Hertha AyrtonThe British Society for the History of Science is delighted to announce the launch of a new prize recognising outstanding web projects and digital engagement in the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM). The prize name was chosen by members of the BSHS from a shortlist to recognize the major contributions of Hertha Ayrton (1854-1923) to numerous scientific fields, especially electrical engineering and mathematics, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We welcome applications for the inaugural Ayrton Prize, to be awarded to the best history of science web project of the past 2 years.

To be eligible entries should:

  • Be a self-contained website (including blogs and other web-based projects), available in English, whose overall content is in HSTM, or a distinct HSTM subsection of a website, such as an online exhibition section of a museum website.
  • Have been created or updated with substantial new content within the last 2 years.
  • Communicate HSTM to a non-specialist audience and/or make new resources available for the study of HSTM.
  • Reflect current best practice in the discipline.
  • Make effective use of the medium.


The Outreach and Education Committee will consider all entries and produce a shortlist which will then be open for vote to members of the BSHS. The project with the most votes will be the winner. In producing the shortlist the OEC will consider the following criteria:

  • Is the content accurate and supported by appropriate references to sources?
  • Does the project reflect current scholarship in HSTM?
  • Does the project display good digital design principles? Is it easily navigable and accessible?
  • Does it to do something technically or scholarly innovative?
  • Does it make effective use of the medium?
  • Is it useful to HSTM practitioners and/or is it informative and interesting to public audiences?
  • Are there clear and feasible plans to secure the longer-term future of the project?


Entrants should complete this short form and send it to Dr James Stark, the Chair of the OEC, to whom all queries should also be addressed. The closing date for entries is 4pm on 21st September 2015. In addition to the prize money of £300, the winning project will form the centrepiece of a special issue of the BSHS magazine, Viewpoint, dedicated to HSTM and the digital, which will appear in February 2016. We will also feature all the shortlisted entries on the BSHS website.