2017 HSS Annual Meeting


2017 HSS Annual Meeting
Toronto, Ontario 9-12 November 2017

Sverker Sörlin | 2017 Distinguished Lecture


Sverker Sörlin delivers the History of Science Society’s 2017 Distinguished Lecture, “Greening the Great White: Encounters of Knowledge and Environment – and the Northern Turn in the History of Science.”

Selected Texts by Sverker Sörlin:

 Oceanic Histories (Cambridge Oceanic Histories)
 Northscapes: History, Technology, and the Making of Northern Environments
 The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change
 Science, Geopolitics and Culture in the Polar Region: Norden Beyond Borders (The Nordic Experience Book 2)
 Nature's End: History and the Environment
 Narrating the Arctic: A Cultural History of Nordic Scientific Practices

More Selected Texts on the Northern Turn:

 Unfreezing the Arctic: Science, Colonialism, and the Transformation of Inuit Lands
 Glaciers: The Politics of Ice
 Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature, and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness in Canada
 Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America
 Do Glaciers Listen?: Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters, and Social Imagination (Canadian Studies Series)


Sörlin, professor at the KTH Institute in Sweden, provides the following abstract of his talk:

When, in 1993, Trevor Levere at the University of Toronto published Science and the Canadian Arctic very little modern history of science had been devoted to the region. Local ways of knowing in the Arctic had been studied by anthropologists since the days of Franz Boas and there was a long tradition in many countries to chronicle the history of exploration as a series of adventures and patriotic deeds, also when explorers were scientists or scholars, such as Fritdtjof Nansen, Knud Rasmussen, or Georgy Sedov. Even as interest grew in colonial and postcolonial science since the 1960s little attention was paid to science in the Arctic. This has now changed completely. Since the 1990s, and most especially during and after the International Polar Year in 2007-2009 there has been an explosion of research among historians on the Arctic and the circumpolar North, and a sprinkling on Antarctica as well. This growing interest reflects geopolitical concerns: waning sea ice due to climate change, pressures on local and especially indigenous populations, traumas and tensions but also hopes of a region which has drawn attention for its rich energy and mineral resources, and its potential for shipping and commerce. The “bellwether North” has become a metaphor, signaling the wide geophysical ramifications of the changes in the Arctic, as earth systems “teleconnections” link these with CO2 emissions in the industrialized world and with effects on tropical monsoons.

In this lecture I will present and reflect upon this ongoing ‘Northern turn’ in the history of science. I will argue that it is expanding and enriching the agenda of history of science in several dimensions: through the interest in culturally diverse ways of knowing the earth and its elements; through the approaches towards the science of global change and the politics of global challenges; and, perhaps most pervasively, through the growing interaction between the multiple strands of history – environmental, technological, diplomatic, and the history of science – that are coming together near the poles, signaling the emergence of a relevant, integrative, and transformative environmental history of science.

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Program and Abstracts

The online program for the 2017 HSS Meeting can be viewed here. While participants will be able to continue to edit some information on the online program, the printed program is now final.

Abstracts are available online and for download.

Meeting App

Once again, we are offering our Annual Meeting as an app through Guidebook. The app offers customizable program schedules, important meeting news, the ability to message other attendees, the meeting Twitter feed, and more. Download it here.


Posters will be set up on a 4′ x 6′ (120 cm x 180 cm) easel. The posters should be no larger than 3.5′ (tall) x 4′ (wide) [100 cm x 120 cm). Posters will be presented on Friday, 10 November from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm with the authors present for discussion from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, during the evening reception. Supplies will be provided to hang posters.
Poster Dimensions for HSS 2017

Please email any questions to info@hssonline.org.

Meeting Registration

Online meeting registration is no longer available. We welcome you to register on site. 

On-site registration rates are as follows:

Regular Student Low-Income One-Day
HSS Members $225 $60 $155 $110
Non-Members $285 $125 $170 $120

All meeting participants are required to register for the meeting. Session organizers are responsible for ensuring that all of the participants in their sessions register. Failing to register will result in removal from the program. Refunds will be issued until October 9, 2017.

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.

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 a graduate student interested in volunteering at the meeting, please email volunteer@hssonline.org.

Meeting Hotel Information

The 2017 HSS Annual Meeting will be held at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto.

123 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2M9
(1)(416) 361-1000

Rates for hotel rooms at the Sheraton Centre are $169 CAD/night for a single or double, $199 CAD/night for a triple, and $229 CAD/night for a quad. Club level rooms are also available upon request for $229 CAD/night for a single/double. Please note that these prices do not include applicable taxes and fees (currently 16%).

You can book a room at the Sheraton Centre at this link. The group rate for rooms is available until October 9, 2017.

Please note: A credit card is required to reserve a room in the meeting block, and you will be charged a deposit equal to one night’s stay. A full refund of the deposit will be given to cancellations received until 72 hours prior to arrival.

