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to announce the winner and runner-up for the 2018 Singer Prize, which is awarded every two years to the writer of an unpublished essay, based on original research into any aspect of the history of science, technology or medicine.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 for Theoretical Physics at Les Houches (1950s-1960s), or How Girl Scouts, the Corps des Mines and NATO helped rebuild French physics’

The judges said:

‘This is a fascinating analysis that focuses on an individual woman, Morette, yet transcends a straightforward “unsung heroine of physics” story. It successfully frames the narrative in the context of French physics as well as in transnational science. This is a close study, yet the author has managed to draw substantial and far-reaching conclusions about changes in scientific practice in the post-war landscape.’

The runner-up is:

Matthew Holmes, ‘Fungi and Houseflies: The Septic Fringe and the Emergence of Edwardian Biotechnology’

The judges said:

‘This is beautifully written in a non-academic yet sober & incisive style. It is a focused case study but with far larger implications about the “septic fringe” and its associations. The notion of Edwardian biotechnology as a counterfactual history is sure to provoke discussion amongst historians of science.’