2015 HSS Annual Meeting


2015 HSS Annual Meeting San Francisco, California 19-22 November 2015

Business Meeting


The 2015 History of Science Society meeting will be held on November 19-22, 2015 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco, California.

Meeting Program

The online program for the 2015 Meeting can be downloaded here (1-page) or here (2-page). Please send any changes to info@hssonline.org.

We will also have an app available through Guidebook with extra functionality. Information on downloading the app will be posted here in

Paula Findlen

Paula Findlen

the week before the meeting. Note: Both the pdf program and the meeting app will be updated regularly – there will be no need for errata if you are using either of these.

The 2015 HSS Distinguished Lecture will be given by Paula Findlen of Stanford University. Her lecture is tentatively titled “Galileo’s Laughter: Knowledge and Play in the Renaissance.”

Travel grants for graduate students, independent scholars, and recent PhDs will again be available, as will dependent care grants. More details and application information will be available in June.


Call for Posters

The History of Science Society is inviting proposals for posters for a special session to take place Friday evening in conjunction with the meeting’s main reception. The theme for the poster session is “Images in/of Science.” Anybody not already appearing on the program is encouraged to submit a proposal. Details on the call can be found here.

Travel Information

For more thorough information on travel to and in San Francisco, please see Brian Dolan’s excellent welcome piece in the October issue of the HSS Newsletter.


San Francisco is serviced by two airports: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK).

From SFO: You can take the train (BART), use the SuperShuttle service, or take a taxi

  • BART: Take the AirTrain (Red or Blue line) tram to the Garage G and BART stop. Take the BART train (yellow line) towards Pittsburg/Baypoint. Ride to the Powell Street stop. The fare is $8.65 ($3.20 for seniors) – buy your ticket at the airport station, and swipe it to enter and exit the train. The fare will be deducted.  (NOTE: It’s possible the machines will only take cash or debit cards.) There are pay stations at the exit in case you don’t have enough on the ticket. Once you exit the Powell Street station, walk up (literally) Powell Street on the left side, with the cable car route on your right side. The hotel is three blocks away.
  • SuperShuttle: While a little pricier and perhaps requiring a longer wait, the SuperShuttle is a good alternative if you are concerned about the walk from the BART station to the hotel. It’s $17 each way, and tickets can be purchased online or as you board the shuttle. To get to the SuperShuttle, go outside on the upper level to the outer curb and follow the signs for the SuperShuttle. Their employees will be wearing teal jackets.
  • Taxis: Cabs can be picked up at the outer curb outside the upper level (one level up from baggage claim). Travel time is 30-45 minutes, with an average fare of $55.

From OAK: You can take the train (BART) or take a taxi.

  • BART: Follow the BART signs to the BART station, where you will take one of the automated people movers to the Coliseum Station. Then transfer to a San Francisco/Daly City-bound train and ride to the Powell Street station. The fare is $10.05 ($3.65 for seniors). Buy your ticket at the station, and swipe it to enter and exit the train. The fare will be deducted.  (NOTE: It’s possible the machines will only take cash or debit cards.) There are pay stations at the exit in case you don’t have enough on the ticket. Once you exit the Powell Street station, walk up (literally) Powell Street on the left side, with the cable car route on your right side. The hotel is three blocks away.
  • Taxis: Taxis from OAK can run upwards of $80.


Directions to the hotel from various directions can be found here.

Parking at the hotel is currently $50 + tax overnight, with in and out privileges. Larger vehicles will be charged $57 + tax. If you choose to park in the street, please be sure to do so legally. Pay particular attention to the need to curb your tires on hills, which are no joke in San Francisco, even in our relatively “flat” neighborhood.

Meeting Registration

Registration for the 2015 HSS Meeting is now closed. All new registrations will be done on-site.

On-site registration rates are:

Regular Student Low-Income
HSS Members $225 $120 $150
Non-Members $285 $135 $165

Onsite registration rates will vary slightly by day. For HSS members: Thursday is $75, Friday is $80, Saturday is $80, and Sunday is $50. Please note that the Friday one-day registration does not include the poster session and reception. A ticket may be purchased at a discount. Non-members will pay a $10-20 premium above the member rate.

Please note that meeting registrations do not cover the full the cost of the meeting, and the Society must cover the remaining expenses. The higher non-member registration rates reflect the additional expense supported by the HSS. Non-members are encouraged to join the Society and enjoy discounted meeting registration. Click here for more information.

Any refund requests at this point will be contingent on the final financial standing of the meeting.

Volunteers: Graduate students may volunteer to work at the meeting, usually at the registration desk, in exchange for free registration at the meeting. If you are interested in doing this, please email volunteer@hssonline.org. At this time, all of the volunteer slots are filled, and a waiting list is in place.

