HSS 2021 Annual Meeting Moving Online

Dear HSS members,


After extensive deliberations, the HSS Council has decided to move the 2021 Annual Meeting from 18-21 November, entirely online. It has become clear over the last few weeks that we could not deliver the experience of an HSS Annual Meeting and provide an inclusive and safe environment for attendees under the current COVID-19 conditions. 


This was an extremely difficult decision as we all yearn to see each other in person and want to be able to support our partners in New Orleans. This decision came from multiple rounds of discussion by Council, the Committee on Meetings and Programs, the Local Arrangements Committee, and the Program Chairs. The viewpoint was widely held that the uncertainties from COVID and the aftermath of Hurricane Ida made it too difficult to move forward. This is just a detour. We hope to return to New Orleans in the near future. We urge you to consider donating to a local charity to help with the recovery efforts in Southeast Louisiana. A list can be found here.


It is no easy feat to pick up what was designed to be experienced in person and drop it into a completely online format. The program will need some adjustment but was planned to be flexible for this possibility. I want to give my thanks to Christine von Oertzen, Soraya de Chadarevian, John Krige, and Don Opitz for their tireless work to make this meeting possible. Please have patience as we iron out the details to take our meeting online.

For those who have registered for the onsite meeting, your registration will be migrated to an online registration. 


HSS Annual Meetings are community exercises, and hosting this meeting online does not mean a lesser experience. We will use the tools of our platform and the spirit of New Orleans and its people to deliver a social, thoughtful, and intellectually stimulating experience.
I’m personally saddened that I won’t be able to see my friends and colleagues, but I look forward to our 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago. This bump in the road will only make our Chicago meeting a homecoming like no other. 


Sincerely,

Jan Golinski, HSS President

Register for the 2021 HSS Annual Meeting here.

Hurricane Ida Recovery

New Orleans and other areas in Louisiana were devastated by Hurricane Ida. While power and repairs have begun in some places, many are still waiting, and overall the road to recovery is long. If you are able, please donate.

Catholic Charities (of Houma, LA): https://catholiccharitiesht.org/donate 

Jefferson Parish SPCA: https://www.jeffersonspca.org/donate

United Way: www.unitedwaysela.org/hurricane-ida-relief  

VAYLA: https://vayla-no.org/donate/

HSS Editorial Office Practicum program: Call for Applications

The HSS Editorial Office invites graduate students and early career scholars to apply for our Editorial Practicum program. 

Over the course of an eight-week term of study, attendees will shadow the co-editors of Isis and take part in the life of the journal. This online practicum will involve approximately four hours of scheduled time per week. The curriculum will feature discussion sessions and practical work on manuscript review, mentorship, and editorial craft. Depending on their background, participants may also have the option of preparing a book review for publication.

We anticipate that the Editorial Practicum will appeal to scholars interested in knowing more about the world of academic publishing generally, and in particular the history of science field as represented in Isis. This year’s program will be conducted via Zoom from October 11 to December 17, 2021. There will be one or two meetings per week, with a cohort of up to six participants.

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for two references to isisjournal@history.msstate.edu. The deadline for applications is September 24. We will inform applicants of our decision by September 30.

Featured Article: Vera Keller on “the Philosophical Gardener”

Vera Keller’s article, “A ‘Wild Swing to Phantsy’: The Philosophical Gardener and Emergent Experimental Philosophy in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World,” appears in the September 2021 issue of Isis, where it is free to read for a short time.

Our manuscript assistant, Samuel Green, spoke with Dr. Keller about her research on the connection between “whimsical” pleasure gardens in 17th-century and the practical considerations of large-scale agriculture. Read the full text of their interview here.

HSS Executive Office

Call for proposals to host the HSS Executive Office 

The History of Science Society seeks proposals for the next site for its Executive Office, with occupancy to begin in July 2022. The Executive Office is the main administrative office of the History of Science Society (HSS). The HSS, established in 1924, is an international organization and an affiliate of the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Historical Association, and numerous other organizations. 


Presently located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, the HSS Executive Office coordinates all day-to-day Society business, all annual HSS functions, and all activities that involve the Society in scholarly pursuits on the national and international level. Its activities include supervision of the HSS annual meeting, management of the HSS website, maintenance of the Society’s records and finances, and oversight of HSS programs and grants.

The Office is remotely supervised by an Executive Director. The Executive Director has been assisted by a full-time Administrator, 2-3 undergraduate students, and one graduate student. The University of Notre Dame has generously provided the Society with office space (ca. 400 square feet), including file cabinets, office furniture, computers, and space for bookshelves/library and some document storage; funding for a part-time graduate assistant, including tuition (one-semester appointment); internet connectivity and technical support; and has waived administrative overhead. Notre Dame also covered relocation expenses (up to US$5,000). The Society wishes to secure similarly favorable terms under a new five-year contract. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate support from a Dean, museum or library director, or equivalent, the existence of an active community in the history of science, and the existence of a flourishing graduate, undergraduate, or fellowship program.
The successful proposal will demonstrate:

  • Long term (at least 5 years) commitment to History of Science Society
  • Committed institutional interest in the history of science as a scholarly field, as demonstrated by faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, public programs, and activities. 
  • Adequate physical space.
  • Support for office personnel including graduate, undergraduate, or postdocs. 
  • Budget commitment
  • Letters of institutional commitment to the HSS office, including from those responsible for executing the promised budget.

