January 2016 – News from the Profession

“The History of Political Economy” Summer Institute

The Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University invites applications for a Summer Institute on the topic “The History of Political Economy.” The three-week Institute is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and will take place from 29 May–17 June 2016 on the Duke campus. Discussions will be led by a distinguished set of faculty, and participants will receive a $2700 stipend for attending. The deadline for application is 1 March 2016. For further information and application instructions, visit the Summer Institute website at http://hope.econ.duke.edu/2016

Australian Research Council Grant Announcements

Recent grant announcements by the Australian Research Council include several history/philosophy of science projects including Prof Rachel Ankeny (Adelaide), Prof Michael Dietrich (Dartmouth), Assoc Prof Sabina Leonelli (Exeter), “Organisms and us: How living things help us to understand our world,” Discovery Project, 2016-19: $313,686. For more details see www.arc.gov.au

NEH Public Scholars

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for the 2016 round of the Public Scholar Program, which is intended to support well-researched books in the humanities that have been conceived and written to reach a broad readership. Books supported through the Public Scholar Program 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. Most importantly, they should present significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers.

The Public Scholar Program is open to both independent scholars and individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions. It offers a stipend of $4,200 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $50,400 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.

Application guidelines (including a full statement of the eligibility requirements) and a list of FAQs for the Public Scholar Program are available on the NEH’s website at http://www.neh.gov/grants/research/public-scholar-program. The application deadline for this cycle is 2 February 2016. Recipients may begin the term of the grant as early as 1 September 2016 or as late as 1 September 2017. In the last cycle of the competition, the Endowment received 485 applications and made 36 awards. The press release announcing the 36 winners in last year’s competition is available here: http://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2015-07-29

Winners of an Evening with Greg Macklem

Three lucky post-San Francisco survey responders have won a fun-filled evening with Society Coordinator, Greg Macklem. This enchanting encounter will include dinner at the Atlanta conference hotel’s restaurant, the Sun Dial, a beautifully situated dining room, 72 stories above the streets of Georgia’s capital, that rotates, giving these lucky respondents a 360 degree view. The names were drawn using a random number generator.

  • Sylwester Ratowt
  • James Hofmann
  • Kristen Schranz

Grad Student Book Giveaway at HSS—A Generous Success!

Michelle Marvin, HSS Graduate Assistant

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our book exhibitors at #HSS15, this year’s attending graduate students had the opportunity to go home with happy hearts and heavier backpacks.

Donations ranging from select distinguished titles to entire boxes full of books were offered as contributions by exhibitors at the end of the meeting for the first ever HSS “Grad Student Book Giveaway.” Exhibitors, in collaboration with the HSS Executive Office, saw the giveaway as the chance to support emerging scholars by assisting them in obtaining valuable resources for their personal libraries which otherwise might be unaffordable on the graduate student budget.

Nearly two hundred graduate students attended the HSS meeting this year, and all of those students were made aware of the Grad Student Book Giveaway via email during the meeting. The giveaway took place at the close of the meeting, but a smaller selection of donations were made available to graduate students who were leaving prior to Sunday morning. This meant that almost all interested graduate students were able to pick up a couple of books before leaving for home. “I was amazed at the quality of books you were giving away,” said Darren Hsiung, PhD student at U.C. Berkeley, in a thank you statement to exhibitors. “It speaks to your generous commitment to a new generation of scholars.”

Around fifty international and domestic graduate students from as far away as China and as nearby as Stanford gathered outside the exhibit room, eager to see the books that had been gifted to them on Sunday, November 22nd at 11:05. Instructions were given for a two-line, two-book selection process after which students could get back in line to make more selections. Doors were then opened and students dove into a flurry of hushed book selection excitement. “It was like Christmas arrived early!” said Emily Kern, PhD student at Princeton University. “Thank you, exhibitors, for the lovely opportunity to add new and much needed books to my research collection.”

Students were given approximately twenty minutes to make their selections, which allowed for several cycles through the lines. Many students ended up with arms, or bags, full of books. “Thank you, dear publishers, for the books. And for not shaming me for bringing a duffel,” remarked Anooj Kansara, PhD student at U.C. Berkeley.

Although the exact book donation count was not taken, an estimation based on groupings made just prior to the giveaway suggests that, including books given away prior to Sunday morning, there were around 450 books available to students.

At the conclusion of the giveaway, 44 titles remained unclaimed. These books were packed up and flown back to the History of Science Society headquarters at the University of Notre Dame, where they have become part of the History and Philosophy of Science Library.

While we’re not sure if they managed to squeeze all those books into flight bags without paying extra for luggage fees, we have heard back from the graduate students in an outpouring of gratitude. Exhibitors should know that they have the warm appreciation of the next generation of scholars. And to top it off, the grad students think the HSS meeting went well too! Ann E. Robinson, PhD candidate at UMass Amherst expressed the sentiments of many when she wrote “Thank you for the books! This was a wonderful bonus to a great conference.”

Three Societies Meeting, 22-25 June 2016

Register now for the Three Societies Meeting. This gathering of the British Society for the History of Science, the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science and the History of Science Society brings together historians of science every four years for a major international conference. This conference will take place 22-25 June 2016, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Register at https://uofa.ualberta.ca/arts/research/3-societies-meeting

The History of Science Society Fellowship in the History of Space Science, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) History Division, funds a nine-month research project that is related to any aspect of the history of space science, from the earliest human interest in space to the present. The program is broadly conceived and includes the social, cultural, institutional and personal context of space-science history. Proposals of advanced research in history related to all aspects of the history of space science are eligible. Sciences of space and sciences affected by data and concepts developed in connection with space exploration include astronomy, Earth science, optics, meteorology, oceanography, and physiology. The fellowship is open to applicants who hold a doctoral degree in history or a closely related field, or students who have completed all requirements for the PhD, except the dissertation, in history of science or a related field.