Meeting Hotel Information

The 2015 HSS Annual Meeting will be held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, across from Union Square in downtown San Francisco.

Westin St. Francis Hotel
335 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Booking rooms at the Westin St. Francis at the conference rate is now closed. If you did not reserve a room before the deadline, we recommend using a travel website to find alternative lodging. There are lots of options – search the Union Square neighborhood of San Francisco.

Remember that the HSS does not work with any third-party booking companies. If you are contacted by somebody offering to book rooms for the conference, please contact the HSS Executive Office at info@hssonline.org. We recommend making any reservations directly with the hotel.

For the hotel website and information on the surrounding area, maps, directions and hotel services, go here.

Special Sessions/Events

  • THATCamp  This year, for a second year in a row, HSS is sponsoring a THATCamp in conjunction with the annual meeting. The camp will be held on Thursday, November 19, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in the conference hotel. The two morning workshops are designed to provide instruction in technologies that scholars might find useful in their research or in their teaching. Click here for more details.
  • Poster session  The poster session will take place on the evening of Friday, November 20, after Dr. Findlen’s Distinguished Lecture as part of the Friday evening reception. The presenters will be in attendance to discuss their work with you.
  • Merchants of Doubt  On Saturday, Nov. 21, we will be screening the film Merchants of Doubt, based on the award-winning book by HSS members Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes. Dr. Conway will be on hand to answer questions at the end of the film. Registration for the free event is required – please go here for more information.
  • HSS Caucuses and Interest Groups  There are a dozen caucuses and interest groups that each focus on the intellectual and professional needs and interests of our members. Membership is NOT required to attend any of the sessions. If you have any questions about a particular group, contact the (co-)chair. More information on the groups can be found in the meeting program.
  • Graduate and Early Career Caucus Mixer  The GECC mixer will be held Thursday after the opening reception at the Golden Gate Tap Room, 1 block away from the meeting hotel. If you are a graduate student or early in your career, you are invited! Please join your colleagues for some snacks and refreshments.

Information for Meeting Participants

All meeting participants must register for the meeting. Although you need not be a member of the HSS to participate in the meeting, membership will provide you a significant discount on registration fees.

All meeting rooms will be equipped with an LCD projector (beamer), screen, and podium; larger rooms will also have microphone/speakers. If you require any additional audio-visual equipment, or an internet connection for your presentation, please contact the HSS Executive Office (info@hssonline.org) as soon as possible. Please be aware that you may be responsible for additional costs incurred.

Meet with Publishers: If you would like to meet with a publisher representative to discuss a book project, please go here to see a list of editors and other representatives who will be at the meeting and would like to meet with you. Email addresses are included on that page so that you can set up a time to chat.

Travel Grants

There are two sets of grants to support travel for graduate students, independent scholars, and recent PhDs to the 2015 meeting: the U.S. NSF-funded program is for U.S. citizens and those at U.S. institutions, and an additional set of grants for non-U.S. citizens at institutions outside the U.S. 

The NSF-funded travel grant reimbursement form can be found here. Please download it to your computer before opening it. Complete it in Acrobat Reader, not your browser.

The international travel grant reimbursement form can be downloaded here.

Dependent Care Grants

The History of Science Society will offer a limited number of grants of up to two hundred dollars to assist delegates who require additional dependent care during the meeting. Applications for the dependent care grants are now closed.

Reimbursement forms will be send during the week of the meeting. We will NOT accept completed forms and receipts at the meeting; please send them to the HSS Executive Office after the meeting.

The History of Science Society is accepting donations to help support the Dependent Care Grants. Donations can be made as part of meeting registration, or at this link. The HSS thanks all of those who have already given generously to support the Dependent Care Grants.

Information for Publishers

There are several opportunities for publishers and other organizations to publicize their books and other works. The book exhibit will be hosted at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

The publisher’s brochure, which includes information regarding the book exhibit, packet inserts, sponsorships, and advertising can be downloaded here (pdf).

To view the guidelines for the various publisher’s options, please click on the appropriate link:

Publisher representatives who will need additional services beyond the provided tables should make arrangements with the hotel. More details can be found here.

Future History of Science Society Meetings

28-30 May 2016 – Three Societies Meeting – Calgary, Alberta (with CSHPS and BSHS)
3-6 November 2016 – Atlanta, Georgia (joint meeting with PSA and SLSA)
9-12 November 2017 – Toronto, Ontario
1-4 November 2018 – Seattle, Washington (joint meeting with PSA)

Previous Meetings
6-9 November 2014 – Chicago, IL
21-24 November 2013 – Boston, MA
15-18 November 2012 – San Diego, CA
3-6 November 2011 – Cleveland, OH
4-7 November 2010 – Montreal, QC

San Francisco skyline photo credit: Jon Sullivan