  The IEEE Life Member History Fellowship supports one year of full-time graduate work, or one year of post-doctoral research for a scholar who has received his or her Ph.D. within the past four years, in the history of IEEE's areas of interest, including Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, and related fields. [...]

Call for Abstracts: Outer Edge: Queer(y)ing STEM Collections

Outer Edge: Queer(y)ing STEM Collections 1st Vienna Workshop on STEM Museums, Gender and Sexuality When: 5th March - Half-day pre-workshop activities & 6th March 2020 - All day workshop Where: Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Museum of Technology) How can the science and technology museum, as a cultural and social institution, explore the opportunities of reflecting and developing a plural society? In what [...]

Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Instructor in History of Biology

Postdoctoral Instructor in History of Biology The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology invites applications for a two-year Postdoctoral Instructor appointment beginning Fall 2020. Area of Specialization: the history of modern, especially molecular, biology. The successful candidate will be expected to teach three (ten-week) undergraduate courses per year on the quarter system. [...]

CfA: BSHS Postgraduate Conference 2020

The next BSHS Postgraduate Conference will take place at the University of Leeds, 1 - 3 April 2020. The conference welcomes papers from graduate students working in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine or in disciplines whose work touches on any area of HSTM; please click here to view the full Call for Applications (Deadline 1st December 2019) Visit the [...]

Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Instructor in Early Modern Natural Philosophy

Postdoctoral Instructor in Early Modern Natural Philosophy The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (The Huntington) invite applications for a two-year Postdoctoral Instructorship under their joint research program, The Research Institute for the History of Science and Technology at Caltech and The [...]

Free Public Maths Lectures – Gresham College

Gresham College presents a 'Mathematics in the 21st Century', a series of free public maths lectures by Professor of Geometry Chris Budd. The series will cover the application of maths to voting, curing cancer, to art, and computing; Budd will also look at great Mathematical Myths like those around the Golden Ratio, and Equations That Have Changed the World. [...]

The fifteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science

The fifteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will be held at the University of Sheffield from Wednesday 15 April until Friday 17 April 2020. Keynote speakers will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Oxford), Professor Martin Willis (Cardiff), and Professor Angela Wright (Sheffield). The BSLS invites proposals for 20-minute papers, panels of three papers, or special [...]

Call for Abstracts: BSHS Twitter Conference #BSHSGlobalHist

💻🌍🎓🔬🔭💉 The British Society for the History of Science is delighted to announce our first digital conference, using the social media platform Twitter. This one-day conference on the theme of Global and International Histories of STEM will take place one Wednesday 12th February 2020, and is a great chance to get creative! ⌨️📝✉️⏰ We encourage potential speakers to submit an abstract [...]

CfA: PostDoc and PhDs in history, philosophy, and social studies of biology

Call for Applications: 1x Post-Doc position and 2x PhD positions in history, philosophy, and social studies of biology, Department of Philosophy I, Ruhr University Bochum   The Institute of Philosophy I at the Ruhr University Bochum seeks applications for one Post-Doctoral Research Position and two PhD Student Positions in the field of history, philosophy, and social studies of biology. They [...]

BJHS Preview: Issue 3 2019

Well.  How five years can zip by.  This time five years ago the people of Scotland narrowly voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.  President Obama announced the resumption of normal relations between the US and Cuba.  And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final part of its Fifth Assessment Report, warning that the world [...]

Diseases of Modern Life Database Launch

The ERC-funded project Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth Century Perspectives is pleased to announce the launch of its database for researchers. The database contains a list of over 3000 references, gathered together by researchers on the project. The majority of these are primary sources, with a small selection of secondary sources which provide historical context, from seven of the thematic strands [...]

Call for Papers: Colonial Knowledges: Environment and Logistics in the Creation of Knowledge in British Colonies from 1750 to 1950

Colonial Knowledges: Environment and Logistics in the Creation of Knowledge in British Colonies from 1750 to 1950 27th-28th February 2020, University of Manchester. Keynote speaker: Professor Javed Majeed, King’s College London. The effects of colonial power dynamics on knowledge creation in the long nineteenth century and beyond are well known and have become the foundation of a postcolonial reading of [...]

