June 2013

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The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council has recently launched a new website for its Science in Culture Theme. There is a web page for each of the Exploratory Awards, Research Networks and Fellowships which have received funding to date, together with news of further grant awards and events. To visit the website, go to www.sciculture.ac.uk.

John Holmes will be giving a talk on the Natural History Museum in London as a work of art and architecture at 2.30 on Monday 24th June as part of the Museum's Nature Live series. The talk will be being streamed live from the Museum's website. To tune in and find out about how the biologist Richard Owen and the architect Alfred Waterhouse worked together to create one of the richest Victorian visions of the natural world, click here:


Applications are invited for BSLS small grants of up to £300 to advance and/or promote the study of literature and science. Examples of things for which the awards might be used are expenses for visiting speakers, seminar series and debates, and other funding to stage events on literature and science.  The scheme is not intended for individual conference travel, but applications to stage special BSLS panels at appropriate conferences (other than the BSLS 2014 conference) will be considered. 

Applicants should be current members of BSLS and should apply by making a case, in up to 300 words, for how the award will contribute to the development of literature and science; a brief costing should be appended to the end of the application.  Where funding is sought for BSLS panels a clear indication of the scope of the panel, and of its contribution to the understanding of literature and science, should be included.  Recipients of small grants are asked to acknowledge BSLS sponsorship appropriately in publicity for events and to provide a brief report on events for the BSLS newsletter.

The application should be e-mailed, as a Word attachment, to the BSLS Treasurer, Daniel Cordle (daniel.cordle@ntu.ac.uk), by 1 September, 2013.   Applications will be considered by the BSLS Executive Committee.  Applicants may apply for any amount up to £300; in some instances a proportion of the amount applied for may be awarded.  Successful applicants will be informed in September.

Queries about the scheme may be directed to Daniel Cordle, but no correspondence will be entered into about the decisions of the Committee.  International members of BSLS are welcome to apply for the awards, but should note that they will be distributed in the form of bank cheques made out in pounds sterling.  Serving members of the BSLS Executive Committee are not eligible to apply for the awards.

Recent and upcoming events supported by the scheme include the ‘Moving Toward Science’ symposium (Sept 2012), organised by the North-East Postgraduate Research Group for the Long Nineteenth Century; an event in the ‘Intersections in Science and Literature Speakers Series’ at the University of Virginia (April, 2012); the ‘Exhibiting Human Remains’ conference at the Hunterian Museum (June, 2013); and a symposium, ‘Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth-Century Culture and Literature,’ as part of the Damaging the Body seminar series (autumn 2013).

Kelley Swain, poet and one-time BSLS Secretary, has recently hosted a celebration of the possibilities of poetry and pathology at the Gordon Museum of Pathology at King's College London. A selection of poems from Kelley's new work Opera di Cera, a verse drama inspired by the pathological models at the Museo La Specola in Florence, have recently won the Templar Poetry Pamphlet award for 2013. The actors Rachael Black and Keith Hill performed poems from Opera di Cera while the wax-modeller Eleanor Crook demonstrated some of the techniques involved in making the waxwork models that were so crucial to teaching and studying anatomy and pathology.

To read more about this remarkable event, and about Kelley's ongoing project with these and other works at the interface of poetry and science, take a look at her blog at  ‘What is Dragon’s Blood? And where do I get some?’ | P.S: Poetry & Science.

We are pleased to be able to offer BSLS members and other users of this website a discount on two books on literature and science. Sharon Ruston's Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science and Medicine of the 1790s is being published this month by Palgrave Macmillan. John Holmes's Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution is being issued in paperback by Edinburgh University Press in October.

To place orders for these books at a special rate, click on the links below:

Creating Romanticism

Darwin's Bards

The Women in Science Research Network is holding a workshop at the Royal Society on 16th July on the use of archival research to identify women working in science from 1830 to the present. To see the full details of the workshop, with instructions on how to register, click here.


Registration for in:flux 1845-1945: A Century in Motion on 27th June at the University of Birmingham is now open at http://pgculturalmodernity.wordpress.com/. The event is free and open to all who are interested. If you would like any further information, please email pgculturalmodernity@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

in:flux 1845-1945: A Century in Motion
College of Arts and Law
University of Birmingham