HSS Meeting Wiki


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Welcome to the 2016 HSS Meeting Wiki!Edit

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Find other scholars to organize sessions for the 2016 History of Science Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta from November 3rd to November 6th. Post your interests and ideas here to find other potential participants!

Instructions: To add your topic to the list, please click on the "edit" icon to the right of the title above (Welcome to the 2016 HSS Meeting Wiki!). This will open the editing screen, which will show only this opening section. You will not see the rest of the meeting entries; that's okay. You're going to be splitting this introductory section into two parts, one of which will be your session description, which will appear at the top of the session list.

To create a new session topic, press enter (return) to start a new line after "Happy sharing!" (below). Type your session title and highlight that text. In the toolbar at the top of the editing screen, you'll see a pull-down menu that says something like "Paragraph" or "Sub-heading 2". This controls the size of your text. Select "Heading". Your session title should now be written in large type and underlined with a gray divider-bar. Type your session description below that divider; make sure you type it in "normal text".

You can preview your session description by clicking the gray "Preview" icon in the upper-right corner of the editing screen. Again, this will show only this top section and the new section you have created; you won't see the full meeting list. If you like the way your text looks, close the preview window and click the green "Publish" icon.

N.B. Users of Google Chrome (and perhaps other internet browsers?) will find this preview functionality embedded in the editor, without a Preview icon. Also, the first paragraph of the above instructions do not perfectly apply when using such browser. [Note added by Michiel Thijssen, feel free to delete / edit.]

Happy sharing!

Science and Print Edit

I'm looking to put together a panel on new work on the history of science and print in the long nineteenth century. The panel can be tailored to fit the specific themes of the participants. I work on the global history of phrenological publications, and I'd be particularly keen to hear from others with an international or colonial angle on scientific publishing. But the panel could equally be pushed towards a different focus. Contact me ASAP (by 9th April).

Please contact James Poskett, jdgp2 [at]

Private Science: Non-State Actors in Advancing Natural History Edit

PANEL CLOSED - AT FULL CAPACITY / This panel probes beyond governmental and academic engagement in scientific production to that of the private sector, with a specific focus on natural history writ large. By considering a wide range of geographies, time periods and institutional settings, we seek to stimulate a productive dialogue on the reality and impacts of non-state science. We recognize that other areas such as private sponsorship of agricultural projects or international medical research (as with the Rockefeller Foundation) have already received significant attention. By narrowing the panel to natural history, we wish to bring greater attention to a less examined but nevertheless important area. This panel welcomes papers on a wide range of potential topics, including imperialism, corporate research, professional societies, private collections, and even religious sponsorship of science. We are particularly interested in that third space between government and business, the realm of foundations, museums and private expeditions. In fact, the science and spectacle of natural history exhibits represents a compelling aspect of this private sector exploration. Dimensions to be examined would include potential alignments with national agendas, patronage, target audiences, indigenous collaboration, dissemination of knowledge, contributions to institutional development, and desired/actual outcomes of natural history projects and programs. Considering the impending HSS deadline, please send your brief bio/cv and a 250 word abstract by April 9 to Darryl E. Brock (

God-talk in the Case for Evolution Edit

This session will explore the role that theology has played (and continues to play) in arguments for evolutionary theory. From Darwin to Dawkins, a wide range of thinkers have drawn upon God-talk to make their case for evolution by natural selection. Strikingly, luminaries who rely on theology include Jerry Coyne, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Niles Eldredge, Douglas Futuyma, Francisco Ayala, Stephen Jay Gould, Émile Zuckerkandl, John Avise, Neil Shubin, George Williams, Francis Collins, and others. While not all of their arguments depend upon explicit theology, many do, including arguments in major areas like molecular homology, embryology, biogeography, paleontology, gross anatomy, organic diversity, and elsewhere. Surprisingly, theology-laden arguments repeatedly appear not just in polemical works defending evolution and attacking creationism, but even in ‘neutral’ or ‘purely scientific’ contexts, such as encyclopedia entries or textbook descriptions of the evidence for evolution. Scholars interested in presenting a paper on this topic are encouraged to contact Stephen Dilley (

