Call for H-Eugenics co-editors

H-Eugenics is one of 188 networks at H-Net. Its primary purpose is to provide a forum to discuss the history of eugenics as well as the influence of eugenics across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries. The network also addresses related contemporary topics, such as gene editing and CRISPR. We have over 550 subscribers and publish all of our content on an open-access model, giving us a wide audience.

There are some light shared responsibilities for editors, namely reviewing and posting submitted announcements as well as checking the H-Eugenics e-mail account on a daily basis. I am particularly eager to find a co-editor or two who would like to develop or co-develop a project for the network. We could, for example, develop a Social Media presence or establish a Teaching Resources or Research Resources page. We could also discuss commissioning Book Reviews or expanding an existing project, such as the Publications or News Announcements. Our parent academic non-profit organization, H-Net, provides training and an editorial support system where editors can find advice and model projects.

If you are interested in volunteering to be an editor, please submit to a short CV as well as a brief explanation (about 250 words) of your past or current research on eugenics and how you would like to get involved with the network. Please also be prepared to provide a reference on request. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

We will review applications at the end of this month, but also keep in mind that we always welcome scholars reaching out to us about volunteering.

H-Eugenics editor

CHSTM Research Seminars, Manchester, Winter-Spring 2020

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester is excited to announce the speakers for this semester’s seminar series. Please find the programme below.

CHSTM seminars will be held on Tuesdays at 4pm in 2.57 Simon Building, Oxford Rd. Coffee, tea and biscuits will be served from 3.30 pm. All welcome! Please direct any questions or enquiries to to the organisers: Tom Quick ( or Pratik Chakrabarti (

CHSTM Research Seminars, 2020

Tuesdays, 4pm, Simon Building, room 2.57, unless otherwise indicated.


28 January

Vanessa Heggie (University of Birmingham)

Higher and colder: A history of extreme physiology and exploration


11 February – ***VENUE CHANGE*** 7 pm, Manchester Museum – Joint event with the Manchester Museum

Angela Saini (writer & journalist)

The return of race science


25 February

Beatriz Pichel (De Montford University)

Photography and the making of modern medicine in France, 1860–1914


10 March

Laura Tisdall (Queen Mary’s, University of London)

‘Just a stage I’m going through’: Lesbian and gay adolescents, developmental psychology, and psychoanalysis in Britain, c. 1950–1990


24 March

Caitjan Gainty (King’s College, London)

Healthy scepticism




21 April

Sarah Marks (Birkbeck, University of London)

‘Brainwashing for benevolent purposes’? Historical reflections on behavioural therapy from the Cold War to CBT


5 May

Cornelius Borck (University of Lübeck)

Changing approaches to visualization in brain research: A case study based on the Max-Planck Society

January HPS&ST Newsletter

The January HPS&ST Newsletter is on the web here.


  • Introduction
  • Australian Bushfires: A Personal Report
  • Fourth International Conference on History of Physics, Trinity College, Dublin, 17-19 June 2020.
  • Biographical Memoirs of the Royal Society
  • 4th International Conference on Science and Literature, University of Girona, Spain, 2-4 July 2020
  • Fellowships
  • Feng Shui Project: Historical, Philosophical, Scientific, Medical, Cultural and Educational Considerations
  • Narrative in Science Project
  • Opinion Page: Science + Religion, Tom McLeish, Department of Physics, University of York
  • PhD Theses in HPS&ST Domain
  • Recent HPS&ST Research Articles
  • Recent HPS&ST Related Books
  • Coming HPS&ST Related Conferences
  • HPS&ST Related Organisations and Websites

The newsletter seeks to serve the diverse international community of HPS&ST scholars and teachers by disseminating information about events and publications that connect to HPS&ST concerns.

Contributions to the newsletter (publications, thematic issues, conferences, Opinion Page, etc.) are welcome and should be sent direct to the editor: Michael R. Matthews, UNSW,

If you have friends, colleagues or students who would like to subscribe to the list, tell them to send a message to: There is no need for subject header or any message; the email itself suffices for addition to the hpsst-list.

Michael Matthews

CFA: Public Scholars Program, National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for the 2020 round of the Public Scholars program, which supports the creation of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public. The program welcomes projects in all areas of the humanities, regardless of geographic or chronological focus. The resulting books might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be written in a readily accessible style, must clearly explain specialized terms and concepts, and must frame their topics to have wide appeal. They should also be carefully researched and authoritative, making appropriate use of primary and/or secondary sources and showing appropriate familiarity with relevant existing publications or scholarship. Applications to write books directed primarily to professional scholars are not suitable.

