News From the HSS – April 2019

2019 Osiris Call for Proposals

The Editorial Board of Osiris solicits proposals for Volume 38 which will appear in 2022 or 2023. Osiris is an international research journal devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences and is a publication of the History of Science Society and the University of Chicago Press.

Osiris aims to connect the history of science with other areas of historical scholarship. Volumes of the journal are designed to explore how, where, and why science draws upon and contributes to society, culture, and politics. The journal’s editors and board members strongly encourage proposals that engage with and examine broad themes while aiming for diversity across time and space. The journal is also very interested in receiving proposals that assess the state of the history of science as a field, broadly construed, in both established and emerging areas of scholarship. Forthcoming volumes are concerned with the history of science and science fiction; science, technology, and food; and global medical cultures and laws.

Proposals should include the following items:

  1. A description of the topic and its significance (approximately 1500 words), especially highlighting the significance of the proposed volume to the history of science, broadly construed. For an example of a successful proposal, see
  2. A list of 12 to 15 contributors and essay title + succint description (~ 150 words) of each contributor’s individual essay
  3. A one-page c.v. of the guest editor(s)

The guest editor(s) and their contributors must be prepared to meet the Osiris publication schedule. Volume 38 (2023) will go to press – after refereeing, authors’ revisions, and copy-editing – in 2021. The guest editor(s) must therefore choose contributors who are able to submit their completed essays by early 2021.

Proposals are typically reviewed by the Osiris Editorial Board at the annual meeting of the History of Science Society. The announcement of the next volume of Osiris will be made in January 2020.

Proposals and all supporting material should be sent in paper or electronic copy by 15 October 2019 to both:

Patrick McCray
Department of History
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9410

Suman Seth
321 Morrill Hall
Department of Science and Technology Studies
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

HSS Statement on Digital Scholarship

 The History of Science Society supports digital scholarship in its myriad forms and has created a digital site as a forum for all things digital in history of science. We take the phrase digital scholarship in its broadest form to mean anything that involves electronic or digital tools, resources, or texts. Therefore, the premise of this site is that we are all digital scholars in some form or fashion. Digital tools and platforms are clearly shifting the ways in which we do history: from research to presentation and publication. We now have people curating digital exhibits with multimedia, building web interfaces for traditional scholarly resources, doing computational analytics that reveal patterns in the historical data, using popular social media platforms to foster community and scholarship around the globe, teaching gamified classes, and more.

This site seeks to orient you to digital media, data, and tools used in the service of history of science scholarship. This is an arena for showcasing some of the most interesting recent work in digital history of science, for discussing the future of digital history of science, and for pointing people to resources. You will find our current (but not exhaustive) collection of resources at Digital Projects. These include correspondence, databases, libraries, mash-ups, primary source full-texts, repositories, and blogs. As we build this site, we encourage people looking for information to respond to us and tell us where we need to provide more resources. If you think you are doing digital scholarship and you don’t see yourself here, then talk to us.

Digital Scholarship Statement approved by HSS Council on 1 Nov 2018

HSS Joins Academic Societies in Protesting Cuts to Higher Education in Alaska

The HSS Council voted this past March to add the HSS’s name to a letter addressed to the governor of Alaska and other officials, which objects to proposed cuts to higher education in the state.

March 4, 2019

Dear Governor Dunleavy, Representative Edgmon, Senator Giessel, Representative Foster, Representative Wilson, Senator Stedman, and Senator von Imhof,

As professional societies representing tens of thousands of faculty members and students from humanistic and social scientific disciplines, including many in Alaska, we express deep concern about Governor Dunleavy’s proposed funding cuts for higher education. While we understand that Alaska is currently facing financial constraints, a $134 million reduction in state support for the University of Alaska will undoubtedly have devastating consequences to the well-being of the state for generations to come.

Higher education is a critical engine for individual economic well-being and for local, state, and national economies. College graduates earn more, are less likely to be poor, and are less likely to rely on public assistance than others. According to the 2017 American Community Survey, Alaskans with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $56,914 per year, compared to $41,758 for those with an associate degree or some college, and $35,868 for high school graduates. Moreover, according to a study of high school graduates by the Alaskan Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the vast majority of those who attended college in Alaska continue to reside in the state ten years after graduation, while the vast majority of those who left the state for higher education did not return. A healthy local system ensures that many of the economic benefits of higher education remain local. Further, higher education helps to ensure a local workforce with the capacity to respond to rapidly changing economic, political, and social contexts.

The proposed budget cuts would shift the costs of higher education in Alaska even more heavily to students and their families. Data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers show that between 2008 and 2017, net tuition revenue per student at Alaska’s public institutions increased 26 percent. The proposed 41 percent budget cut would necessitate additional and more significant tuition increases and still require the elimination of programs and services. University President James Johnsen has estimated that more than 1,000 faculty and staff would have to be laid off to accommodate such big cuts. Undoubtedly, this would significantly lower enrollments, with a corresponding decline in tuition revenue, and put the system in an untenable situation with respect to retaining high quality faculty.

