July 2014

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We are delighted to announce that the BSLS will be awarding a grant of £500 to Will Tattersdill of the University of Birmingham to organise the first annual BSLS symposium, on Teaching Literature and Science, supported by Martin Willis (Westminster), Janine Rogers (Mount Allison), Allyson Purcell-Davis (St. Mary’s) and Cian Duffy (St. Mary’s). The Symposium will be held on Saturday 8th November at the University of Westminster on Regent Street in London. Further details, including a call for participants, will be posted on the BSLS website by the end of August at the latest.

Lancaster University is recruiting a research associate to work on the Davy Letters Project. Here are the details of the post:

Part-time Senior Research Associate

English & Creative Writing
Salary: £32,277 pro rata
Closing Date: Monday 11 August 2014
Interview Date: Friday 29 August 2014
Reference: A1039
Working on the MHRA funded Davy Letters Project, you will assist the Project’s PI, Professor Sharon Ruston to work on the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy, a four-volume print edition to be published by the Oxford University Press in 2018.
You will have a PhD in history or literature (or award within 12 months) concentrating on the eighteenth and/or nineteenth centuries. Direct experience with eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century manuscripts is desirable, as are publications upon or in a field related to eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century literature and/or science. Previous editorial experience, particularly previous work on a scholarly edition of letters would be an advantage.
This is an excellent opportunity for an early career researcher to receive training in scholarly editing, experience of project management, research networking opportunities, and research mentoring which may lead to joint and sole-authored publication.
This is a 0.54fte position for 12 months from 1 October 2014 until 30 September 2015.
Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Sharon Ruston. For further details of the post, click here.
Further information on the Department of English and Creative Writing can be found at: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/english.
We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

Applications are invited for BSLS small grants of up to £400 to promote the study of literature and science. We are open to all sorts of proposals other than personal conference expenses. Examples of activities for which the awards might be used are expenses for a visiting speaker, a seminar series or a symposium. Applications for support to stage special BSLS panels at appropriate conferences (other than the BSLS 2014 conference) will be considered.

Recent and upcoming events supported by the scheme include the ‘Exhibiting Human Remains’ conference at the Hunterian Museum (June, 2013); a symposium, ‘Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth-Century Culture and Literature,’ as part of the Damaging the Body seminar series (October 2013); a ‘Science as the Spark’ panel at the Cambridge Festival of Science (March 2014); and a talk on ‘What Scientists Read: How Does Literature Influence Scientific Thought and Practice?’ at Loncon 3, The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (August 2014).

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 outline of the costs of the project should be appended. 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 Secretary, Peter Middleton, p.middleton@soton.ac.uk by September 5th, 2014. Please put 'BSLS small grant' in the subject heading of your email. Applications will be considered by the BSLS Executive Committee later in September. Applicants may apply for any amount up to £400; in some instances a proportion of the amount applied for may be awarded. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of September.

Queries about the scheme should be directed to Peter Middleton. 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. We cannot enter into correspondence about the decisions of the Committee.

We are delighted to announce that this year's essay prize, offered jointly by the British Society for Literature and Science and the Journal of Literature and Science, has been won by Emilie Taylor-Brown of the University of Warwick for her essay '(Re)Constructing the Knights of Science: Parasitologists and Their Literary Imaginations'. The judges commented:

"This is an excellent essay which is well-researched, clearly argued, lively and informative. In attending to both the literary and cultural mythologizing of turn-of-the-century parasitology and its practitioners, it adds a fascinating dimension to literature and science scholarship. In particular the committee were impressed with the original archival research, thorough historicist analysis and continually engaging prose of the article. From the beginning it made a compelling case for parasitology's significance and for the role that literary culture played in promoting this work. The essay illuminates, through a rich account, another example of the complex intertwining of literature and science in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain."

The BSLS extends our congratulations to Emilie on her excellent essay, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the JLS, and also our thanks to all the other BSLS members who submitted essays to this competition, maintaining both the high standard and wide field set by last year's entries.

We are delighted to announce that the next BSLS conference will be held at the University of Liverpool on 16th-18th April 2015. The call for papers will be posted in September 2014.

The deadline for the competition to host the BSLS symposium on Teaching Literature and Science is in a week's time. Please can you submit completed bids to the Chair of the BSLS, John Holmes, by 14th July. For full details of the grant and the application process, click here.

A new website has been launched for Oxford University's Diseases of Modern Life project, funded by the European Commission.

Oxford University's collaborative project 'Constructing Scientific Communities' now has a web site.

For information, videos, calls for proposals and more, click here