October 2015 – News from the Profession

Call for Papers – Eighth Joint Meeting of the BSHS, CSHPS, and HSS, 22-25 June 2016, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The eighth joint meeting 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 will take place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Previous meetings were held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2012), Oxford (2008), Halifax, Nova Scotia (2004), St Louis, Missouri (2000), Edinburgh, Scotland (1996), Toronto, Ontario (1992), and Manchester, England (1988). The theme of the meeting will be “Transitions.” Although presenters are not confined to this theme, the Program Committee is seeking papers or sessions that reflect this theme and encourages participants to consider the broader scientific, scholarly and social implications associated with moments of scientific transition. Transitions might include such ideas as moving from one scientific meme to another, one locality to another, or generational change. The program will include themed sessions, plenary lectures, and panels. A typical presentation will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions, but special sessions such as round tables and panels will be accommodated.
The conference will take place at the University of Alberta. Founded in 1905, U of A is located in Edmonton, which is Canada’s most northern major city.

Edmonton is known as the “Gateway to the North” and is the capital of the province. It is a major economic and cultural hub, situated on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The conference will include education and outreach activities, a reception at the Art Gallery of Alberta and a Conference Dinner. Delegates can explore the vibrant arts scene, and there are many festivals in June, including the Edmonton International Jazz Festival. Accommodations will be available on campus and near campus. The Program Committee welcomes proposals for sessions or individual papers based around the conference theme from researchers at all stages of their careers. Participation is in no way limited to members of the three organizing societies, but there will be a discount for members. Intending participants should also note that the usual HSS rules concerning presenting at successive conferences do not apply to this meeting.

The deadline for submitting a session or paper proposal is 4 December 2015. Full details of how to submit your session or abstract can be found at: www.uab.ca/3societies. Inquiries concerning the program should be directed to: aede@ualberta.ca Inquiries concerning the conference should be directed to: threesocieties2016@ualberta.ca

News from the Center for Biology and Society and the Marine Biological History Project

Arizona State University’s Center for Biology and Society (CBS) has much to report. Ben Minteer, earned promotion to Full Professor and co-edited a new book for the University of Chicago Press titled, After Preservation: Saving American Nature in the Age of Humans, along with fellow CBS professor Stephen Pyne. Meanwhile, graduate student, Elizabeth Barnes, was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant from the National Science Foundation, and Rachel Gur-Arie was named a Fulbright Grantee for Israel. The digital HPS projects run through CBS also hit new milestones. The Embryo Project Encyclopedia website reached over 100,000 page views in May, had an article cited in Science in November 2014, and was represented by graduate student Erica O’Neil at the Phoenix Comicon in June. The current leadership of the Embryo Project includes: Steve Elliott (Editor in Chief and Instructor), Erica O’Neil (Managing Editor of Encyclopedia Articles and Instructor), Federica Turriziani Colonna (Managing Editor), Paige Madison (Social Media Editor), Alexis Abboud (Instructor), and Kate MacCord (Project Coordinator).

The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) History Project, meanwhile, secured a new round of funding from the National Science Foundation that will keep its doors open through 2017. The MBL History Project, led by graduate student and Project Coordinator Kate MacCord, also has published 50 interviews with MBL scientists and community members on their YouTube channel and website, and five digital exhibits on their website, all of which are geared towards engaging broad audiences in the history of science at the MBL.

Carole Adrienne

Carole Adrienne (Civil-War-Rx) would like to announce Civil War Medicine, a four-part series of the story of the violent birth of modern medicine. It documents a huge national health care emergency unlike anything ever before seen in America. New, efficient weapons technology challenged medical treatments and techniques in use since the Middle Ages. For more information, please visit their website, www.CivilWarRx.com to view more than 900 in-depth articles on medical treatment in the Civil War era.

Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics

Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics aims to give people a keener appreciation for the increasingly scientific and technological world in which we live and to convey some of the challenges and rewards of the scientific and technological enterprise.

The program’s primary aim is to build bridges between the two cultures of science and the humanities and to develop a common language so that they can better understand and speak to one another—and ultimately to grasp that they belong to a single common culture.

The Foundation has established a nationwide strategy that focuses on books, theater, film, television, radio, and new media to commission, develop, produce, and distribute new work mainstreaming science and technology for the lay public.

The Program supports the use of books, television, film, radio, theater, and new media.

