News Archive

This archive is under construction (7/13/16)

A Note from Stephen Weldon on the Isis CB    

Stephen Weldon, Editor of the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science, has been working on an Alfred P. Sloan-funded project to create a new open access version of the Isis Bibliography: IsisCB Explore. IsisCB Explore opens up bibliographical research in the history of science, technology, and medicine. It is designed for students, scholars, librarians, and the general public.

Send all feedback on the new system to

As you use IsisCB Explore, be aware that the Explore system does not yet have last year’s data. It will take another month or so to add this data.

There are some instructional videos on the IsisCB Explore YouTube Channel. You can find more information about the history of the Isis Bibliography on the main site:

HSS Signs Letter Regarding Georgia RFRA

The History of Science Society joined six sister societies, including the American Historical Association and the Philosophy of Science Association, in sending a letter to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau protesting the potential passage of a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” in the state of Georgia. All of these organizations are planning on holding meetings in Atlanta in the near future, and the letter states that this legislation might precipitate moving the meetings to other cities where similar laws have not been passed. You can read the entire text of the letter by clicking here.

Elizabeth Paris Endowment for Socially Engaged History and Philosophy of Science

The Elizabeth Paris Endowment for Socially Engaged History and Philosophy of Science honors the life and interests of Elizabeth Paris (1968-2009), a historian and philosopher of science and HSS member. The Endowment aims to provide for a regular public event that will bring to a wider audience an understanding of the value of the history and philosophy of science. The first event was a Baskes Lecture in History, presented by Peter Galison at the Chicago Humanities festival titled “From Einstein’s Clocks to the Refusal of Time.”

For more information on Elizabeth, the Endowment, and how to give, please click this link.

25 April, 2016
April 2016 Newsletter Now Available

The April 2016 HSS Newsletter is now online. Click here to view.

HSS Newsletter LogoIn this issue: Vesalius’ Fabrica: The Aims of the New Census; Notes From the Inside: AAAs and AHA; IsisCB Explore—What You Can Do Now, and What You Can Expect; Digital HPS Consortium; What is Big History?; Member News; In Memoriam: Marjorie Caroline Malley; Announcing the 2017 Neu-Whitrow Prize; and News from the Profession.

31 March, 2016
2016 HSS Election Approaching

Voting in the 2016 HSS Election will begin in early April. This year’s election includes candidates for Council, Nominating Committee, Council Delegate to the Executive Committee, Secretary, and Treasurer. You can view candidate bios here. We will also be voting to approve new Articles of Incorporation.

Please note that individuals must be members of the HSS before April 1, 2016 to be eligible to vote.

Joseph Dauben to Deliver 2016 Hazen Lecture

daubenJoseph Dauben, Distinguished Professor of History at the City University of New York, will give the 2016 Hazen Lecture on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find the abstract for “Science and Art in China: Li Matou (Matteo Ricci), Lang Shining (Giuseppe Castiglione), and the Influence of Western Geometry and Mathematical Perspective on Early Qing Dynasty Mathematicians and Artists” here.

The Joseph H. Hazen Lecture is part of the History of Science Society’s educational efforts and public outreach programs. The Lecture is named after Joseph Hazen (1898-1994), a longtime supporter of the Society. After his death, his daughter Cynthia Hazen Polsky gave the Society a generous donation, which included arrangements for a biennial or triennial lecture in the history of science to be delivered in cooperation with the New York Academy of Science.

Travel Grants for 2016 3-Societies Meeting

3soc-banner1Applications are now being accepted for travel grants for the 2016 3-Societies Meeting in Edmonton, June 22-25. Grants are available for graduate students, independent scholars, and recent PhDs who are presenting or participating in another official function (e.g., chairing a session). Preference will be given to grad students and independent scholars, as well as to members of the HSS. Funds from the travel grants may be used for travel to and from Edmonton and registration, but not for other expenses (e.g., food, hotel).

Click here for the application form.

The deadline for applications is 15 April 2016. Please contact with any questions about the grants.

Call for Papers – 2016 HSS Annual Meeting

The History of Science Society is now receiving submissions for its 2016 Annual Meeting, to be held November 3-6 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia. This year’s meeting will be held jointly with the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) and the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA). The HSS encourages submissions on all topics. The deadline for proposals is midnight EDT, 8 April 2016 10 April 2016.