Proposals (due 15 October 2021) should be directed to the HSS Vice-President, Karen Rader (vp@hssonline.org). Questions about the office or the proposal should be directed to HSS Executive Director, John Paul Gutierrez (jp@hssonline.org).

HSS/SHOT Annual Meeting Update

The safety of our community and the communities we visit is our top priority; the HSS/SHOT staff and leadership continue to monitor the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and work with medical experts, the Sheraton hotel, local organizers, and the city of New Orleans to institute best practices for the HSS/SHOT annual meeting on 18-21 November 2021. It is too early for us to announce the specific COVID-related changes for our event in late November. We will continue to monitor the situation in New Orleans, but at this time, HSS/SHOT will continue to plan the 2021 meeting as a hybrid event.


Here are some precautions that we will utilize at the annual meeting. Currently, these precautions mirror those in place for all New Orleans indoor activities. We will continue to update the community as the situation evolves.


Vaccinations: Participating attendees will need to provide proof of vaccination. For individuals who are not vaccinated, proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the meeting will be required.


Masks: HSS/SHOT will institute a mask mandate at the meeting for all attendees, staff, and hotel staff at all indoor events. 

Note that if COVID-19 makes it impossible for us to meet in person we will shift to a completely online meeting. 

Registration for the Annual Meeting will open shortly.
New Orleans COVID-19 Dashboard
New Orleans Current COVID-19 Guidelines

Call for Proposals: Labor and the History of Science

Lissa Roberts (Editor-in-Chief of History of Science), Seth Rockman (Editorial Board member of Labor), and Alexandra Hui (Co-Editor of Isis) are organizing the 2022 Gordon Cain Conference at the Science History Institute. From the labor in the laboratory to the science in scientific management, “Let’s Get to Work: Bringing Labor History and History of Science Together,” will provide a forum for productive reflection on and historical analysis of the intimate connections between labor history and the history of science.

The organizers are eager to welcome proposals from early career scholars, BIPOC scholars and those from historically-underrepresented communities, and scholars from the Global South.

The conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA, June 2-4, 2022. Travel support available. The full call for papers can be found here.

Osiris Call for Proposals

The Editorial Board of Osiris solicits proposals for Volume 40, which will appear in 2024 or 2025. Osiris is an international research journal devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences and is a publication of the History of Science Society and the University of Chicago Press.

Free first page

Osiris aims to connect the history of science with other areas of historical scholarship. Volumes of the journal are designed to explore how, where, and why science draws upon and contributes to society, culture, and politics. The journal’s editors and board members strongly encourage proposals that engage with and examine broad themes while aiming for diversity across time and space. The journal is also very interested in receiving proposals that assess the state of the history of science as a field, broadly construed, in both established and emerging areas of scholarship. Forthcoming volumes are concerned with science, technology, and food; global medical cultures and laws; medicine in/and translation; the history of algorithms and ‘algorithmic rationality’; and disability and the history of science.

The due date for proposals has been extended to October 15, 2021. For details on how to submit a proposal, please visit the Osiris editors’ site.

HSS 2021 Annual Meeting Program

We are pleased to announce that the HSS 2021 Annual Meeting program is now available. Please note that the schedule is preliminary and the rooms are subject to change.

The Society is grateful for the hard work invested by program co-chairs Soraya de Chadarevian and John Krige, the 2022 program co-chair Don Opitz, and SHOT program committee Joseph November (Chair), Atsushi Akera, and Yulia Frumer in preparing the preliminary program.

Any changes or questions about the preliminary program should be directed to the HSS Executive Office at info@hssonline.org. Current and future information about the 2021 HSS/SHOT meeting will be posted to the meeting website.

We hope that we will see in you at the meeting in November, either in person in New Orleans, or virtually.

Full Program 

HSS Newsletter – July 2021

It’s not often that we get to hear from the editors save in editor’s notes (and blurbs like these) but we kick off the July issue of the HSS Newsletter with a conversation on gender representation with the editors of Isis, the future HSS President, and representatives of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and further along, another conversation of translation and historiography in which the Newsletter editor takes part. Other offerings this quarter include a trip down memory lane by a historian  reconstructing the circumstances that led to the recent publication of a piece composed nearly 30 years ago, an interview with a prize-winning book author and a letter from one of our members about the impact on scholarship during pandemic conditions on the disabled community. Most of the  usual suspects are chock-a-block with news as usual, except for the Innovations in Education corner, which will be back in October, hopefully with a double whammy.

Read the Newsletter.

Download the pdf.