August 2013

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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 (, 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).

Are you a UK-based early career or doctoral student in the history of science, technology and medicine with an interest in the role of gender in science? Would you be interested in participating in an opportunity to shadow a working woman scientist to gain a better understanding of what scientists do and the challenges women scientists face today?

WISRNet, an AHRC sponsored research network, is investigating how improved knowledge of the historical role of women in science can contribute to current debates and concerns over the low representation of women in sciences, especially at higher levels.  We are looking for historians of science (in its broadest sense – including pure and applied sciences, maths, engineering, medicine etc) to take part in a unique scheme which will see historians paired with a working woman scientist, shadowing  her in her place of work for two half days.

The shadowing scheme is designed for early-career historians and female scientists. Under the scheme early-career historians of science will have the opportunity to spend a day with a working female scientist. Note that this is a pilot scheme and as such we are only able to accept applications from people based in Britain at this stage. We are defining science in its very broadest sense, from traditional pure sciences such as physics, chemistry, biological sciences and mathematics, to the applied sciences of engineering, technology etc. We are also working with scientists at all career stages.

We aim to:

  • Promote a good understanding of contemporary scientific work and career patterns among historians (aiding a more subtle understanding of historical scientific careers)
  • Record brief life-history of the female scientists in the programme.
  • Make scientists more aware that historians can help to promote them and their work to the public.

We invite applications from British-based students (of either gender) currently enrolled in history of science/technology/medicine PhD programmes and British-based post-doctoral researchers in these fields not currently in permanent academic posts. Successful applicants will be paired with a female scientist in their locality, so it is important to tell us where you will usually be based during the period that the scheme will be running (November 2013 to February 2014) covering the scheme. If you have a preference for a particular field of science do let us know, but be aware that while we will try to match you with a scientist working in your preferred field, we cannot guarantee do this.

The scheme will start in Late October/early November 2013 with a workshop for the historians at which participants will be introduced to the scheme in more detail, the current debate about women’s participation in science, and how a greater historical knowledge of women’s involvement in science might contribute to these debates.

The two half-day placements with a scientist will take place between November 2013 and February 2014. It will end with a second half-day workshop where the participants will reconvene to share their experiences.

If you are interested in being involved in this new and unique opportunity please visit WISRNet, where more detailed information (and an application form) can be found, or contact Sue Hawkins. Applications to take part in the scheme should be submitted no later than 15 September 2013.

Revealing Lives: Women in Science 1830-2000
Thursday 22 May – Friday 23 May 2014, The Royal Society, London

How are we to recover, interpret and understand women’s experiences in science? Popular history delivers stories of a few ‘heroines’ of science, but perhaps these narratives do more to conceal than reveal? Where were the workaday women scientists – now largely invisible - whose contributions have helped shape science today?

This conference aims to locate and examine women’s participation in science, to identify areas for further research and to reflect on how historical interpretations can inform the role of women in science today. The programme will include contemporary science-led panels to provide context and help build connections between the past and the present.

‘Science’ and ‘participation’ will be defined to encourage maximum inclusivity and we welcome contributions from a broad, multidisciplinary perspective. Themes may include (but are not limited to):

  • Women and learned societies
  • Scientific collaboration
  • Women and spaces of scientific production
  • Women within familial & social networks of science
  • Women and scientific education and learning
  • Historiography, archives and hidden women of science
  • Representations of women scientists: media, fiction, film, art
  • Science today: issues & challenges
  • Gendered roles in science
  • The ‘leaky pipeline’: women leaving science

Selected papers from the conference will appear in a special issue of the Royal Society’s history journal Notes and Records (final papers to be submitted by end of September 2014).

Proposals for panels and for individual papers are encouraged. Please send abstracts for papers (max 20 minutes) of no more than 200 words, and for panels of no more than 400 words, along with brief biographical details, to Dr Claire Jones: and Dr Sue Hawkins: by the deadline of Friday 1 November 2013. For more information, please visit the project website:

6th International Conference of European Society of History of Science

Lisbon, 4-6 September 2014

Communicating Science, Technology and Medicine

The 6th International Conference of the European Society of History of Science will be held in Lisbon, 4-6 September 2014 and is organized by the Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT), a research centre associated with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the New University of Lisbon.

The theme of the conference is "Communicating Science, Technology and Medicine”.

Communicating science, technology and medicine has always been central to the scientific and technological enterprise, but across ages and spaces agents, audiences, means, aims and agendas behind this complex process have varied considerably. The interpretations put forward by historians of science, technology and medicine have also changed considerably. Historians have been compelled recently to move away from former historiographical categories opposing creative producers to passive recipients and consumers, and contrasting the production of knowledge with its transmission. The vertical model of diffusion has been superseded by a horizontal conception of circulation and appropriation of science, technology and medicine, which gives voice to various actors and to their different, often contradictory, agendas. Within this framework, science, technology and medicine are envisaged as active forms of communication, to such an extent as ultimately blurring the distinction between the making and the communicating of science, technology and medicine.