Once again, we have a room block for graduate students with a discounted rate of $150 CAD/night plus taxes. Decisions regarding graduate student room reservations will be sent out soon.

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.

Mentorship and CV Review Programs

The registration for the Mentorship Program and CV Review at HSS Toronto is live! Follow this link (https://goo.gl/forms/UgkVCp6hU9AkvM653) to apply now, or read below for more information. Deadline to register is October 22.

Interested in meeting more senior scholars, other graduate students, or mentoring? Consider registering to be a mentor or mentee for the upcoming History of Science Society meeting in Toronto from November 9-11. To the best of our ability, mentors and mentees are paired based upon interests, career aspirations, and complementing career stages. Once paired, how you meet and what you do is up to you. Past mentors and mentees have grabbed coffees, cocktails and beers, or meals and spent ~an hour getting to know each other’s work and learning from one another. It’s a great way for mentors to do some service to the profession, and for mentees to get to know more senior scholars, learning the tips and tricks of the trade.

If you’re looking to devote a little less time, but still want to serve or participate, we are also looking for participants for our annual CV review. Interested reviewers can serve a half hour or more reviewing registered participants’ CVs. The CV review is a 15-minute, unofficial meeting between a more senior person and a graduate student who wants to have an extra pair of eyes on their CV. Participation in either the Mentorship Program, CV Review, or both is welcome!

To register, fill out this Google form: https://goo.gl/forms/UgkVCp6hU9AkvM653. Direct questions and comments to Emmie Miller (mill6266@umn.edu). Please use subject headings like “HSS Mentorship/CV Review.”

Call for HSS GECC Officers

Are you a graduate student or early career scholar looking to become more involved in service to the profession? The Graduate and Early Career Caucus will be looking to take on new officers at the next HSS Meeting in Toronto. There are positions available as Mentorship Officers, Diversity Officers, and Communications Officers. If you are interested in GECC, or any of these roles specifically, please email our co-chair, Emmie Miller (mill6266@umn.edu), for more detailed information. See below for a rough sketch of each of the officers’ roles.

Mentorship: Collaborate on and oversee the Mentorship Program, the Women’s Mentorship Networking Event, and the CV Review Programs at the HSS Meeting

Communications: Collaborate on, provide content for and oversee the GECC blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages while at HSS annual meetings and throughout the year, including our summer blog series

Diversity: Collaborate on and devise programming to define diversity in the content of HSS, encourage diversity, and improve the quality of underserved attendees’ HSS experiences

Travel Information


Toronto is serviced by Toronto-Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Discount Airfare: For reduced airfare, book with Delta Air Lines at www.delta.com/meetings (select ‘Book Your Flight’) or by calling 800-328-1111. Use Meeting Code: NMQX2. Terms and conditions apply.

Long flight? See the tips provided here.

From YYZ: You can take the train (UP Express) or take a taxi.

  • UP Express (Train from Airport to City): Union Pearson Express (UP Express) connects Canada’s two busiest transportation hubs: Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station in downtown Toronto. UP Express trains depart every 15 minutes and the journey takes just 25 minutes. First train departs Pearson Station at 05:27 and last train at 00:57.  The UP Pearson Station is located right beside the blue Link Train at Terminal 1, connecting travelers to Terminal 3. For more information, visit www.upexpress.com.
    • Group Rate for History of Science Society: UP Express tickets may be purchased from an UP Express Guest Services Representative at UP Pearson Station at time of travel for only $9.25 CDN (credit card only) for a one-way adult fare when you show confirmation of conference registration (print or digital).  Your ticket to return to Pearson Airport can be purchased at UP Express Union Station at time of travel (registration confirmation required).  Alternatively, you can purchase tickets in advance online or using the UP Mobile App (regular rates apply).
    • For the subway, take the Yonge-University Subway (Line 1) to Osgoode (two stops, in the direction of Downsview). You will exit the subway onto University Ave. Just southeast of the subway exit, turn left onto Queen Street. The hotel is one block further, on the right.
    • To walk from Union Station, when you exit the station turn left on Front Street and then turn right on York Street. Follow York Street northwest until it tees into Queen Street. The hotel will be at the corner, on your right.
  • Taxis: Taxi pick-up locations are at Doors C and D (Terminal 1) Door B (Terminal 3 Domestic) and Door F (Terminal 3 International). A set Tariff of 53.00 CAD plus fuel surcharge will take you from the airport to the hotel. Travel time is approximately 25 minutes.


Valet parking at the Sheraton Centre is $50 CAD per day.

FYI: Check out this article about why you shouldn’t just toss your boarding pass into the nearest trash bin after your flight. Apparently they can be very useful to identity thieves!


