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Latest News

Three-Day Course: History of Pharmacy and the Pharmaceutical Industry

The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries' Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy and the British Society for the History of Pharmacy are running a three-day course on the History of Pharmacy and the Pharmaceutical Industry on 1st - 3rd July 2019. Click here for the programme and application form.

History of Science and Prisons Education

Rosie Reynolds, Higher Education Policy Officer at the Prisoners Education Trust would like to extend a warm welcome to BSHS members to an event at Durham University on 29th July. The event will be exploring the provision of science education in prisons. There have been some very imaginative examples of this the Royal Astronomical Society for example have been working [...]

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, [...]

BSHS Outreach & Engagement Committee seeks new Postgraduate Representative

Are you passionate about communicating HSTM to a wide range of audiences? Do you want to be involved in funding fantastic projects that promote the field? Would you like to help shape how the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) supports postgraduate researchers? Then this is the role for you! The BSHS is looking for a postgraduate representative [...]

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 [...]

Call for Proposals: International Mathematical Union Mongraph

The International Mathematical Union celebrates its centennial in 2020, and is seeking proposals to write a monograph: The purpose of the monograph is to put the IMU in a grander framework of international scientific unions, and the internationalization of science and mathematics in particular. What was the impact of the world events through the 20th century on international science? [...]

CFP from ECRs – Narrative science in techno-environments – 18th-19th July 2019 (London)

CFP from ECRs - Narrative science in techno-environments - 18th-19th July 2019 (London) This two-day interdisciplinary workshop is made possible thanks to the generous support of the British Academy (grant number BARSEA19\190021). It expands on the work of the Narrative Science project, a European Research Council funded project based at the London School of Economics (grant agreement No. 694732). It [...]

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 [...]

April, May, and June 2019 at the History of Science Museum

Events at the History of Science Museum Download the programme as a PDF  APRIL Trail: Easter discoveries      Saturday 6 – Sunday 21 April, 12–5pm Challenge yourself to the Easter trail. Self-led, ages 7+ Evening Talk: Science fictions Thursday 11 April, 6pm Professor Rob Iliffe explores how the human imagination shaped science and scientists over the [...]

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 [...]

Message from the President: BSHS Conference

I am writing about the formerly announced BSHS Edinburgh annual conference 2019. I regret to say that BSHS Council have come to the conclusion that it is best if the Edinburgh conference does not go ahead. Instead, BSHS will have a presence at the Science in Public conference in Manchester, 10-12 July, where our EGM will be hosted, and will [...]

BJHS seeks new Editor

The time has come to begin the search for a new editor for the British Journal for the History of Science to succeed Charlotte Sleigh, who has most effectively taken the helm for the last few years. If you are interested in this role, please contact the Executive Secretary at [email protected] Charlotte is happy to respond to informal enquiries: [email protected] [...]

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 [...]

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.

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 [...]

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 [...]

Call for Papers: Rethinking James Watt (1736-1819): Innovation, Culture and Legacy (Deadline 01/06/2019)

Friday evening 30 August to Sunday 1 September 2019, University of Birmingham James Watt (1736-1819), the Scottish-born inventor, engineer, businessman and employer died on the 25 August 1819. The 200th anniversary of his death in 2019 provides an opportunity to revisit his personal and public life, relationships, context and legacy. By looking beyond his role in improving steam-engine technologies, [...]

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