The 6th ESHS aims at stimulating historical and historiographical studies and debates on the communication of science, technology and medicine along the following sub-thematic clusters.

  1. Human and non-human agents: experts, amateurs, and institutions;
  2. Networks of circulation and communication of knowledge;
  3. Means of communication: correspondence, papers, books, textbooks, popularization outlets, newspapers, radio, theatre, films, cartoons and internet;
  4. Spaces and modes of communication: conferences, classrooms, public demonstrations, exhibitions, instruments, collections and museums;
  5. Audiences: lay and specialized audiences, consumers;
  6. Rhetorical devices;
  7. Communication in the European Periphery;
  8. Communication in a globalized world: challenges and constraints; ideology of communication, hegemonic values and commercialized science, technology and medicine

Proposal Session Submission (Max 4 papers) and abstract of papers– 15 Dec 2013
Decision of accepted sessions – 1 February 2014
Abstract Submission (for stand-alone papers) – 20 February 2014
Decision of accepted papers – 30 March 2014

Abstracts, presentations and proceedings should be preferably in English.

A second Call for papers, with website address, fees and further information will be sent on 1 October 2013.

For any other information please contact the local secretariat Fátima de Haan.

Looking forward to seeing you in Lisbon!

On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, Ana Simões & Maria Paula Diogo.

The Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine is holding a workshop in Venice at the beautiful Palazzo Ca’ Pesaro Papafava on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September.

The Hippocrates Initiative is dedicated to the development of the interface between poetry and medicine. Typically this falls into the following categories: A medicinal theme within poetry, the use of poetry as therapy, and the use of poetry within health professions or education. Now in its 5th year, the Hippocrates Initiative has run 4 major symposia, and runs international poetry prizes with entries from 55 countries. In 2011 it was awarded the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts. Please follow this link to learn more about us:

The Venice event itself will consist of lectures, breakout sessions and discussions, with the aim of developing this fascinating field and discussing the future of the links between poetry and medicine. It will also be a chance to meet leading poets, clinicians and academics from all over the world in one of Italy’s most magical cities.

More information on the event, and the link to Registration for the event and for the speakers’ and delegates’ dinner on the Saturday evening can be found on the Hippocrates Venice event page: Travel and accommodation is the responsibility of the delegates.

Joining the Hippocrates Society will ensure a 20% discount on the Venice Registration fee, as well as discounts on Hippocrates publications and future Hippocrates events

If interested in attending the event in Venice, please contact our administrator at

Call for Papers: Workshop 1: Civic Science: Oliver Lodge, Physics, and
the Modern University, University of Birmingham, Saturday 9 November

The physicist Oliver Lodge spent most of his scientific career at the
newly founded University College Liverpool before joining the
University of Birmingham as its first Principal in 1900, retiring in
1919.  This workshop, the first in a series of four organized by James
Mussell and Graeme Gooday’s AHRC Research Network ‘Making Waves,
Oliver Lodge and the Culture of Science, 1875-1940’, will investigate
both the place of science within the university and the place of the
university in the city.  Hosted by the Centre for the Study of
Cultural Modernity at the University of Birmingham, we invite papers
that consider Lodge’s legacy for the University and Birmingham, as
well as those that consider the place of science in the civic
university at the end of the nineteenth century and the first decades
of the twentieth.

Proposals are invited for papers of 40 minutes that explore any of the
following themes:

  • Oliver Lodge’s career at the University of Birmingham
  • The creation of the civic university
  • The place of science in the civic university
  • The relationship between pure and applied science within the university
  • Oliver Lodge’s influence on the city of Birmingham
  • University science education in the late 19th / early 20th century
  • The creation of the University of Birmingham at Edgbaston
  • Oliver Lodge’s complementary careers within and beyond the university
  • Science communication and popular science in the late 19th / early 20th century
  • Oliver Lodge’s wife and family and their respective lives, careers, and legacies

Please send proposals (500 words) to <> by
13 September 2013.

This project is funded by an AHRC Research Networking Grant.  Further
details, including forthcoming symposia about Lodge, can be found
here:  Follow us on Twitter

You can download the call for papers here:

Registration is now open for 'Victorian Body Parts' at Barts Pathology Museum on Saturday 14th September 2013. Please register here: The conference fee is £15 (£10 for students/unwaged).