Investment in a robust system of higher education is an investment in the public good that extends beyond economics. The university’s mission is to inspire learning and to advance and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, and public service, emphasizing the North and its diverse peoples. If Alaska’s higher education system is decimated, it will have not only negative economic consequences, but negative consequences on the broader social well-being of individuals and communities in Alaska. We know you face difficult choices in developing a responsible and responsive budget that meets the complex needs of Alaska’s citizens. As you make these choices, we urge you to consider the value of higher education, the many contributions higher education makes to the well-being of Alaska, and the severe negative consequences to reducing investment in higher education.

If you would like to follow up with questions or comments on any of these issues, please contact Teresa Ciabattari, PhD, Director of Research, Professional Development, and Academic Affairs at the American Sociological Association. She can be reached at or 202.247.9840.


  • American Academy of Religion
  • American Anthropological Association
  • American Association of Geographers
  • American Dialect Society
  • American Folklore Society
  • American Historical Association
  • American Musicological Society
  • American Philosophical Association
  • American Political Science Association
  • American Schools of Oriental Research
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • American Society for Environmental History
  • American Society of Comparative Law
  • American Sociological Association
  • American Studies Association
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Association of College and Research Libraries
  • College Art Association
  • Dance Studies Association
  • History of Science Society
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Linguistic Society of America
  • Middle East Studies Association
  • Modern Language Association
  • National Communication Association
  • National Council on Public History
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Sixteenth Century Society and Conference
  • Society for Ethnomusicology
  • Society of Architectural Historians
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • World History Association

HSS@WorkA Personal Appeal

By Jay Malone

Shortly after receiving my PhD, I worked as a freelancer, unable to land the tenure-track job that had been my goal during my graduate life. Having a supportive spouse helped tremendously but with our second child on her way, I knew that I needed work that promised more stability. I was on the cusp of dropping out of the history of science altogether, when my advisor encouraged me to apply for the new position of HSS Executive Director. Somehow, I landed that job, and I have had the ridiculous privilege of working with some of the most talented people on the planet these past 20 plus years. I was lucky, but I still remember the despair those many years ago, that after having given myself to the history of science, that there would be nothing to show for it (which would have offered some relief in that I would no longer have to explain to my mother what a historian of science actually does).

I wish that there had been a group to which I could have turned during those times and so was delighted when Tania Munz and Carin Berkowitz helped us launch HSS@Work in 2013, our caucus devoted to those who had fully embraced the history of science but who then faced the prospect of doing something outside of academia. After a successful initial run, HSS@Work is now at a crossroads. We have been unable to find individuals who are willing to lead the caucus and organize events at the annual meeting. If this disinterest continues, we will have to close the caucus, and that saddens me. So, if you believe that we still need HSS@Work, please volunteer your time to help it succeed. I can guarantee you that it will pay dividends to the HSS and to the profession. Please contact me at

FHHMLS/CUP Graduate Student Essay Award

The Forum for the History of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and Cambridge University Press invite submissions for our inaugural Graduate Student Essay Award. The award will be given for the best original, unpublished essay in the history of health, medicine and the life sciences submitted to the competition as judged by the FHHMLS’s assessment panel. This award advances the FHHMLS mission of encouraging scholarship that addresses conversations occurring across and between the histories of science, medicine, and technology broadly conceived. The author of the winning essay will receive 5 books of their choosing from the current book list of the Cambridge University Press.


We welcome submission of unpublished manuscripts in English on any aspect of the history of health, medicine and life sciences written by students registered part-time or full-time in a graduate degree or completing their degree in 2019. Submissions should bridge the histories of science, medicine and/or technology.

Submissions should be no more than 10,000 words in length (inclusive of footnotes and all references). Entries should be accompanied by a one-page cover letter detailing how the research fosters new conversations between the histories of medicine, science and/or technology.

The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2019. Entries should be sent to Please submit cover letters and essays as two separate files. The essay file should only include the title, with all author information removed.

The winning submission will be announced at the 2019 HSS meeting in Utrecht (23-27 July). Authors do not need to be members of HSS at the time of submission.

We are grateful to Cambridge University Press for their generous sponsorship of this prize.

FHHMLS Steering Committee:

  • Elizabeth Neswald
  • Robin Scheffler
  • Elaine Leong
  • Jaipreet Virdi
  • Heidi Morefield

HSS 2018: Post-Meeting Survey Raffle Winners

After meeting in Seattle, the HSS asked for feedback in a post-meeting survey. Two respondents were randomly selected. Congratulations to William Vogel and Geoff Bil for winning American Express gift cards!

IsisCB Survey on Digital Research in History of Science Raffle Winners

From a total of 526 respondents to the Survey on Digital Research in the History of Science, 252 entered the drawing for the raffle (146 HSS members and 106 non-members). Two winners were randomly drawn from both the member pool and the non-member pool. Congratulations to the winners on their gift cards or on their free year-long HSS membership!

  • Kenneth Caneva (member)
  • Gabriel Finkelstein (member)
  • Scott Keir (non-member)
  • Janusz Skoczylas (non-member)