BJHS Developments

Earlier this year, the outgoing BJHS editor, Professor Charlotte Sleigh, announced three new initiatives for the journal:Science in Translation will provide open-access, English-language versions of texts whose translation would be of benefit to colleagues, and will link them with scholarly commentaries provided by their translators.Retrospectives will encourage senior scholars to reflect on their own experiences of how the discipline has developed over [...]

Winners Announced: BSHS Great Exhibitions Prize 2018

OUTSTANDING museum exhibitions from across the globe have been recognised by the BSHS Great Exhibitions Prize 2018.The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology took home the prize in the Large category for its FOLK: From Racial Types to DNA exhibition. BSHS judges praised the museum’s exploration of the history of scientific attitudes towards race and the legacy those attitudes have [...]

Collecting and Collections: Digital Lives and Afterlives Workshop

The Royal Society 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG 14-15 November 2019 The shift from the disordered Kunstkammer or curiosity cabinet of the Renaissance to the ordered Enlightenment museum is well known. What has to be explored fully is the process through which this transformation occurred. Collective Wisdom, funded by an AHRC International Networking Grant, explores how and why [...]

BJHS Preview: Issue 2 2019

The June issue of BJHS is a special issue, titled London 1600-1800: Communities of Natural Knowledge and Artificial Practice and edited by Jim Bennett and Rebekah Higgitt. An outcome of Higgitt’s Metropolitan Science research project and its opening workshop, it examines some of the collective practical and knowledge cultures that developed within early modern London’s corporate and government institutions and [...]

Conference – The Public History of Science, Technology, Medicine & Mathematics: Category, Practice and Future

15-16 May 2020, National Railway Museum, York British Society for the History of Science / Science Museum Group Tim Boon and Ludmilla Jordanova - convenors Deadline for proposals: Friday 6th September. Please send a title and outline of around 300 words to: [email protected] with the subject ‘Public History of Science Conference’ The term ‘public history’ is widely used to mean [...]

July, August, and September 2019 at the History of Science Museum

HISTORY OF SCIENCE MUSEUM EVENTS Visit the History of Science Museum website for full details JULY Sculpture - Heads appear Monday 17 June – Friday 21 July As part of the Tomorrow’s Oxford Heads project two exciting new sculptures will be appearing outside the Museum. Object handling - Objects and us Tuesday 2 July, 12.30–1.30pm Join the award-winning Multaka-Oxford team [...]

BSHS Hughes Prize – Shortlist Announced

The BSHS has unveiled the shortlist for its coveted Hughes Prize. Five exceptional books will now be read by judges before the winner is revealed later this year. Among those singled out is a publication which tells the opening of London’s British Museum through the story of the man who created it, and another which recalls the remarkable scientists who, [...]

President’s Newsletter: May 2019

Dear BSHS members, As you know, after each meeting of the BSHS Council, the President has the pleasant duty of sending round a newsletter so that all the members can see what we have discussed, and how we are working to deliver and develop the Society to serve our community. At the Council’s most recent meeting last month, we continued [...]

Exploring museum collections: practical advice for scholars  

By Erin Beeston Follow @Erin_bee As a historian of science, technology or medicine you might think of your research as being grounded in documentary sources or other media, such as oral history recordings or film. However, even if material culture isn’t your area, museum collections offer a variety of sources ready to be tapped [...]

Using the BBC Genome Project for Cultural History

By Alexander Longworth-Dunbar Follow @AlexLDunbar Image © genome.ch.bbc.co.uk Recovering the Media Landscape As any historian who has attempted to reconstruct the British media landscape of the twentieth century will know, finding even basic information about programming in the past can be nigh on impossible. Broadcast media have historically been ephemeral, disappearing as soon as they are [...]

Travel Guide: Tide & Time exhibition, National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool

By Helen Mair Rawsthorne Have you ever thought about how we were able to predict the tides before the advent of digital computers? The very first attempts at predicting the tides were made as far back as the 11th century and were for a long time based on simplistic rule-of-thumb methods. Other methods were gradually developed and improved [...]

BSHS Seeks International Advisers

The BSHS is committed to remaining a global organisation, and we are very keen to welcome more International Advisors (IAs) to strengthen our presence throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Our International Advisers publicise BSHS activities and opportunities, while reciprocally informing Council about relevant events in their area. As well as exchanging ideas and information, options include reduced [...]

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.

A long cold look at the history of climate change: BSHS Engagement Fellowship at the Polar Museum, Cambridge

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]