09.30-09.50       Registration and Refreshments

09.50-10.00       Opening Remarks

Carla Valentine (Technical Assistant Curator, Barts       Pathology Museum)

Beatrice Bazell and Emma Curry (Birkbeck College, University of London)

10.00-11.15       Keynote Panel

Dr Katharina Boehm (Universität Regensburg), ‘Body Boundary Object’

Dr Kate Hill (University of Lincoln), ‘A Head for Knowledge: Archaeology, Anthropology and Body Parts in Victorian Museums’

Chair: Dr Victoria Mills (Darwin College, University of Cambridge)

11.15-11.45       Tea Break

11.45-13.00       Panel One: Severed Parts

Ellery Foutch (University of Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Sandow’s Arm’

Dr Graeme Pedlingham (University of Sussex), ‘“I take myne owne”: The Hysteric, The Collector and Anatomical Autonomy in Richard Marsh's “Lady Wishaw's Hand” (1895)’

Catherine Oakley (University of York), ‘Laughable Limbs: Comic Dismemberment in Early Cinema 1895-1910’

Chair: Diana Garrisi (University of Westminster)

13.00-13.45       Lunch

13.45-15.00       Panel Two: Prosthetic Parts

Clare Stainthorp (University of Birmingham), ‘The Case of the Artificial Hand: Considering Disability, Prosthesis and the Motif of the Hand in the Nineteenth Century’

Ryan Sweet (University of Exeter), ‘“Down Came the Limb with a Frightful Smash”: Prosthesis as Weapon in Nineteenth-Century Literature’

Emma Curry (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘Wiggery Pokery: Touching Dickens’s Hair’

Chair: Amanda Sciampacone (Birkbeck College, University of London)

15.00-15.15       Break

15.15-16.30       Panel Three: Gendered Parts

Lisa Coar (University of Leicester), ‘The Surgically Sartorial: Cutting it Fine among Wasp-Waisted Men’

Ally Crockford (University of Edinburgh), ‘Erect Victorians: the Anxious Masculinity of the 19th-Century ‘Diphallic’ Terata’

Beatrice Bazell (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘'Corset, Camera, Constriction: Articulating the Female Body in Mid-Victorian Culture'’

Chair: Dr Corinna Wagner (University of Exeter)

16.30-16.45       Break

16.45-17.30       Keynote Address

Dr Tiffany Watt-Smith (Queen Mary, University of London), ‘Organs of Imitation: Theatrical Body Parts and Scientific Psychology'

Chair: Dr Nicola Bown (Birkbeck College, University of     London)

17.30-17.45       Closing Remarks

Dr Nicola Bown (Birkbeck College, University of London)


Special Issue of Victoriographies (Edinburgh University Press, Autumn 2014)

If the nineteenth century has been characterised by the important scientific discoveries made at the time, it is hardly surprising that these innovations shaped the imagination of writers and artists of the period. What is perhaps less easy to understand is the persisting fascination that these nineteenth-century scientific developments hold for the present. Why do the scientific figures, facts and phenomena which came to prominence in the Victorian age continue to inspire authors in the twenty-first century? This special issue of Victoriographies focuses on contemporary representations of nineteenth-century scientific discourses and ideas through the lens of neo-Victorian appropriation, and seeks to shed light on the forms these returns to the past take, and the functions they serve. To what extent can we read the ideological concerns of the present in those fictional re-imaginings of Victorian science? More generally, in what ways does this scientific past enable a critical reflection on contemporary culture’s broader relationship to its Victorian heritage?

 Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Test and contest: nineteenth-century science in neo-Victorian culture
  • Darwinian adaptation and neo-Victorian evolution  
  • Science and empire in the neo-Victorian text
  • The figure of the nineteenth-century explorer, naturalist, cartographer, surgeon and anthropologist in neo-Victorian fiction
  • Neo-Victorian spectacle: re-imagining the nineteenth-century museum and scientific exhibition
  • Misguided theories and controversial experiments: class, gender and race in the neo-Victorian novel
  • Neo-Victorian returns to the age of ‘progress’
  • Strange science: experimenting with the scientific ‘bizarre’ in the neo-Victorian text
  • On science’s boundaries: the freak show and the fair in the neo-Victorian novel

Articles should be of between 5000-7000 words (inclusive of endnotes) and should be sent to the guest editor Dr Elodie Rousselot ( by 6 January 2014 at the latest. Authors should include a title page, detailing their name, title and current affiliation. Please also provide an abstract of about 100-150 words, a short biographical note, and 5-6 keywords (preferably not words used in the title). Please do not submit a manuscript that is under consideration elsewhere. Further guidance on the journal style is available at:

We are delighted to announce that the next BSLS conference will take place at the University of Surrey in Guildford on 10-12 April 2014. The call for papers will be posted with more details at the beginning of September.

The Women In Science Research Network was launched at the international Congress for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Manchester last week. The WISRNet has now launched a mailing list to bring together historians, archivists and practising scientists to discuss women's participation in science institutions and learned societies in Britain since 1830. The mailing list will provide a forum to share ideas and circulate information about relevant projects, events, monographs, articles, websites, blogs etc. If you are keen to be involved, and would like to be kept up-to-date about the network, please sign up via