I hope this newsletter finds you all well and thriving. “You,” it’s worth noting, are a highly international bunch: well over half of our current membership resides outside of Britain. Accordingly, the fostering of international exchange, collaboration and a global scholarly outlook is high up on the Society’s agenda. Over the next months we’ll be announcing travel bursaries to help colleagues at every level to attend the Three Societies meeting in Edmonton in June. The following year we’re planning to do the same again in connection with the International Congress in Rio de Janeiro (see announcements about both meetings below).
We’re also supporting translation work that will benefit the field as a whole. A new series, BSHS Translations, will be inaugurated shortly with the publication on our website of a new translation of Gregor Mendel’s landmark paper “Experiments on Plant Hybrids,” which is 150 years old this year. The extraordinary labours of Staffan Mueller-Wille and Kersten Hall have resulted in an English version of Mendel which is set to become the new standard translation, as well as a model for online publishing of this kind, taking full advantage of the remarkable scope it affords for scholarly commentary and reflection. We’re also pleased to be collaborating with the HSS and other societies on a Max Planck-led initiative to create a new, Chinese-language reader of the ten most influential articles over the last quarter century of anglophone scholarship in history of science, medicine and technology. To have your say in what gets translated, please visit the website here. And watch out for the companion volume of the ten most influential articles in Chinese scholarship, rendered into English.
Closer to home, the Society has been sponsoring meetings aplenty. Below you’ll find a full list of the large number of workshops and conferences that the Society, through its Conferences Committee under Ben Marsden, has helped to fund through 2015. The jewel in the crown of their work was the annual meeting in July in Swansea, which brought together over 150 delegates for three days of specialist symposia and roundtables, diverse plenaries, and extracurricular activities including everything from a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to the now traditional whiskey tasting. If you weren’t able to come, you can click here to watch Iwan Morus’ superb opening lecture on the history of Welsh science, the presentations and mini-lectures for the Pickstone Prize and Dingle Prize, and my own Presidential address on “experimenting with the scientific past.” At Swansea we also revealed the result of a vote by our members on what to call our new prize for digital resouces in the history of science, technology and medicine. You chose to honour Hertha Ayrton; a stellar shortlist for the first Ayrton Prize will be announced shortly by Jamie Stark and his colleagues on the Outreach and Education Committee.
Annual meetings are also typically where we vote in new members of Council. We’re delighted to be joined this year by Erin Beeston (Manchester), Chiara Ambrosio (UCL), Ida Stamhuis (Free University Amsterdam), and, as our new Vice President, Patricia Fara (Cambridge). Before we know it, however, it’ll be time to vote in new members again; please feel encouraged to nominate yourself or someone else by following the instructions below.
We’re also looking for a new Conferences Committee Secretary; again, see further information below
But whether or not you wish to serve on Council or in any other capacity, I’d be glad to hear from you about the Society, what you think we’re doing well, and where you see room for improvement. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the latest and forthcoming issues of Viewpoint and the British Journal for the History of Science, and hope too that you’re finding our new-look website an attractive and user-friendly place for keeping up with news from the Society and the field. Thank you as ever for your support for the Society, and maybe see you at one or another of the upcoming meetings.