The Public Scholars program is open to independent writers as well as applicants with an institutional affiliation. It offers a stipend of $5,000 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $60,000 for a twelve-month period. Applicants must have U.S. citizenship or residency in the U.S. for the three years prior to the application deadline. In addition, they must have previously published a book with a university or commercial press or at least three articles and essays in publications reaching a large national or international audience.

More information (including a full statement of the eligibility requirements) is available on the NEH’s website here.  The application deadline for this cycle is February 5, 2020. Recipients may begin the term of the grant as early as September 1, 2020 or as late as September 1, 2021.

An informational video, a list of previously funded projects, and five examples of successful applications are also available on the webpage. Questions may be directed to

NHA Quarterly Column: Study the Humanities: Articulating Career Pathways

By Scott Muir, Study the Humanities project director

Commentators have offered a variety of explanations for the widely observed decline in humanities majors and enrollments. Evidence suggests the primary cause is a dramatic reordering of student priorities away from existential educational aims toward pragmatic financial goals, beginning around 1970 and accelerating after the financial crisis of 2008.

Herein lies the greatest opportunity for reversing the decline, for the problem is with students’ perceptions more than reality. It’s not that the humanities don’t prepare students for career success; humanities majors’ career outcomes are in fact quite strong. But in the absence of clear pathways to a sustainable career, students and parents whose confidence has been shaken by the Great Recession and rising student debt fill the void with their fears. To restore confidence in the humanities, we must replace a cloudy picture of uncertain outcomes with a brighter vision of expansive possibilities. But how?

At the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), we have gained a unique perspective on this challenge and the opportunity it presents. Over the past two years, we’ve assessed the field of undergraduate humanities recruitment efforts, including a recent survey of more than 390 faculty and administrators at nearly 300 institutions. We’ve collected a wide variety of promising strategies for recruiting students with the goal of sharing these strategies to benefit the whole community. Many involve clarifying career pathways for humanities majors, ranging from efforts aimed at persuading prospective students to those that help graduating majors successfully navigate the job market.

For prospective students and their parents, many faculty and administrators have reported that presenting the national employment data featured in our Study the Humanities toolkit helps confront widespread misconceptions concerning career prospects. Additionally, data and success stories drawn from one’s own institution provide a more concrete and accessible picture of the possibilities. For example, at Brandeis University, the School of Arts and Sciences has partnered with the Hiatt Career Center to present outcome data by major, which Dean Dorothy Hodgson reports “shows the tremendous placement success—and overcomes parental and student anxieties.” At Lebanon Valley College, the English Department researched their graduates’ career outcomes and created a brief video that presents the actual job titles of alumni to prospective students and their parents.

Once on campus, general education courses provide crucial opportunities to demonstrate the practical value of humanities skills to broad populations of students. At the University of Missouri, the College of Arts and Sciences appointed a Career Readiness Faculty Fellow to help faculty across the college incorporate modules explaining how the liberal arts equip students for long-term career success into their gen ed courses. And at the University of Minnesota, the College of Liberal Arts developed a pedagogical tool to help students identify the skills developed through their assignments and translate them to non-academic settings. Importantly, they also implemented incentives to encourage faculty to incorporate the tool in their courses, as well as identify transferable skills on their syllabi. As a result, more than 10,000 students completed the translation assignment last semester.

Other initiatives help ensure humanities majors preparing to graduate are equipped to transition to the workforce. For example, the English Department at West Chester University created a poster series and annual event entitled “What can you do with an English major?” to help students explore a variety of career pathways. Furthermore, the department created an internship course and a series of six workshops that help majors translate academic accomplishments for job application materials. At Hendrix College, John Sanders redesigned the Religious Studies Department’s capstone course to help students articulate transferable skills gained through previous courses and capstone projects. Meanwhile, students work with career center staff to hone their resumes and interview skills.

Finally, humanities faculty and administrators are developing new ways to engage alumni and employers to identify opportunities for their students and increase demand for their skills. For the past decade, Duke University has hosted an annual weekend of programming that brings together arts and humanities majors interested in working in a wide variety of media-related fields with alumni who have found success there. And at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, the Humanities Network and Consortium has partnered with career center staff to bring employers and recruiters to campus for regular events that highlight the professional advantages provided by the humanities.

Together, these initiatives present models for identifying transferable humanities skills and illuminating career pathways, helping to correct misconceptions and provide a clearer, more accurate picture of humanities majors’ career prospects. Of course, there are many other benefits to studying the humanities and strategies for highlighting them. Several campuses are experimenting with cohort programs to help students forge deep connections. Others are developing or revising courses to demonstrate how the humanities can help address a wide variety of contemporary challenges.