For more information, please visit http://www.sloan.org/major-program-areas/public-understanding-of-science-technology-economics/

The Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH)

The Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH) is running a number of public lectures at the University of York in the coming months. Each one will be held in the Berrick Saul Building, University of York, Heslington West Campus, starting at 6:00pm. All are welcome to attend these events, admission is free and no ticket required. Dates include September 22, October 1, October 22, and November 12.

University of Vienna Opportunities

The Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies, in cooperation with the Faculties of Life Sciences, Mathematics, Philosophy/Education and Physics
The Doctoral Program (“DK program”) “The Sciences in Historical, Philosophical and Cultural Contexts” announces the award of:

  • 1 fully paid doctoral student position (Category a) and
  • up to 6 associate positions (Category b, for students with other basic support) for 3 years (with the possibility of a 4th year if sufficient funds are available) beginning 1 January 2016.

With the support of the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF), the University of Vienna offers a PhD program, the aims of which are: to offer a structured interdisciplinary curriculum in History, Philosophy and Cultural Studies of Science with the collaboration of international visitors, and to make possible the joint supervision of dissertations by historians/philosophers of science and natural scientists/mathematicians.

Positions in the program are funded for up to 3 years; PhD students who complete a 6 month stay abroad will be awarded a 4th year of support (if sufficient funds are available). Since participation in the curriculum is required, members of the DK program (in Category a and Category b) must reside continuously in Vienna and must participate once or more in the annual “Vienna International Summer University” in the first half of July, which is also part of the program.

Applications are due by 13 November 2015, and may be addressed to the Job Center of the University of Vienna, Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria (jobcenter@univie.ac.at) (key number 6069), or directly to the DK program, “The Sciences in Historical, Philosophical and Cultural Contexts” via dk-application2014@univie.ac.at.

Application by E-mail with attachments (MS Word or PDF format please) is preferred; applications by post should be sent via priority air mail (latest postmark: 13 November).

Contact for inquiries:

Prof. Dr. Mitchell Ash: Tel.: +431 4277 40837 (Administrator: – 40871)
E-mail: mitchell.ash@univie.ac.at.
More details, on University of Vienna opportunities (scroll down for the English version)

The Collaboration Conundrum: Special Interests and Scientific Research

5-6 November 2015

The Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame invites you to a special conference, which is organized around some important question: how do we bring the public and industry together to do research for the public good? Government reports and scholarly publications trumpet the value of fostering public participation in scientific research, and a number of funding agencies are now encouraging initiatives such as community-based participatory research (CBPR). Could the participation of citizen groups in industry-funded research increase the relevance, reliability, and acceptability of this work? The Collaboration Conundrum Conference brings together industry representatives and experts on important policy issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pollution and toxic chemicals, biomedical research, agricultural practices, and animal welfare to answer these questions.
For information on the conference program, travel, and accommodation, please visit reilly.nd.edu/c3.

Registration is available by clicking here (or from the conference page). There is no fee for registration, but we request that you register by the deadline – Monday, October 26 – so that we can confirm numbers for catering purposes.

The President of the Commission on Women and Gender Studies in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine of the DHST/IUHPST

Maria Rentetzi presented the keynote at the “Heroic Journeys” research workshop in Brussels on 16 June: “The power of the ephemeral, unstable and informal networks of women in science.” See https://www.arts.kuleuven.be/cultuurgeschiedenis/heroic-journeys

I, Humanity

A new book by author/astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett, titled I, Humanity (Big Kid Science, 2016), see www.BigKidScience.com/ihumanity, will be released in November. The beautifully illustrated, 32-page book tells the story of how humanity has gone from ancient conceptions of a small, flat Earth to our modern understanding that we live on one planet, orbiting one star, in a vast and amazing Universe. (http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/regional-centres/study_curricula.html). Bennett will make available a limited number of free copies of this book through the Office for Outer Space Affairs of the United Nations. In addition, the book is scheduled to be launched in December to the International Space Station, where it will be read aloud by astronauts for the Story Time From Space program (http://storytimefromspace.com), with the video reading posted freely on the web for educational use anywhere in the world.