Important additional information is included in the full call for papers here.

Click here to read the Guidelines for Evaluating Proposals.

Click here to access the wiki page to assist in assembling full session proposals.

Click here to access the proposal submission page.

Private: Latest Issue of Isis

The latest issue of Isis (Volume 106, Number 4 | December 2015) is now available online. In this issue, “Philosophical Intelligence: Letters, Print, and Experiment during Napoleon’s Continental Blockade,” by Iain P. Watts; “Log Books and the Law of Storms: Maritime Meteorology and the British Admiralty in the Nineteenth Century,” by Simon Naylor; and “Ark and Archive: Making a Place for Long-Term Research on Barro Colorado Island, Panama,”isis.2015.106.issue-4.coverby Megan Raby. Erling Haagensen and Niels C. Lind also unravel the mystery of a unique cluster of four medieval round churches.

This month’s open access Focus Section is titled “Bridging Concepts: Connecting and Globalizing History of Science, History of Technology, and Economic History,” and includes pieces from Karel Davids, Pamela O. Long, Marcus Popplow, and Lissa Roberts.

This issue also contains an essay review, “Isaac Newton, Historian: Redivivus,” by Stephen D. Snobelen and over eighty book reviews.

Click here for the Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, 2015.

January 2016 Newsletter Now Available

HSS Newsletter LogoThe January 2016 HSS Newsletter is now online. Click here to view the web versionor click here to download the pdf.

In this issue: a note from new HSS President Janet Browne, an update on the work of the Executive Office, reflections on the conferences “Gendering Science” (Prague) and Lone Star Historians of Science 2015, a tale of traveling to all 7 continents in one year to speak about the history of science, a renaissance in medieval medical history, and In Memoriam pieces for John Farley, Hamilton Cravens, and Charles Gillispie. The HSS Annual Report, the results of the 2015 post-meeting survey, and a recap of our 2015 prize winners are also included, along with member news; and news from the profession.

Latest Issue of Isis

The September 2015 issue of Isis is available online. In this issue, articles on “The Premedieval Origin of Portolan Charts: New Geodetic Evidence,” by Roel Nicolai; “Unpuzzling American Climate: New World Experience and thisise Foundations of a New Science,” by Sam White; “Epistemological Dizziness in the Psychology Laboratory: Lively Subjects, Anxious Experimenters, and Experimental Relations, 1950–1970,” by Jill Morawski; and “The Reinvention of General Relativity: A Historiographical Framework for Assessing One Hundred Years of Curved Space-time,” by Alexander Blum, Roberto Lalli, and Jürgen Renn.

The free access Focus Section, titled “Bounded Rationality and the History of Science,” includes articles by Henry M. Cowles, William Deringer, Stephanie Dick, and Colin Webster, and Lorraine Daston.

You can find all this, plus two essay reviews and over 40 book reviews by clicking here.

Register for THATCamp 2015; Grants Available

The History of Science Society is paying close attention to innovation in the Digital Humanities. 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. The workshops are “Natural Language Processing” taught by Erick Peirson(ASU) and “Palladio: A Viewfinder for Historical Data” taught by Nicole Coleman(Stanford).

The IsisCB is also providing grants to help offset hotel costs for Wednesday night, November 18, for those wishing to attend THATCampHSS. Please visit the THATCamp website for more details.

Go to the website to find out more, register, and propose some unconference session topics. Please join us for an interesting afternoon.

Special Call for Posters for 2015 Meeting

Because the History of Science Society’s recently completed strategic plan emphasizes dynamic annual meetings the HSS is issuing a special call for posters for the 2015 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. While posters can address any topic germane to the history of science, broadly defined, we especially invite posters related to the theme “Images in/of Science.”

The poster session will overlap with the evening reception on Friday, November 20.

Click here for more details.

HSS 2015 Conference Schedule Available

The preliminary program for the 2015 HSS Meeting can be viewed here. If there are any corrections to be made, please email Information about travel, hotel, and more can be found here.

July 2015 Newsletter Now Online

The July 2015 issue of the HSS Newsletter is now online. You can view it here and download a .pdf version here.

