Three Societies Meeting to Take Place in Canada 22-25 June 2016

by Lesley Cormack, University of Alberta

Every four years the 3-Societies Meeting brings together three organizations dedicated to the study of the history of science, technology, and medicine: the History of Science Society, the British Society for the History of Science, and the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science. 2016 will mark the Eighth Joint Meeting of the BSHS, CSHPS, and the HSS, this time in Canada at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. We are also in conversation with the European History of Science Society, which might join us in due course.

We are very excited to welcome you all to the University of Alberta. Located in Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta, the University of Alberta is home to almost 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is one of the top 5 Canadian universities and ranks among the top 100 universities worldwide. The University of Alberta has more than 200 undergraduate programs and 170 graduate programs across 18 faculties. Scholars engaged in the study of the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, technology, and medicine are located within the Departments of History and Classics; Philosophy; Sociology; Economics; and in the Science, Technology, and Society Program, and the Faculty of Medicine. The University of Alberta has also been home to one of the nodes of the Situating Science research project funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Strategic Knowledge Cluster grant.

The 3-Societies Meeting will be held on the main Campus of the University of Alberta, situated on the edge of the North Saskatchewan River Valley across the river from downtown Edmonton. June is an ideal time for this conference, when you will be able to experience the abundant green space on campus at its best with average daily temperatures of 20C (68F) and almost 17 hours of daylight. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) station located at the heart of the campus provides quick and easy transportation across the river to downtown dining, shopping, arts, and entertainment venues including the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, the Citadel Theatre, and the Art Gallery of Alberta. The University of Alberta is also located a short 20 minute walk from historic Whyte Avenue with its many restaurants and bars, coffee shops, and boutique stores. West Edmonton Mall, a world famous shopping and entertainment complex located in the west end of the city is also easily accessible via transit from the University of Alberta as is the 124 Street district, a 10-block area which is home to restaurants, boutique shops, and art galleries.

Centrally located in the province of Alberta, the city of Edmonton (with a population of more than 1 million) offers a number of advantages and attractions for the conference and extra-program events. The conference events will be held just steps away from Edmonton’s river valley park system—a 7400-hectare (18,286 acres) interconnected ribbon of urban parks on both sides of the North Saskatchewan River. Conference participants can enjoy walking in the river valley during breaks or take advantage of the park systems’ many amenities including guided Segway tours and Edmonton’s four municipal golf courses during their stay in the city. Edmonton is also known as “Festival City” and events which occur during late June include The Works Art & Design Festival located in and throughout Edmonton’s city center; Improvoganza- a celebration of improvisational comedy, and music held at the Citadel Theatre in downtown Edmonton; the Edmonton International Jazz Festival where internationally-recognized artists perform in venues throughout the city; the Freewill Shakespeare Festival where the works of the immortal bard are performed outdoors in Hawrelak Park, which is located a short drive from the University of Alberta; and the Vocal Arts Festival, which features some of Canada’s finest emerging artists and is held in the Timms Centre for the Arts on the main campus of the University of Alberta a 10-minute walk from the conference venue. Its location also makes Edmonton an ideal base for conference delegates who wish to explore the history and natural beauty of the province of Alberta either before or after the meeting. The Rocky Mountains including Jasper and Banff National Parks as well as the Royal Tyrell Museum and its world-famous collection of dinosaur fossils are all located within a half-day’s travel of the city. The drives to Jasper (3.5 hours), Banff (4 hours), and Drumheller (3 hours) are easy and along major roads. For those who do not desire to rent a vehicle, SunDog Tours offers a shuttle from the Edmonton International Airport to Jasper National Parks and a variety of sightseeing tours. Train travel to Jasper is also available through Via Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer.

We are putting together a joint program committee of the Three Societies to ensure that we will have a lively and engaging program. Calls for papers will probably go out in early fall. The Three Societies conference is a chance to get together in a more relaxed, campus environment, and I hope you will all consider attending. You will not be disappointed. For more information contact: threesocieties2016@ualberta.ca.

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