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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

Open Hearts, Racing Pulses: Valentine’s Late at the Royal College of Nursing

12 February 2020, 6 – 9pm FREE! Over 18s only. Booking online: https://rcnvalentineslate.eventbrite.co.uk Venue: Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square London W1G 0RN Nearest tube: Oxford Circus/Bond Street Get romantic in preparation for Valentine’s Day with the RCN and the Surgery & Emotion project at the University of Roehampton. Explore the rich feelings associated with the operating theatre, from [...]

Public Lecture at The Royal Institution: ‘How to pull the north pole off a magnet’

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 17 February The Theatre, The Royal Institution In physics, why is it that things can have an electric charge, but not a magnetic charge? Can you get a magnet with only a north or south pole? This talk explores the magnetic monopoles theoretically predicted to exist in ‘spin ices’. Join Felix Flicker as he discusses how these [...]

‘The State of the Discipline’: President’s Call for Annual Conference Symposium

What is the state of the HPS / STS discipline as we enter the third decade of the 21st century? Are we growing in size or diminishing? What are our relations with neighbouring disciplines? How well do we fare in grant capture and funding the next generations of workers in our field? How does it look at different career [...]

Open to Applications: the Lisa Jardine Grant Scheme

The Lisa Jardine Grant scheme is currently open to applications. Grants are available to PhD students and early career researchers in history of science, and other interdisciplinary studies combining humanities and the natural sciences. The scheme offers funding for: Extended research trips for UK and overseas-based researchers to use the Royal Society’s own rich historical collections (up to £8,000 [...]

RAF Museum Conference 2020: Call for Papers (Deadline 31st January)

‘THE RAF in a WORLD TRANSFORMED, 1945-1949’ RAF Museum, London 28th September 2020 The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce a call for papers for its conference on ‘THE RAF in a WORLD TRANSFORMED, 1945-1949’ which will be held on 28 September 2020. This conference will explore the RAF’s transition from war to peace. At the start [...]

Repatriation, a short guide to some of the resources

By Johanna Parker Anyone working in collecting institutions that contain human remains are likely to have encountered the debates around repatriation.  I have worked in the area for many years as both a government employee and as part of my studies and I am often asked who are the key writers in the area if you want [...]

Deadline Extension – BSHS Annual Conference

In recognition of both the industrial action which many scholars in UK Higher Education institutions were involved in during November and December, and the difficulty of coordinating submissions over the holiday period, the BSHS Conferences Committee is pleased to announce an extension to its Call for Papers and Symposia for the BSHS Annual Conference in July in Aberystwyth. Submissions [...]

2020 with the BSHS

2020 is set to be huge year for the BSHS, as we plan three conferences and the awarding of several grants and prizes. Conferences In February, we'll be making our first foray into digital conferencing with our Global Histories Twitter Conference (Wednesday 12th February) before heading to Leeds in Spring for our Postgraduate Conference (1st - 3rd [...]

Fellowships at the Beckman Centre (Science History Institute)

https://www.sciencehistory.org/fellowships Science History Institute Fellowships The Beckman Center at the Science History Institute offers fellowships on an annual cycle for scholars doing research on our collections or in the history and social studies of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. Fellows are expected to participate in biweekly informal writing groups and give at least one Lunchtime Lecture. They also [...]

Seminar: Women in their Element (British Library, 11th February 2020)

Part of The WISE Festival – Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science The co-editors and contributors of the recently published Women in Their Element provide a fresh perspective on the unsung contributors to science in this half-day seminar on women and the Periodic Table. Visit the British Library website for full details: https://www.bl.uk/events/women-in-their-element# [...]

Nominations Open: Royal Society Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture

The Royal Society is pleased to announce nominations for the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture are now open. This medal is awarded annually for excellence in a subject relating to the history of science, philosophy of science or the social function of science. It is accompanied by a prize lecture where the medal will be awarded.  You can find more [...]

Conference: “Philosophy, Religion, and Science in Seventeenth-Century England”, American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) (March 28, 2020)

“Philosophy, Religion, and Science in Seventeenth-Century England” American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) Panitza Library Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria Saturday, March 28, 2020 11.30-18.30 Organizers: Benjamin I. Goldberg and Diego Lucci 11.30:                    Conference opening and welcome by AUBG President David R. Evans 11.40-12.20:       Daniel Schwartz (AUBG): “Francis Bacon on the Certainty and Deceptiveness of Sense-Perception” 12.20-13.00:       Bogdan Deznan (University of Bucharest): “The [...]

President’s Newsletter: Autumn 2019

Dear BSHS Members, Once again it is my pleasure to report on recent discussions at the last meeting of Council, and also to bring to your attention some upcoming opportunities to present at conferences and apply for prizes.  Singer Prize Announcement The British Society for the History of Science is delighted to invite submissions for the Singer Prize 2020.  [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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! Save the date and join the conversation! Click [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

2019 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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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.