Morality and Medicine in the Scientific Age Edit

This panel seeks to examine the relationship between the emergence and nature of modern medicine and morality. Discussion of morality in the history of medicine is nothing new, particularly in narratives of public health, but this panel aims to explore morality in the more intimate context of the relationships and interactions between healthcare practitioners and their patients. With this in mind, this panel will include papers that address questions along the following lines: How have doctors/nurses/genetic counselors/lactation consultants/surgeons/etc. acted as moral agents? What moral systems and codes have they operated by and helped to enforce – and how have these changed over time and/or in relation to space (i.e. the home vs. the clinic)? How have interactions with patients of various types shaped dominant conceptions of medical morality? Have there been alternative or counter-constructions of medical morality at various points in time, and how have these shaped and been shaped by the dominant discourse? My paper will address the struggles of Catholic physicians’ throughout the 20th century as they sought ways to reconcile the rules of medical morality expressed officially by the Church with the demands and realities of their patients on the ground. If you are interested, please send me a brief bio/cv and a 250-word abstract by April 1, 2016.

- Jessica Martucci (

Moving Images and Scientific Research Edit

This panel will examine how scientists have used moving images in their research as documentation, exploratory technologies, or theoretical models (as in the use of animation in molecular biology). The idea is not necessarily to privilege moving images above other kinds of representational technologies, but to probe how moving images affect our historiographic methods. How do working methods—both scientific and historiographic—change when dealing with moving images? What can we say about the relationship between research agenda and film form? How do disciplines come to understand their objects of study through (moving) images? In general, the panel hopes to explore the relationship between scientific visualization and knowledge production, with moving images as the special focus. Proposals could examine case studies and/or investigate historiographic implications. If interested, please send a 250-word abstract and bio to Scott Curtis (

Policing commercial behavior in the early modern period Edit

The panel would consider attempts to “police” commercial behavior in the early modern period, perhaps paying particular attention to the importance of patronage systems and medical/scientific corporatism, expertise, the expert and the state, public debates and disputes involving scientific practitioners, practical knowledge, etc. This proposal is a bit broad, and I am interested in how others might like to frame a session. Please contact Mike Neuss (

The “Ordinary” in Early Modern Environments and KnowledgeEdit

This panel will explore environmental and scientific perspectives of the “ordinary,” seeking to understand how historical and literary texts advance distinctions between multiple epistemic and bodily responses to external landscapes in the early modern period. Topics may include women and science; magical interpretations of the cosmos; literature and the environment; nature writing; scientific poetry and dramatic representations; alternative histories of science. Interdisciplinary submissions and studies of forgotten or ignored archives are encouraged. Please contact Katherine Walker ( and Melissa Reynolds ( 

Historians as Archivists, Archivists as Historians [Full] Edit

I'm a historian who has taken on the job of archivist at a start-up-stage archive. The archive / artifact collection is the Hanford History Project at Washington State University - Tri Cities, where in addition to our own holdings, we curate the DOE's historical archives and artifacts relating to the plutonium production facility for the Manhattan Project and throughout the Cold War. Possibly this panel could be a place to discuss the challenges of moving between the worlds of archives and historical research. Alternately, it could be something else archive-y - I'm open to other framings. -Douglas O'Reagan,

Nuclear Memory Edit

This panel would address how communities affected by nuclear weapons or energy production have worked to remember and memorialize their pasts. I could speak about working on developing an archive for the Hanford site, including working with the National Park Service and DOE on the brand new Manhattan Project National Historical Park (located at Los Alamos, Hanford, and Oak Ridge). Possibly others are working on memories of places bombed (in tests or in war), places with major environmental legacies, etc.? -Douglas O'Reagan,

Environmental Impact Assessment and the History of Science Edit

The implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures has transformed science, nature, and societies across the planet over the last half century. The vector for this transformation has been the “environmental impact statement,” a document, prepared by teams of scientists, that incorporates the likely social and/or ecological effects of development into the design stage of major projects. Through public comment periods and review hearings, EIA has also provided citizens with unprecedented access to science and governance.

Despite the force of these historical changes, historians of science have a thin understanding of EIA. EIA rarely figures into our narratives of 20th century science, environmentalism, science in the federal government, science and society, the 1970s, vernacular science, (post)colonialism, or the relations of natural and social sciences. This proposed panel would explore EIA in a variety of ways to make contributions to these narratives.

We seek panelists to explore EIA and the history of science from any of the above angles or alternative ones. Papers from graduate students are preferred.

Please contact Andrew Stuhl (

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