We would like to invite paper contributions for a panel session on modern physical sciences for the 2013 History of Science Society meeting in Boston, MA, from 21 to 24 November (more information can be found at http://www.hssonline.org/Meeting/index.html#wiki). We are interested in papers covering the different subfields of physics, physical chemistry, astronomy, biophysics, geophysics, etc that attempt to engage with new ways of thinking and the re-visioning of known and less-known histories and narratives in the development of modern physical sciences from the nineteenth century up to the present time. We welcome not only papers taking on the historical or critical historiographical approach, but also papers that draw on interdisciplinary traditions of inquiry and methodologies as well as that addressing developments in the physical sciences outside of the US and Europe.

The themes that the papers could address include but are not restricted to:

  • the disjuncture and connection between theory and experiment;
  • the politics involved in institutionalization of certain practices, ideologies, as well as the dominance of specific interpretive standpoint and models;
  • the relationship between technology and knowledge generation;
  • the constraints, potentials, and the ‘freedom’ involved in operating within known experimental and theoretical models;
  • issues of controversy, ‘crackpot’ theory and theory-acceptance;
  • speculative practices in science-modelling;
  • visualization and the diagrammatic schema in problem-solving techniques;
  • developments of mathematical formalism and numerical models in theory-building and experimental performance;
  • relationship between ethics and knowledge construction;
  • history of the physical sciences in relation to policy-making in the colonial and postcolonial age.

If interested, please send a 250 word abstract by March 20, 2013 since the final submission to the society has to be made by April 1. Bio will be requested after we have finalized abstracts for the panel. Submission can be sent to [email protected] and [email protected]. Depending on the number, relevance and quality of submissions, we may form one or two panels of 3-5 people each, or you can also volunteer to be a chair or commentator to the panels.