New issue of HoST — Journal of History of Science and Technology (13.2, December 2019) online

HoST — Journal of History of Science and Technology is a peer-reviewed open access journal, available online, published in English by De Gruyter/Sciendo, as a result of a partnership between four Portuguese research units (CIUHCT, CIDEHUS, Institute for Social Sciences, and Institute of Contemporary History).


  • Special issue “Animals, Science and Technology: multispecies histories of scientific and sociotechnical knowledge-practices”, with an introduction by the Guest Editor Richie Nimmo to the five articles that it contains. They are case studies dealing with nonhuman animals and their relationships with science and technology and humans, with approaches ranging from history (HSTM) to sociology (animal studies and STS). The special issue ends with a postscript:

o   “Introduction: Taking animals seriously in studies of science and technology“, Richie Nimmo

o   “Elemental problems, methodical solutions: expertise, ecology and entertainment in the study of marine mammals“, Amanda Rees

o   “The Silver Spring monkey controversy: changing cultures of care in twentieth-century laboratory animal research“, Robert G. W. Kirk

o   “Measuring ephemera: finding the “qualitative” in Qualitative Behaviour Assessment as a “whole-animal” science of animal welfare“, Maisie Tomlinson

o   “The Social Evolving: Sociogenomics on the Wings of Social Insects“, Sainath Suryanarayanan

o   “Biopolitics and Becoming in Animal-Technology Assemblages“, Richie Nimmo

o   “Postscript. Fur, feather, teeth and skin: How do technologies and ontologies meet in time and space?“, Lindsay Hamilton

o   “Book Review: Audra Wolfe. Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science“, Clara Florensa

o   “Book Review: Álvaro Girón, Oliver Hochadel, and Gustavo Vallejo (eds.). Saberes transatlánticos. Barcelona y Buenos Aires: conexiones, confluencias, comparaciones (1850–1940)“, Antonio Carbone

o   “Book Review: Hugh Cagle. Assembling the Tropics: Science and Medicine in Portugal’s Empire, 1450–1700“, Luís Tirapicos

CFP: Special Issue on “What counts as environment in biology and medicine: Historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives”

What counts as environment in biology and medicine:
Historical, philosophical and sociological perspectives

CfP, Special Issue
Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

‘The environment’ is much invoked in contemporary biosciences and medicine, from the considerations of environmental impact and influence to the frequently and prominently appearing notions such as early-life and food environment. Yet for all the visibility, the meaning of the (ever expanding) term environment is rarely explained in detail. This lack of clarity is important, as it leads to ambiguities about the boundaries of environments. What counts as environment in one field may be understood as organism, or body, in another. For example, the microbiome is simultaneously understood as a part of the organism (constituting together a developmental or evolutionary unit) and as its environment (e.g., in faecal microbiota transplantation). Secondly, this lack of conceptual clarity can contribute to poor communication and impossibility of collaboration between fields. While historians and social scientists have begun to look seriously into the concept of the environment, they have mostly been content to acknowledge the multiplicity of meanings, without trying to sketch a genealogy, or classification of these “environments”, including the epistemological and methodological challenges of each meaning. Against this background, this special issue aims at integrating historical and social with philosophical studies on the environment. We invite contributions that address the following two topics:

1) Conceptual foundations of the environment in the biosciences
2) Biomedical perspectives on the environment

For a detailed description of these topics, see here.

Please submit an abstract of max. 500 words until Jan. 15th, 2020 to and We will invite full papers by March 1st, 2020, and the deadline for full papers is Oct. 31st, 2020. Full papers will have to follow the general Guide for Authors of Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

New Website: Fingerprinting in the Modern World

I would like to announce the launch of Fingerprinting in the Modern World, a website that provides resources for teaching the history of fingerprinting in secondary and college-level humanities, life sciences, and forensic science classes.

The website provides instructional materials (short narrative modules, video lectures, online quizzes) on the following topics:

  • the development and use of fingerprint identification in policing and forensics,
  • how fingerprint patterning has been studied in the modern life sciences, including anthropology, human genetics, and medical genetics,
  • the history of race in science, especially how disciplines such as physical anthropology and dermatoglyphics (the scientific study of fingerprints and palm patterns) have constructed notions of racial identity and difference in modern times.

The website is part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation (Note: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF). Any and all feedback is most welcomed!

Best regards,

Daniel Asen
Associate Professor
Department of History
Rutgers University-Newark

Website accessible here.

White House Wants Your Thoughts on the Research Environment

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a request for information (RFI) on the research environment. Comments will be used to inform the work of the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE), a committee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). As we have previously reported, JCORE was established in May 2019 and comprises four subcommittees: (1) Research Rigor and Integrity; (2) Coordinating Administrative Requirements for Research; (3) Research Security; and (4) Safe and Inclusive Research Environments.

COSSA has been participating in JCORE events over the last few months on behalf of the social and behavioral science community, including a White House Summit in November, and is following its work very closely. The JCORE effort may result in new policies and guidelines across these four areas, making it even more important that the social science research community weighs in.

The request asks for information on actions that Federal agencies can take, working in partnership with private industry, academic institutions, and non-profit/philanthropic organizations, to maximize the quality and effectiveness of the American research environment across JCORE’s four main areas. More information on the specific questions JCORE is seeking feedback on are below. Full details are available in the Federal Register notice.

SUBMIT COMMENTS HERE. Comments are due by 11:59 pm ET on January 28, 2020.