For information on the 2016-17 HSS/NASA Fellowship, visit https://hssonline.org/employment/fellowship-in-the-history-of-space-science/2015-16-hss-fellowship-in-the-history-of-space-science/

Osiris Editor Opening for 2016

The History of Science Society solicits applications and nominations for the Editorship of Osiris. Published annually, Osiris is (with its quarterly twin sister Isis) one of the two journals of the History of Science Society. Each volume of Osiris comprises approximately fifteen essays on a specific theme and is printed on c. 350 pages (see also http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/journals/journal/osiris.html). The editor’s duties include soliciting, reviewing (with the assistance of the Osiris Editorial Board), and selecting proposals for each volume; working with guest editors to define the scope and content of the volume; overseeing the outside referee process; and working with the University of Chicago Press, a copy editor, proofreader, and graphic designer to coordinate the production of each volume.

Time spent on the job may vary from c. 150 to c. 200 hours per year. The appointment is for five years. As a rule, HSS supplies funding for copyediting, proofreading, referees, editor travel to the HSS annual meeting, and an Osiris Board breakfast at the annual meeting, whereas the Osiris Editor’s home institution covers staff secretarial help, mailing costs, a dedicated e-mail address, and phone costs; preferably also the costs of hiring a graduate student to take on the role of managing editor.

More detailed information may be obtained from the current Editor of Osiris, Andrea Rusnock (osiris@etal.uri.edu). Interested individuals should submit three documents: a curriculum vitae; a letter indicating their reasons and qualifications for applying to the position, and a letter of commitment by the supporting institution; each to be sent to the Editor of the History of Science Society, H. Floris Cohen (h.f.cohen@uu.nl). Alternatively, nominations may also be submitted with the permission of the nominated individual. Nominations are not necessarily confined to historians of science in the United States. The deadline for nominations is the leap day of 2016 (February 29).

The 2016 George Sarton Lecture in the History and Philosophy of Science
“Einstein’s Legacy: Studying Gravity in War and Peace”

David KaiserSunday, February 14 at 12pm
AAAS 2016 in Washington, DC
Marshall Ballroom East (Marriott Wardman Park)

David Kaiser, Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A popular image persists of Albert Einstein as a loner, someone who avoided the hustle and bustle of everyday life in favor of quiet contemplation. Yet Einstein was deeply engaged with politics throughout his life; indeed, he was so active politically that the U.S. government kept him under surveillance for decades, compiling a 2000-page secret file on his political activities. His most enduring scientific legacy, the general theory of relativity—physicists’ reigning explanation for gravity and the basis for nearly all our thinking about the cosmos—has likewise been cast as an austere temple standing aloof from the all-too-human dramas of political history. But was it so? This lecture examines ways in which research on general relativity was embedded in, and at times engulfed by, the tumult of world politics over the course of the twentieth century.

NSF Defends Research Targeted in GOP Waste Reports

(from COSSA Washington Update, 15 Dec 2015, v.34, issue 23)

Two reports released in recent weeks by Republican policy makers point to hundreds of federally-funded activities they deem to be wasteful and unworthy of taxpayer support. Included in the reports are peer-reviewed research projects supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sen. James Lankford’s (R-OK) Federal Fumbles claims to identify “100 ways the government dropped the ball,” poking fun at six NSF grants and two NIH grants, among dozens of other projects. A second report was released just last week by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Wastebook: The Farce Awakens. Flake’s report is said to be a continuation of retired Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) longtime efforts to bring public attention to wasteful federal spending. This report also identifies 100 projects, 16 funded by NSF and a handful from NIH.

NSF recently commented on the Federal Fumbles report, stating, “Each proposal submitted to NSF—including those deemed ‘wasteful’ and ‘out-of-touch’ in the ‘Federal Fumbles‘ report—is reviewed by science and engineering experts well-versed in their particular discipline or field of expertise.” The NSF response goes on to explain the merit of each project called out in Lankford’s report, and cautions against using grant titles as the primary basis for understanding the merit of a project.

While not new, these efforts serve to misrepresent sound scientific research and belittle the work of respected scientists. COSSA and partners across the scientific community continue to object to this type of political interference into decision making around federal support for scientific research.

Chicago’s New Website

As of January 4, 2016, subscription access to Isis & Osiris has moved to a new website at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu.

Access to subscribed content, currently on JSTOR, will remain in effect through 31 January 2016. After January 31, access will only be available on the new site at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu.

How to Access Content On the New Site

Use the username and password associated with your University of Chicago Press account to access your subscriptions on the new site. If you do not know your credentials, you can retrieve them by submitting this form. If you created a MyJSTOR account on JSTOR, your credentials will not work on the new site.

Active subscribers will continue to have access back to Volume 1, Issue 1, now on the new website which features a flexible, reader-friendly design. There will be no changes to your level of access, subscription format, or renewal process.

We are excited about the new site and we hope it will enhance your reading experience. For more information, please review our FAQs or contact journalsupport@press.uchicago.edu