Call for Papers

Scientists and Social Commitment: Historical perspectives on the political, religious and philosophical ideas and activity of scientists

15th – 17th September 2006 Science Museum, London, UK.

The British Society for the History of Science is organizing a conference to honour the 75th Anniversary of the 1931 Second International Congress for the History of Science, a foundation event in the modern history of science. The congress is remembered for the presence of a Russian delegation that raised political and philosophical issues in science and the history of science. It led to the elaboration of sociologically and politically conscious methods of research in the relationship between science and society.

As with the original congress, the venue is Science Museum, London, and it will assess and analyse the theme of the history of scientists and social commitment. The focus is on issues of ideological commitments and their relationship to scientific and social activism in the scientific community. The three realms of the ideological addressed are political, religious and philosophical commitment in historical perspective, encompassing a number of thematic possibilities from ideological activism, social engagement, influence on scientific practices and ideas, attempts at scientific associations and organizations, networks, to individual commitment. These reach across the history of science, technology and medicine, with no parameters on historical period.

In addition to scientists, we welcome papers, on similar issues, relating to natural philosophers, engineers, technocrats, medical doctors, nursing staff, scientific journalists, public propagandists, laboratory workers and technicians. The conference will address issues of implicit or tacit commitment as well as explicit, public commitment. We particularly welcome proposals reflecting upon historiographical issues and multidisciplinary approaches to these relationships.

Given the wide subject area, we are especially interested in symposium proposals with an organizer (who will be responsible for the content and organization of the symposium), speakers, potential commentators and details of each paper included.

We invite the submission of individual papers on any of the themes. Please send a 250 word abstract including the title of the paper, the scope and the speaker’s details to [email protected] or to Chris Chilvers at [email protected]. Hardcopy submissions or correspondence should be sent to Chris Chilvers, Scientists and Social Commitment Conference, History of Technology Department, Technical Knowledge Centre of Denmark, Technical University of Denmark, P. O. Box 777, DK-2800, Lyngby, Denmark.

The closing date for all proposals is 15th February 2006 with notification of acceptance by 28th February 2006.