News From the Profession – January 2021


WOMEN IN BOTANY is a new interactive database with bio- and bibliographical information on more than 10,000 women active in all fields of botany: It was created by, and will be hosted at, the University of Regensburg, Germany. In addition to biographical data, educational profiles, professional careers and information on particular fields of activity, the entries refer to select publications and source references. The database is freely accessible and interactive: users are invited to correct entries or to suggest new ones. Input from researchers in the field will be greatly appreciated.

Milestone in UNESCO’s Development of a Global Recommendation on Open Science

On 30 September, 2020, following an extensive global consultation, UNESCO submitted a draft recommendation on Open Science to its 193 member states, a major step in facilitating international cooperation and universal access to scientific knowledge. A detailed overview of this recommendation may be found on the following online brochure. For more information, please email their media contact at

JHB Topical Collections

Marsha Richmond and Karen Rader, Co-editors in chief of the Journal of the History of Biology are pleased to announce a new initiative called “Topical Collections” in the hope of stimulating new scholarship in areas that deserve greater attention. We actively encourage submissions to these collections, each of which will be overseen by collection editors, specialists in the field, who have developed individual calls for papers laying out the intellectual terrain they envision for their collection. Please visit the JHB Journal Updates” and “Instructions for Authors” website pages.

Hagley History Hangout—New Episodes Available!

The Hagley Museum and Library is pleased to announce a new episode in their History Hangouts: An Interview by Gregory Hargreaves with Bernardo Batiz-Lazo about his book, Cash & Dash: How ATMs & Computers Changed Banking (Oxford, 2018).

Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have used the Hagley collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. Please see the schedule for past and upcoming episodes.

The Columbia History of Science Group meeting is now going virtual in 2021!

CSHG has long been a welcoming venue for graduate students to present their work and we would like to continue that tradition. Since getting together in Friday Harbor is not possible for the time being, we are moving to the digital world. We are hosting our first online meeting on Friday, March 5, 2021. The proposal deadline is Friday, January 15. Find the call for proposals on the CHSG website. Graduate student papers will be given priority this year, nonetheless, proposals from all scholars presenting on relevant topics will be welcome. Only individuals who register for the meeting will be granted access. Please register by February 12. Connection information will be mailed to registered attendees.


A group of Black, Indigenous, People of Color/Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic scholars in the history of science/technology/medicine got together during the British Society for the History of Science 2020 digital festival to share and discuss topics both professional and scholarly. They welcome anyone who identifies in this way to join them. Please email Dr. Mirjam Brusius for details of the group and future Zoom meetings:

Announcing the TransAsiaSTS Network

The TransAsiaSTS network seeks to promote scholarly exchanges and collaborations in the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) across Asia. The network aspires to connect existing STS institutions, societies, and networks in South, East, and Southeast Asia, Australasia, and the Pacific, and draw in scholars and organizations working beyond already existing STS infrastructures.

The TransAsiaSTS working group hosts monthly virtual meetings to promote regional and a Google Group to support information exchange and communication in the region. Information about TransAsiaSTS will be updated on an ongoing basis on the STS Infrastructures platform. We welcome all interested to join! Questions? Contact

Learning from Premodern Plagues: News and the Novel

The Newberry Library’s Center for Renaissance Studies is pleased to announce the release of News and the Novel: Daniel Defoe’s “Journal of the Plague Year,” the latest episode of “Learning from Premodern Plagues,” a video series exploring peoples’ experiences of plagues from the sixth through the eighteenth century. Jill Gage, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing and Bibliographer for British Literature and History at the Newberry Library, discusses how the 1665 London plague helped shape the emerging genres of newspapers and novels. If you have any questions about the videos or how to use them in classes, please send an email to

Teaching the COVID-19 Archive

Educators from various backgrounds gathered this past November to discuss the advantages, challenges, and methods of using “Journal of the Plague Year: A COVID-19 Archive” (JOTPY) in the classroom. Historian of education, Victoria Cain and Boston Public School teacher Claire Tratnyek have developed instructional materials and tutorials for educators wishing to use JOTPY to enrich their students’ learning experiences, providing an opportunity for instructors, at both the University level and K-12, to learn how to incorporate community collecting into their syllabi and lesson plans.

Planned Sale of Books by the Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians in London has announced that it plans to sell part of its historic rare book collection. The planned sale includes works that the Marquess of Dorchester bequeathed to the College in 1680, following the loss of its original library in the Great Fire of London. The collection includes one of a dozen first editions of the Canterbury Tales, the first English-language book printed on the Continent, as well as books that belonged to the magus John Dee.

Scholars from various quarters have written to express their distress over this news: Christina J. Faraday, a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker published a commentary on this proposed sale and its implications for scholarship in the art magazine Apollo on October 28, 2020 and the Historic Libraries Forum has issued an open letter to the Royal College of Physicians voicing its concerns.

ACLS Invites Proposals to Post 2021 Leading Edge Fellows

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has launched the third competition of the Leading Edge Fellowship program, which places talented, socially engaged humanities PhDs with a range of national and community-based nonprofit organizations to advance projects promoting justice and equity in society. The competition is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

ACLS is now accepting applications from prospective host organizations for the next cycle of the program, with proposals due by January 18, 2021. Successful proposals will center anti-racist approaches to prototyping a more just, equitable, and sustainable future.

The roster of current Leading Edge partnering organizations and projects, which support communities hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is available.

For more information about the program, contact

2021 Neu-Whitrow Prize Announced

The Commission on Bibliography and Documentation (CBD) of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology/Division of History of Science and Technology (IUHPST/DHST) invites submissions for its third Neu-Whitrow Prize, awarded every four years to an individual or team for creating the most innovative research tool for managing, documenting and analyzing sources within the history of science and technology. The prize includes a cash award of $500, a certificate, and an invitation to be a member of the Advisory Board of the CBD.

The award will be announced at a ceremony to be held at the 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology to be held, virtually, in July 2021.

The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2021. Contact the president of the Commission on Bibliography and Documentation via email at if you have questions.

More From Our January 2021 Newsletter