The British Society for the History of Science Prize for Exhibits on the History of Science, Technology and Medicine 2016

The BSHS Outreach and Education Committee is pleased to announce its fourth Great Exhibitions competition, kindly funded by the B.Gee bequest. The winners in the 2014 competition were the National Maritime Museum for Ships, Clocks and Stars: the Quest for Longitude (above) and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University for Body of Knowledge: A History of Anatomy (in 3 Parts).


The competition is open for any public exhibition that deals with the history of science, the history of technology, or the history of medicine. Entries are welcome from institutions in any country and exhibits may be permanent or temporary. Eligible exhibits must use artefacts or places of some kind and this may include buildings or locations, pictures, instruments, objects and books. Web-based exhibits are not eligible for the prize; we run a separate competition – the Ayrton Prize – for these. The closing date is 1st September 2016. Exhibits should go live no later than the end of September and still be available for viewing until the end of November 2016 to enable judging. There will be two prizes of £300, one for large and one for small exhibitions. The winning exhibits will be the subject of a special feature in the BSHS’s Viewpoint magazine.


The main criterion for judging this prize is audience experience and therefore the judges will consider:

  1. Originality: does the exhibit speak to current scholarly concerns within HSTM, HPS and/or STS? Does it present the audience with something new? Does it challenge preconceptions?
  2. Clarity: is the purpose or aim of this exhibit clear? Has it clearly identified what it wants to tell the audience about the history of science, technology or medicine? Is it easy to follow?
  3. Design: is the exhibit attractive and engaging? What makes this exhibit stand out from other exhibits? Does the design complement the subject matter?
  4. Learning: does it cater for its intended audience well? How accessible is the exhibit to a range of different audiences? Does the exhibit encourage audiences to be reflective about the role of HSTM?


Please submit an entry form and supporting materials by 1st September 2016 to [email protected] or Dr James Stark, School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds, LEEDS, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom. Supporting materials can either be up to 12 photographs of the exhibition or a 10 minute video. Whenever possible the judges will visit the exhibition or nominate a member of the Society to do so. Any further queries should be addressed to [email protected].