In the coming year, we will be working to ensure the lessons learned on individual campuses benefit the whole humanities community. To better understand which recruitment strategies are most effective, we have developed survey instruments to measure their impact on students’ perceptions and behaviors. We are partnering with directors of compelling initiatives to implement customized surveys. And we will distribute resources that provide an overview of various strategies faculty and administrators across the country are employing and highlight particularly promising models. We invite you to partner with us in these efforts by sharing your strategies via our survey.

Diplomacy and the Natural Environment (journal special issue)

For this special issue of Diplomatica we invite proposals for essays on aspects of diplomacy’s relationship to the natural environment. Essays may cover any historical period up to the present-day. The central questions that this special issue poses are:

How does the natural environment condition, cause, or complicate diplomatic action?

How does diplomacy affect relations between humanity and nature?

How has ‘nature’ been used in theory and in practice to further or cast into question diplomatic relations?

Possible topics include:

– Plant, animal, and mineral specimens as objects and/or subjects of diplomatic exchange;

– The relationship of concepts and/or metaphors of natural order, the state of nature, etc. to diplomacy;

– Negotiations relating to the environment, climate change, conservation, etc.;

– Visual, literary, musical, and cinematic depictions of nature in diplomatic contexts;

Please send expressions of interest, with abstracts of 500 words and a brief bio-note to the issue editors by 15 February 2020. Please quote ‘Diplomacy and the Natural Environment’ in the subject line.

Notification of acceptance will be no later than 15 March 2020. If accepted, full essays (of 7000 to 9000 words) will be due by 15 January 2021.

Review-essays and interviews pertinent to the special issue are also very welcome. Please contact the journal editors with any questions.

History of Science, Technology and Medicine News of the Consortium

As the semester draws to a close, Consortium fellows have already conducted nearly thirty research trips to the collections of member institutions. Their work covers a wide range of different periods, locations, and topics. Fellows’ recent research reports, which can be found on the Consortium website, highlight some of the diversity and originality that make the Consortium so vibrant. They examine the production of new knowledge and practice in science, technology and medicine, often focusing on issues of race, gender and class in their analyses. Fellows’ work in the history of medicine has a strong global focus — two recent projects explore a global history of Leishmaniases as well as the education of midwives in early modern France. History of computing has been central to projects in the history of technology, with work on computers as tools for education during the Cold War and on the material and human dimensions of computer modeling. And in the history of science, fellows have been working on understanding the history of collecting and the maintenance of collections, from Samuel Morton’s skulls, to tropical botanical specimens.

In addition to supporting fellows’ research, the Consortium is host to several new working groups on specialized topics. Consortium working groups continue to engage scholars from across the world. Like fellows’ projects, the new working groups favor geographical diversity and methodological originality. The “History of Science in Asia” group aims to bring an overtly decolonial perspective to history of science. “Sciences of the Senses” explores scientific efforts to understand human senses. “Measuring Aurality” takes an interdisciplinary approach to sound, technology, and disability. Working groups that will launch soon include “Evolution and Heredity in Brazil”, which brings together history of agricultural science and eugenics; “Under Tropical Skies”, focuses on equatorial atmospheric and meteorological science; and “Malingering and Social Welfare Policy”, explores social and political definitions of wellness and sickness. Here is more information on the currently active working groups:

 New Working Group Opportunities
Propose a New Online Working Group
Proposals Due: January 6, 2020
The Consortium invites proposals for new online working groups focusing on specialized topics in the history of science, technology or medicine. Groups are hosted through the Consortium’s website. Individuals or groups can participate from anywhere via video conference. Participation will be promoted among the Consortium’s members, fellows and larger community.

Working groups foster a collegial and challenging environment for scholars at all levels to work in small groups, discussing works-in-progress and other literature on specialized topics.

Proposals should identify at least six scholars committed to attending between four and eight meetings, held either weekly during the summer of 2020 or monthly during the 2020-2021 academic year. Proposals should include a one-page abstract on the scope and purpose of a working group and brief biographical statements from two or three scholars who will serve as conveners. Proposals should indicate whether the proposed working group is part of, or arises from, a larger project, conference session or other collaboration.

Applications are due no later than January 6, 2020.
To submit a proposal, please go to Please email with any questions regarding working group proposals.

 Fellows Updates
Jonson Miller
Associate Teaching Professor Drexel University
2014 to 2015 Research Fellow

Lever Press will publish Miller’s book Engineering Manhood: Race and the Antebellum Virginia Military Institute in May 2020.

