European societies or federations exist in a number of disciplines. Such bodies reflect a growing awareness of the benefits that international collaboration within Europe can bring. The benefits have been fully recognized within the International Council of Scientific Unions, and for some time now one of ICSU’s priorities has been to further the coordination of scholarly and scientific activity on the European scale.

Despite recent progress, some fields still lack a European organization. The history of science is one of these. A recommendation in favour of the establishment of a European society was advanced by the European Union in 1998, and now, five years on, that recommendation has been implemented.

Following some months of discussion, the European Society for the History of Science was founded in October 2003 at a meeting in Paris attended by representatives from nine countries. At the founding General Assembly, held on 12 October 2003 in Sorbonne, in the premises of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, IVe section, the following officers were elected:

Robert Fox (Oxford) President Eberhard Knobloch (Berlin) Vice-president and President-elect Claude Debru (Paris) Vice-president Erwin Neuenschwander (Zurich) Treasurer Stéphanie Dupouy (Paris) Secretary

The society is planning a number of initiatives aimed at promoting contacts between scholars across Europe and advancing the interests of the history of science in education. Its website is being developed as a means of coordinating and publicizing activities on the European scale. Another core initiative will be the holding of regular European congresses. The first of these, organized in association with the Dutch national society Gewina and the University of Maastricht, will take place in Maastricht from 4 to 6 November 2004. Further details of this congress, which will Membership of the society will be open both to individuals and to societies and other institutions with appropriate aims. Arrangements for the collection of the annual subscription, currently fixed at 20 euros for individual members, 100 euros for institutional members, and a minimum of 200 euros for supporting members, will be announced in the society’s first newsletter, to be published shortly in electronic form.

For further information about the society, please contact the secretary, Stéphanie Dupouy, Département de Philosophie, Ecole normale supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France (email: [email protected]).