In this issue, you will find a description of the book review process in Isis; notes from a team-taught introductory physics course with a major history of science component; an overview of the wonderful resources available at the U.S.’s National Archives; a look at the different types of records at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia; a look back at the first 50 years of the Joint Atlantic Seminar for the History of Biology; reflections on a history of chemistry conference in Japan; a report on HSS’s committees, interest groups, and caucuses; and a touching remembrance of Mel Usselman.

June 2015 Issue of Isis Is Now Online

IsisThe latest issues of Isis is available by clicking here. In this issue, editor H. Floris Cohen on his vision for the journal; “The Prehistory of Serendipity, from Bacon to Walpole,” by Sean Silver; “Building Networks for Science: Conflict and Cooperation in Nineteenth-Century Global Marine Studies,” by Azadeh Achbari; “A Drifting Concept for an Unruly Menace: A History of Psychopathy in Germany,” by Greg Eghigian; “The Invisible and Indeterminable Value of Ecology: From Malaria Control to Ecological Research in the American South,” by Albert G. Way. This issue also features a free access section titled “The History of Humanities and the History of Science” edited by Rens Bod and Julia Kursell, with articles by Jeroen Bouterse and Bart Karstens, Julia Kursell, Rens Bod, and Lorraine Daston and Glenn W. Most. It also contains news of the profession, two essay reviews, and many book reviews.

PBS Series to Portray the History of Chemistry

A new three-hour HD documentary series charting the history of chemistry from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century is about to be broadcast nationally on the PBS network. Entitled “The Mystery of PBSchemshowMatter: Search for the Elements,” the program has been in preparation over the last ten years by Moreno/Lyons Productions, in collaboration with Middlemarch Films. The series features reenactments with actors working on period instruments and speaking words of the scientists whom they portray, woven together with host narrative, animations, and plenty of talking-head commentary by historians of science. Particular emphasis is placed on the life and work of Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier, Humphry Davy, Dmitrii Mendeleev, Marie Curie, Harry Moseley, and Glenn Seaborg.
Continue reading

Statement on Academic Freedom in Wisconsin

The American Historical Association and other scholarly associations recently issued a statement on academic freedom in Wisconsin. The HSS officers endorse this statement but the Society could not sign it due to the impossibility of gaining Council agreement in the short time span allowed.

The letter states that a “wide variety of disciplines are gravely concerned with proposals pending in the Wisconsin legislature that threaten to undermine several longstanding features of the state’s current higher education system: shared governance, tenure, and academic freedom.” Click here to read the whole letter on the AHA website.

HSS Hosts Its Second Annual THATCamp 19 Nov 2015

The HSS Annual Meeting will be in San Francisco, from November 19-22, 2015. We are planning a THATCamp alongside the meeting on Thursday, September 19. Anyone interested in joining us in planning the event can contact organizers at Click here for more information.

April 2015 Newsletter Now Available

The April 2015 issue of the HSS Newsletter is now available and can be viewed here. A pdf of the full issue can be viewed here.
In this issue: HSS President Angela Creager reports on the activities of the Society in 2014; Executive Director Jay Malone describes his advocacy work in Washington D.C.; Editor H. Floris Cohen describes the new editorial management system for Isis; a festschrift for Mary Jo Nye; Richard Oosterhoff discusses the role of genius in K-12 science education, Xaq Frohlich reflects on the role of humanities in an era of transformative science and technology; Steven Wheatley discusses the potential impact of open access on learned societies; the 2016 3-Societies Meeting in Canada are announced, as well as member news, news from the profession, and other items.

The IsisCB Offers a Data Hacking Competition

**This event has been postponed. We will update as information becomes available.**
If you had access to all of the data in the Isis Current Bibliography (IsisCB) for the last forty years, what could you do with it? If want to get your hands dirty for a day and play around with the IsisCB data, see what’s there, and what you can make it do for you, consider signing up for Hack-the-CB 2015! Click here for more details!

Private: Call for Papers: 2015 HSS Meeting

Golden_Gate_WebThe Call for Papers for the 2015 History of Science Society Annual Meeting is now available. The meeting will be held at the Westin St. Francis hotel in downtown San Francisco, Nov. 19-22, 2015.  We are accepting proposals for organized sessions, individual papers, poster presentations, and other events. This year features a special call for roundtable proposals. Please click here for more details on the 2015 Meeting and the Call for Papers.