Katherine Reinhart
Ph.D., History of Art, University of Cambridge
2019 to 2020 NEH Postdoctoral Fellow

Katherine, along with colleague Sietske Fransen, guest edited a special issue of Word & Image, “The Practice of Copying in Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe” 2019, vol. 35, issue 3, and co-wrote the introduction and one of the articles.

Yuan Yi
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
2017 to 2018 Research Fellow

Yuan Yi was awarded the 2019 Levinson Prize for her paper “Custom-Made Machines in the Era of Mass Production” by the Society for the History of Technology. She is also organizing a conference entitled “Rethinking Craft in Postindustrial Society,” to be held at Columbia University on December 13, 2019.

 Fellows Reports
Check out recent research reports from our 2018-2019 fellows:

Paul Wolff Mitchell
Ph.D. Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
2018 to 2019 Keith S. Thomson Research Fellow
Human Remainders: The Lost Century of the Samuel George Morton Collection

Alana Staiti
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University
2018 to 2019 Research Fellow
Model Bodies: The Art, Science, and Craft of Human Modeling for 3-D Computer Graphics and Animation, 1960-1995

Ashley Inglehart
Ph.D., Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Indiana University
2018 to 2019 NEH Postdoctoral Fellow
Seminal Ideas: The Forces of Generation for Robert Boyle and his Contemporaries

Geoff Bill
Ph.D. New York Botanical Gardens
2018 to 2019 Research Fellow
Fields of Empire: Science, Ethnoscience and the Making of the American Century

 Collections Updates
Adler Planetarium announces new Chicago’s Night Sky exhibitIn a corner of the Adler Planetarium’s new Chicago’s Night Sky exhibit, a display containing two iPads invites guests to “help us learn about constellations across cultures and centuries.”
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia adds Silas Weir Mitchell papers to digital collections.

The Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is pleased to announce a major new addition to its digital collections with the online publication of much of their primary source material related to the life and work of Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914).

Wellcome Collection Makes Papers of the UK Health Education Council and Health Education Authority Available for Research.

A remarkable archive that richly documents British health promotion campaigns in the late twentieth century is now available for researchers at Wellcome Collection.

 Support the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Please join us now in promoting public and academic understanding of history of science, technology and medicine. Your donation to our Annual Fund provides much needed support for the Consortium’s ongoing work.

Every contribution, at any level of giving, adds up and makes a difference—allowing the Consortium to support research and to inform public discussion of historical and contemporary issues in science, technology and medicine.

Donate Now
Why support the Consortium:

Michelle Smiley
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History of Art, Bryn Mawr
Wyeth Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
2016 to 2017 Dissertation Fellow time as a fellow was a rare opportunity to make connections from outside my field to create a fuller and more complex context for my work…

Frederick Davis
Professor of History and the R. Mark Lubbers Chair in the History of Science in the Department of History at Purdue University
Co-convenor of the CHSTM Working Group on Earth and Environmental Sciences

…Over the past decade, the Consortium has emerged as one of the leading international centers for the history of science, technology, and medicine…

Donate Now
Our generous supporters make our work possible.

December HPS&ST Newsletter

The December HPS&ST Newsletter is on the web here.


  • Introduction
  • Brazilian Oil Spill, Federal University of Bahia Response
  • Linda Hall Library 2020 Fellowships
  • Fourth International Conference on History of Physics, Trinity College, Dublin, 17-19 June 2020.
  • Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP) Eighth Biennial Conference, 7 – 10 July 2020, Michigan State University, USA
  • Journal Special Issue: “Idealization, Representation, Explanation Across the Sciences”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
  • British Society for History of Science Annual Conference, 8-11 July 2010, Aberystwyth University
  • Science, Religion and Big Questions Conference, 22-23 June 2020, University of Oxford.
  • Objects of Understanding: Historical Perspectives on Material Artefacts and Practices in Science Education, Europa-Universität Flensburg (Germany), 29 June – 3 July 2020
  • Alternative Approaches to Scientific Realism, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, April 16-17, 2020
  • European Society for History of Science Biennial Conference, Bologna, August 31-September 3, 2020
  • World Logic Day, January 14
  • Association for History of Scientific Knowledge in Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe.
  • 4th International Conference on Science and Literature, University of Girona, Spain, 2-4 July 2020
  • Sixth European Advanced School in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Klosterneuburg (Austria), September 7-11, 2020
  • Opinion Page: Science + Religion, Tom McLeish, Department of Physics, University of York
  • PhD Theses in HPS&ST Domain
  • Recent HPS&ST Research Articles
  • Recent HPS&ST Related Books
  • HPS&ST Related Conferences
  • HPS&ST Related Organisations and Websites

Regards and best wishes for a peaceful and productive coming year to all members of the HPS&ST community.

Michael Matthews