The HSS is sponsoring its 4th annual THATCamp (The Humanities And Technology Camp) on Sunday, November 12 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm for anyone either doing or considering a project involving digital technology. People of all experience levels are welcome — newbies as well as experienced coders. The goal is to interact, try out new applications, ask questions, give advice, and learn.

This is an “unconference,” which means that the participants own the conference: the schedule is mostly organized by attendees. It is highly flexible and designed to meet the needs of the participants. We’ll have two keynote sessions–Charles Pence (Louisiana State University) and John Stewart (University of Oklahoma)–as well as lightning talks and full sessions for discussing, playing with, or learning new technologies. When you register, you will have the opportunity to propose themes and topics.

See more about THATCamps here, and then go to hss2017.thatcamp.org to see the tentative schedule and to register. We are limiting participation to about 50 people, and participants are welcome to come-and-go as needed to attend other HSS sessions. Some food and refreshments will be provided, including a light lunch. This THATCamp is wholly sponsored by HSS. This year, the camp is organized by Kathleen Sheppard, Danielle Picard, and Stephen Weldon.

Travel Grants

There are two sets of travel grants for the 2017 HSS Meeting. Grants are available for graduate students, independent scholars, and recent PhDs.

NSF Travel Grants – Grants sponsored by the National Science Foundation are available to those at U.S. institutions and U.S. citizens at institutions outside of the U.S. To apply for an NSF travel grants, please go to this site. Please note that the deadline for applications is September 18, 2017.

HSS Travel Grants – These grants are for those individuals who are not eligible for the NSF travel grants (i.e., non-U.S. citizens at institutions outside of the U.S.). To apply for one of these travel grants, please complete the form at this site. The deadline for applications is September 18, 2017.

Please do not apply for both travel grants. Doing so will jeopardize your eligibility for both.

Dependent Care Grants

The History of Science Society is offering a limited number of grants of up to two hundred dollars to assist delegates who require additional dependent care during the meeting. Applications may submitted at this page. Applications need to be submitted no later than September 25, 2017.

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

The publisher’s brochure for the 2017 HSS Meeting can be downloaded here.

Please email any questions to info@hssonline.org.

Explore Toronto

Visiting Toronto

Future History of Science Society Meetings

1-4 November 2018 – Seattle, Washington (joint meeting with PSA)
2019 – Utrecht, Netherlands

Previous History of Science Society Meetings

3–6 November 2016 2016 – Atlanta, GA
22-25 June 2016 – Three Societies Meeting – Edmonton, Alberta (with CSHPS and BSHS)
19-22 November 2015 – San Francisco, CA

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


Airport Transportation

All airport transportation options have accessible access, and both airports offer pre-arranged mobility assistance via your air carrier:

Public Transit

  • The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)’s closest subway station is Osgoode Station, on the Yonge-University Line. It is accessible. The hotel is a two minute walk from the Osgoode Station.
  • The TTC also offers  Wheel-Trans as door-to-door paratransit service. Contact 416.393.4111 for more information.


  • Dignity Transportation Inc. 416-398-2222 www.dignitytransportation.com  Dignity Transportation offers various wheelchair accessible transportation services, including vans, sedans and limousines, in the Toronto and GTA area.
  • uberWAV A wheelchair accessible option for Uber, in partnership with Dignity Transportation. To request an Uber WAV vehicle, you will need to download the Uber app from your device’s app store. More information is available at https://newsroom.uber.com/canada/uberwav/.
  • Wheelchair Accessible Transit Inc. 416-884-9898 www.wheelchairtransit.com Provides service throughout the Greater Toronto Area as well as flat rate service to destinations across Southern Ontario

Equipment Rentals

A variety of accessibility related equipment is available from:

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel

There are a number of accessible parking stalls both for vans and cars.

Most areas of the hotel are fully accessible to guests with disabilities, and the Sheraton is committed to following the Accessibilty for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. See http://www.sheratontoronto.com/AODA; for a full description of such facilities and services and for any further contact information please see http://m.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/features/accessibility.html?propertyID=271&language=en_US&localeCode=en_US.

Further Notes

A site providing in-depth reviews of the physical environments of Toronto venues, such as restaurants, can be found at http://www.accessto.ca/

http://accessnow.me/ AccessNow uses crowdsourcing to pin-point the accessibility status of various locations around the world, including Toronto, on an interactive map.

Attendees of the HSS 2017 meeting who wish to request additional services, such as specialized or priority seating, assistance in wheeling long distances, or alternative formats of written material are asked to indicate this in the notes field when they register for the conference. This will help the Society arrange for their needs.


For childcare and babysitting during the meeting, Tourism Toronto has suggested three options:

Due to the generosity of our members, the HSS offers grants of up to $200 to help offset dependent-care costs. To apply, please click here. The application deadline is 25 Sept 2017.

Toronto skyline photo credit: Taxiarchos228