Message to members of the History of Science Society, April 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

We will keep this short, since you don’t need us to tell you about the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of our lives at present. We simply want to assure you that the HSS is functioning and continuing our activities even as circumstances change.

As many colleagues manage the transition to an online environment, we look with admiration at those who have used their training to address the history of epidemics and other emergencies. We have been pleased to hear of members who have contributed to webcasts, who have published op-ed pieces and blogs, and who have converted exhibits, teach-ins, and public lectures to a remote audience. In these activities, we draw on our scholarly expertise to provide accurate information and historical perspectives—precious resources at a time of uncertainty and distress.

The Society continues to make plans for our annual meeting in New Orleans, 8-11 October. We are working toward a conference that brings us together—as colleagues, friends, and members of a unique society—after months of isolation. Ideally, this gathering will be in person and we will be joined by SHOT, but we are also looking at multiple scenarios. We will provide you updates as this special challenge unfolds.

At a time like this, we are reminded that the Society is a community and a network for mutual support. We are exploring ways to assist members affected by the present crisis, such as graduate students and early-career scholars whose funding and employment prospects have diminished.

In the meantime, the Executive Office of the Society remains open, albeit with the staff working from home. The Executive Committee and the Council will hold online meetings this spring. Elections to these bodies and other posts will go ahead next month. And the Newsletter and the Society’s other publications will continue to appear.

We thank you for your membership and support of the History of Science Society. We cannot yet determine the impact of the crisis on our financial well-being, but we are sure that we will continue to thrive with members like you.

With sincere best wishes for your good health, and that of your families and communities.

Jan Golinski

Jay Malone
Executive Director