Mystery of Matter

by Alan Rocke

A new three-hour HD documentary series charting the history of chemistry from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century is being broadcast nationally on the PBS network. Entitled “The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements,” the program has been in preparation over the last ten years by Moreno/Lyons Productions, in collaboration with Middlemarch Films. The series features reenactments with actors working on period instruments and speaking words of the scientists whom they portray, woven together with host narrative, animations, and plenty of talking-head commentary by historians of science. Particular emphasis is placed on the life and work of Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier, Humphry Davy, Dmitrii Mendeleev, Marie Curie, Harry Moseley, and Glenn Seaborg.

From the beginning, producer Stephen Lyons resolved to create a product with the highest professional historical standards. He obtained funding from the National Science Foundation, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Otto Haas Charitable Trust, the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation. He also sought continual advice from a galaxy of talent drawn from the international community of historians of science, including Robert Anderson, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Marco Beretta, Christoph Meinel, and Mary Jo Nye. Chief historical advisers were Alan Rocke and Eric Scerri, and among those appearing as commentators, in addition to Rocke and Scerri, were Michael Gordin, John Heilbron, Roald Hoffmann, Richard Holmes, Frank James, Steven Johnson, David Kaiser, David Knight, Seymour Mauskopf, Lawrence Principe, Susan Quinn, and Oliver Sacks.

The three episodes were first broadcast nationally on Aug. 19, and the free on-demand videos on the PBS website, which were initially set to expire a month later, have recently been extended, and now they can be viewed from PBS.org until Nov. 19.

Here are the URLs for each of the three hours of the series:

National Endowment for the Humanities Announces $1.7 Million for “Public Scholars”

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2015) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $1.7 million in grants to enable the publication of 36 nonfiction books that will bring important humanities scholarship into book clubs and onto best-seller lists.

These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Public Scholar grant program, which was created in December 2014 as part of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to bring humanities into the public square and foster innovative ways to make scholarship relevant to contemporary life.

The Public Scholar Program builds upon NEH’s 50-year tradition of supporting the publication of nonfiction works that have profoundly influenced the way we understand history, politics, literature, and society. The Public Scholar awards support books that use deep research to open up important or appealing subjects for wider audiences by presenting significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers. See the full list of Public Scholar grant projects (PDF).

Commission on Women and Gender Studies

by Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

From 4-6 June, 2015, The Commission on Women and Gender Studies of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine of the DHST/IUHPST met in Prague for a Conference on Gendering Science: Woman and Men Producing Knowledge. With nearly seventy participants, the conference took place under the auspices of the Charles University, particularly the Department of History, in its lovely and historical Karolinum. The meeting was coordinated by Milada Sekyrkova and Marcela Linkova, and the Commission president, Maria Rentetzi, chaired the business meeting. There were presentations by about forty junior and senior scholars from across Europe as well as Africa and the Americas. The wide-ranging topics included international migrations, patterns of collaboration among women and with male colleagues, and issues in contemporary historiography. The opening plenary speakers were Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (University of Minnesota), Francisca Nneka Okeke (University of Nigeria), and Maria Jesus Santemases (Spanish National Research Council).

The Commission has, with some regularity, held a focused meeting in Europe between the quadrennial meetings of the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology’s Division of History of Science and Technology. Because the next meeting will be in Rio de Janeiro in July of 2017, the group also discussed ways to encourage participation in the Commission-sponsored sessions, particularly encouraging scholars from Central and South America, as well as plans for its next Commission meeting in 2019.

As a follow up to the commission meeting in Prague, the Commission encourages those interested in its work and upcoming meetings to visit the website at http://wsc.hypotheses.org administered by Anne-Sophie Godfroy. Sign up for its listserv by sending a request to Donald Opitz at cowgs@mailman.depaul.edu and “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cowogs.

New Dissertation Abstracts

75-12 parts A and B and 76-01 A and B can be viewed at http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/histmed/dissertations. ProQuest has altered how they put out their individual issues. No longer do they correlate to one month, so the dating is more random. Thus titles will range from 2015-yes they have some 2015 dates-back into the late 1990’s. There is one additional aspect to point out about this latest batch of dissertations that make it unique. The University of Southern California downloaded the past 75+ years of its dissertations into the current issues-thus you will find titles dating back into the 1920s. While there are no abstracts for these earlier works there are full text of these dissertations available.

Bonhams Catalog

Bonhams Catalog of History of Science & Technology is online as of 21 September 2015. Visit their website for more information: http://www.bonhams.com/departments/CAT-SCI/