BSHS President Professor Greg Radick writes:

7e41a07c-6f02-4d86-9a08-e6837d130e65Hello!  I’m delighted to be able to send this first message at a moment when the BSHS is thriving on so many fronts. The 2014 conference in St Andrews in early July saw the largest number of delegates we’ve ever had, along with the usual range of excellent papers, extracurricular tours, and social events (including a whisky tasting which – as the late Robin Williams said about the 1960s -if you can remember it, you weren’t really there…).  The remarkable number of postgraduate students giving papers in St Andrews is a sign of renewed vibrancy in that part of our membership, no doubt to be in evidence again at the upcoming postgraduate conference at UCL in January 2015 and, next July, at the 2015 annual conference in Swansea.  Planning for that event is, as you’d imagine, well underway; likewise for the 2016 Three Societies meeting in Canada.
In other areas too, there’s much to report.  On the strength of the outsized success of the International Congress in Manchester, the Society has been able to increase its funding support for conferences and also for MA students, whose bursaries this year — and for some years to come we expect — rose from £1000 to £4000: a difference that really does make a difference for the recipients.  The congress surplus has also helped us to start a very exciting new publication, BJHS Themes, a wholly open-access journal appearing annually in the form of themed edited volumes, beginning in 2016.  Like the BJHS itself, the new journal will be published by Cambridge University Press.  We’re immensely fortunate to have Jon Agar, erstwhile editor-in-chief of the BJHS, serving as first overall editor, and equally to have Charlotte Sleigh stepping in as BJHS Editor and Alice White as Viewpoint Editor.

Another new initiative was the establishment this year of the BSHS John Pickstone Prize, to be awarded every two years for the best scholarly book in our field.  The shortlist for the inaugural 2014 Prize will be announced shortly, and the winning book by the end of the year.  Meanwhile, on the matter of BSHS prizes, postgraduate students and early-career researchers should note (or have brought to their attention please) the upcoming deadline of 15 December for essay submissions for the Society’s Singer Prize.  More immediately there’s still time to submit applications for the current round of Research Grants and Special Project Grants, the deadline for which is 30 September.