2015 Midwest Junto Registration

Midwest Junto logoRegistration for Midwest Junto for the History of Science 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin is now officially open.

Please fill out this form and mail it with your registration information to:

1) (if you’re paying and registering electronically)
2) Midwest Junto for History of Science
Department of the History of Science
Bradley Memorial Hall
1225 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706
with a check made out to “UW-Madison History of Science”

Social Science Funding Factsheets

The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), of which HSS is a member, has released state-by-state factsheets detailing the amount of federalCOSSA logo social and behavioral science funding available across the United States and the major institutional recipients.

Click here to find your state.

January Newsletter Now Available

The January Newsletter of the History of Science Society is now available and can be viewedhere. In this issue: Editor H. Floris Cohen describes how submissions are handled at Isis, a personal narrative from Rhodes Scholar Sarah Swenson, results of the post-meeting survey from Chicago, a report on the first Joint Caucus for Socially Engaged Philosophers and Historians of Science event, the newly-approved strategic plan for the HSS, an annual report from Executive Director Jay Malone, a list of the 2014 prize winners, Steven Shapin’s Sarton acceptance talk, as well as member news, news from the profession, and other items.

Congratulations to Jay Malone

JayMaloneJay Malone, the Executive Director of the History of Science Society, has been awarded the distinction of Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) “For exceptional service to the History of Science Society and related professional organizations, in support of education, outreach, and developing opportunities for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and others.”

AAAS Fellows have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, 14 February, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, Calif.

October 2014 Newsletter of the HSS

The October 2014 HSS Newsletter is now available. In this issue, Nick Huggett introduces the Windy City of Chicago, site of the 2014 HSS Meeting; the Isis Editorial Office completes its move to Utrecht; Dawn Digrius promotes the value of socially engaged history of science; Andrew Lea discusses his stumbling upon the history of science; Andreas Sommer notes the scientists who have been members of the Society for Psychical Research; plus member news and news from the profession. You can access the October Newsletter here (pdf).

HSS Awarded NSF Grant for Conference Travel

The History of Science Society has won a grant of over $200K from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “Eight Societies Travel Grants for Graduate Students, Independent Scholars, and Recent PhDs” (SES-1354351). The award, under the direction of HSS Executive Director Robert (Jay) Malone, will provide travel assistance to graduate students, independent scholars, and those who have recently received PhDs who wish to attend the professional meetings of the following eight societies:

  • the History of Science Society (HSS)
  • the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)
  • the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA)
  • the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS)
  • the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH)
  • the International Society for the Psychology of Science and Technology (ISPST)
  • the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISH)
  • and the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA).

From 2014 to 2016, the grant will fund travel to 19 conferences and will encourage engagement, as well as inter-society interchange that would not otherwise be possible because of financial barriers. It will also strengthen relationships across the eight societies, which represent divergent fields and encourage international interactions.

Notice to users of the Isis Bibliography. For the past several months, it appears that the HSTM database hosted by EBSCO was missing a very substantial number of records from the Isis dataset. Researchers who have searched in the EBSCO system may have turned up many fewer results than they should have. The gap affected records from 2000 to 2012. We apologize for this extraordinary mistake, but we think that the problem is now mostly remedied. EBSCO is, however, currently checking the database for further errors.

New Issue of Isis Online

678120.coverThe September issue of Isis is now available online by clicking here. In this issue: a farewell from the York Isis office by Bernard Lightman, articles on race and laboratory norms, botanical authority, and the “new math” curriculum of the mid-twentieth century, as well as a free access Focus section titled  “The Peculiar Persistence of the Naturalistic Fallacy.”

Forum for the History of Science in Asia Essay Prize

HSS_logo_web_nowordThe Forum for the History of Science in Asia is proud to announce a competition for a best essay prize, to be awarded at the annual HSS meeting.

Through a generous donation of an anonymous donor, the Forum will award $250 to an author of an essay that has the best potential to show how the study of the history of Asian science can methodologically contribute to the general field of History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

The deadline for submissions is 15 October 2013. Please click here for more details.

Registration for the 2013 HSS Annual Meeting Now Open!

BostonWaterfrontOnline meeting registration is now available for the 2013 HSS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, 21-24 November 2013. Early bird rates are available through 31 August 2013.