November HPS&ST Newsletter

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


  • Introduction
  • Appointment of Newsletter Assistant Editor, Stanislav Južnič
  • Linda Hall Library 2020 Fellowships
  • 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
  • The Partington Prize 2020
  • 8th Integrated History and Philosophy of Science Conference (&HPS8), Virginia Tech, Blacksburgh VA, July 15-17, 2020
  • 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
  • 24th Conference of the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry (ISPC 2020), July 21 -July 23, 2020, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 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
  • Opinion Page: The Defence of Science and the Status of Māori Knowledge, Michael Corballis, Elizabeth Rata and Robert Nola
  • 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 note 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.

Please do feel free to forward this to any local, national or international lists whose members you think would appreciate knowing of the Note and its web location.  Forwarding is a very easy and efficient way of multiplying the readership and so increasing awareness of HPS&ST matters.

Contributions to the note (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

CFP: Risk / Benefit: Histories of the Illegal Drug / Medicine Boundary

Call for Papers: Risk / Benefit – Histories of the Illegal Drug/Medicine Boundary

Nils Kessel, University of Strasbourg
David Herzberg, University at Albany
Joseph Gabriel, Florida State University

Building on the success of the recent symposium at the University of Strasbourg “Governing Uncertainty in Drugs and Medicines: Narratives of Risk, Progress, and Decline,” we are currently seeking papers from historians and other scholars who share an interest in the histories of pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in the long twentieth-century. Given current events that have drawn attention to the role of medicines as drugs (such as the U.S. opioid crisis) and the role of drugs as medicines (such as debates about safe injection sites and medical marijuana), we believe that this is an opportune time to examine the ever-changing boundary between “illegal drugs” and “medicines” and to interrogate the stories that we tell about how this boundary has been created, maintained, and challenged.

We are particularly interested in the multifaceted role that ideas about risk and benefit have played in this process. We thus seek papers that examine how risk and/or benefit have been historically conceptualized, narrated, and mobilized to create, reinforce, challenge, and perhaps transcend the boundary between “medicines” and “drugs” in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world. We approach the topic of both “risk” and “benefit” not as naturally existing, timeless entities with inherent meanings, but instead as concepts embedded in narrative processes that change over time and shape how we think about these powerful objects. Of course, shoring up the medicine/drug divide has long been one of the central purposes to which notions of both risk and benefit have been put, yet these categories have also been developed and deployed in dramatically different ways by a diverse range of people to serve many different goals. Indeed, contradictory stories about risk and benefit lay at the heart of disputes about the meaning of pharmaceuticals, and thus at the heart of how the drug/medicine binary has been constructed over time.

We are currently seeking additional papers that explore these and related themes toward the goal of producing an edited volume on the topic. The expected deadline to receive chapter drafts is September 1, 2020. Expected word length is 8,000-12,000 words, including notes. Please send inquiries and short proposals Nils Kessel, David Herzberg, and Joseph Gabriel by December 1.


Call for Book Chapters: Discourses on Sustainability: Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Justice (Palgrave Macmillan)

This book will bring together researchers to analyze environmental issues and sustainability. Climate change was recognized as an urgent problem by the United Nations; the Paris Agreement aims at strengthening the global response to the threat of global warming. Climate-related risks to health, security, water supply, and economic growth will be discussed. We also seek contributions on philosophical questions related to renewable energy development and climate change mitigation, such as ethics, social justice, equality, human rights, etc. When confronting environmental problems, questions of fairness, equity, and justice are of great importance.

China remains one of the leaders in global renewable energy generation; and various countries, such as the U.S., the UK, India, Spain, and Turkey compete in the Renewable Energy Sector (RES) to attract investments. More European countries considerably invest in clean energy. In 2017 alone, global investments in renewables exceeded $200 billion. Sustainable energy is one of the world’s fast-growing industries and expected to be the major economic engine of the coming decades. This edited volume will offer an insight into prospects of renewables and examines the status quo of renewable energy industry in a global context.

By December 16, please submit your CV and an abstract (approximately 300 words) to Dr. Dmitry Kurochkin  and/or Dr. Elena Shabliy. This edited volume is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan.

CFP: Special Issue on ‘Constituting Animal Research: International perspectives on the governance of laboratory animal use and care’

We call for paper proposals from various disciplinary perspectives including history for a special issue on ‘Constituting Animal Research: International perspectives on the governance of laboratory animal use and care’’ for Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences edited by Rachel Ankeny at Adelaide and Gail Davies at Exeter. Please see more details here. Short proposals (200 words) are due by 9 December 2019.

Introducing: HPS.CESEE Online Platform (History of Science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe)

We are delighted to be able to share with you the new online platform HPS.CESEE, which aims to facilitate the exchange of information about the history of scientific knowledge in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Our aim is to serve as a resource for the history of scientific knowledge in the region stretching from Prague to Perm and from Tallinn to Tirana, or from (present) Albania and Austria to (former) Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. We will keep you updated about conferences, events, new publications, journals and positions in our field – via our blog, newsletter,  and social media: Facebook group and Twitter @hpscesee.

As HPS.CESEE is a community project, inspired by H-Net and H-Soz-u-Kult, we will rely on the information we receive from our members and followers – so please forward this information to colleagues, students and other members of the History of Science community broadly construed. Please read our blog, subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on social media, and send us information you would like to be circulated. And please contact us if you are interested in joining our editorial team.

To learn more about HPS.CESEE and the editorial team, please visit our website.

You can contact the editors of HPS.CESEE here:


HPS.CESEE editors

Friedrich Cain (Erfurt)
Lucie Čermáková (Prague)
Vedran Duančić (Zagreb)
Daša Ličen (Ljubljana)
Martin Rohde (Innsbruck)
Timofey Rakov (Tyumen)
Katalin Stráner (Southampton)
Jan Surman (Moscow)