The easy response for historians is to dismiss social media as antithetical to scholarship: real ideas can’t be expressed in 140 characters; blogging kills peer review; community sites like Facebook are shallow, trendy, ephemeral time sinks that steal precious hours from serious work. A few of us in the HSMT community, are convinced that social media can be interesting and valuable tools for both conducting and disseminating our research.

I am looking for four or five colleagues to participate in a round-table discussion at the next History of Science Society meeting on different ways of using social media as part of the scholarly enterprise. Participants should be willing to discuss both pros and cons of their topic—this should not come off as a sales pitch.

Example topics include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Twitter as research tool
  • Blogging as a medium of scholarly communication
  • Community sites (Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc.) as a tool of scholarly discourse (conceptual brainstorming, suggesting archival destinations, soliciting editorial feedback, and so forth)
  • Social media and pre-20th century history
  • Breaking down disciplinary boundaries; forming new intellectual communities
  • Writing for wider audiences/future of academic publishing

If you would like to participate, please submit a brief pitch (50-100 words) in the comments below, message me on Facebook, or DM me at @nccomfort. Your pitch should describe what you would discuss and your experience with that subject. All participants should have significant experience in at least one of the main social media and passing familiarity with at least one or two others, so as to facilitate knowledgeable discussion.

Participants should, obviously, be planning to attend the 2013 History of Science Society meeting, 21-24 November 2013, in Boston. Guidelines for submitting proposals and the full call for papers can be found on the HSS website Deadline for proposal submission is April 1.

See for full details.