The meeting page has also been updated with information on registration rates, hotel booking, the meeting program, special sessions and events, registration extras, travel both to Boston and while in the city, information for presenters, families, and more. Click here to go to the meeting page.

July 2013 HSS Newsletter

The July 2013 edition of the HSS Newsletter is now available here. In this issue: the next editor of Isis is announced; Jay Malone discusses strategic planning for the future of the HSS; Melinda Gormley discusses science and public policy with Bob Filner, the mayor of San Diego and a history of science PhD; reflections on the Blue Marble event at the 2012 Meeting; the announcement of the formation of a new joint caucus; and Richard L. Kremer discusses the educational benefits of science junk. You can also find member news, announcements of jobs, and other regular features.

Notifications for the 2013 HSS Annual Meeting Program

Notifications for both session and contributed paper proposals for the 2013 HSS Annual Meeting have been sent via email. Notifications were sent to session organizers and those who submitted contributed papers. Due to the large number of submissions for this year’s Annual Meeting in Boston, the draft program took longer than usual to assemble; we apologize for the delay and thank all submitters for their patience. If you have not heard about the status of your proposal, please contact your session organizer or the HSS Executive Office at

HSS Letter to the U.S. Congress Regarding the NSF

NSF logo

On May 14, 2013, the History of Science Society sent letters to members of the United States Congress regarding the recent request made by Rep. Lamar Smith to examine peer review reports of certain National Science Foundation grants. The letter defends the peer review process as well as the scholarly examination of science as a subject of study itself. Signed by HSS President Lynn K. Nyhart as well as the presidents of several other societies, the letter was sent to the offices of the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives, the House Science Committee, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and both the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittees. The full text of the letter can be found here.

April 2013 HSS Newsletter

The April 2013 edition of the HSS Newsletter is now available here. In this issue: Georgina Montgomery, Constance Clark, and Jay Malone explain the purpose of the 2012 climate survey; Alain Touwaide and Emanuela Appetiti discuss the emerging discipline of medical traditions; Jacqueline Wernimont describes why you should look at the “Grandma got STEM” blog; Gerald Holton’s talk at the AIP in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Neils Bohr Library; a summary of the session on the 25th anniversary of Uneasy Careers and Intimate Lives at the 2013 AAAS meeting; Jay Malone welcomes Jessica Pfiefer as the new Secretary/Treasurer of PSA and acknowledges Gary Hardcastle as he steps down from that position. You can also find member news, announcements of jobs, and other regular features.

Survey on HSS Meeting Wiki Site

For the third year, the HSS made a wiki page (linked here) available to provide a forum for scholars wishing to submit a paper for consideration for the HSS Annual Meeting to find other scholars with similar interests with an eye towards constructing a complete session proposal. Traffic at the wiki page has steadily increased each year, and we want to make sure that it is as effective and useful as possible. To help us maximize the wiki’s effectiveness, we have created a short survey, and we encourage you to participate. Whether or not you have used the wiki site at all, your input is still valuable. The survey can be found here. It is intended to take only a few minutes and will be available through 19 April. We do thank you for your participation.

The History of Science Society prize ceremony took place on Saturday, November 17th at the HSS Annual Meeting in San Diego. We are pleased to announce this year’s winners:

Nathan Reingold Prize:Rebecca S. Onion (University of Texas, Austin), “Thrills, Chills and Science: Home Laboratories and the Making of the American Boy, 1918-1941”

Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize: Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis (University of Florida)

Derek Price/Rod Webster Prize: Peter Pesic (St. John’s College)“Hearing the Irrational: Music and the Development of the Modern Concept of Number”

Suzanne J. Levinson Prize: Martin Rudwick (Emeritus, University of California, San Diego), Worlds before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform

Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize: Peter Kastor (Washington University, St. Louis) and Conevery Valencius (University of Massachusetts, Boston), “Sacagawea’s ‘Cold’: Pregnancy and the Written Record of the Lewis and Clark Expedition”

Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize: Mark Barrow (Virginia Tech), Nature’s Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology

Pfizer Prize: Dagmar Schäfer (University of Manchester), The Crafting of 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China

Sarton Medal: Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)

The prize program, including citations, can be found here. Congratulations to all of the winners.