March 2015

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The full programme for the BSLS 10th annual conference in Liverpool is now available here BSLS 2015 Programme.


For more information about the conference, please visit the conference website.

The Royal Society invites entries for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

The 2015 prize will celebrate the best of outstanding popular science books from around the world. This prestigious prize is open to authors of science books that are accessible and compelling accounts of the world around us or inside us, written for a non-specialist audience.

The six shortlisted books will be selected by a panel of judges in July 2015. The winner will be announced in September 2015 and will receive £25,000. The 5 other authors of the shortlisted books will each receive £2,500. An online entry form must be completed for each entry, and seven non-returnable copies of each entry submitted to The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG, UK by 18:00 BST on Friday 10 April 2015.

Books submitted for the 2015 prize must have been, or be due to be, published for the first time in English between 01 March 2014 and 30 September 2015. Preview manuscripts are accepted provided they are available by the end of April 2015 and the title is due to be published by 30 September 2015. The entry form and full details of the prize's regulations and eligibility criteria are available on the Society's website.

For more information please contact Rebecca Jones at or on 020 7451 2513.

'Tuberculosis as a Romantic Disease: Artistic, Historical & Literary Perspectives'

A Workshop funded by the Leverhulme Trust

Thursday, 18 June 2015, 4.00 - 6.30pm
Room 2.21, Research Beehive, Old Library Building (Level 2), Newcastle University

Dr Helen Bynum (Historian), 'Tuberculous Lives - Conforming to the Stereotype?’
Anna Dumitriu (Artist) ‘The Romantic Disease: An Artistic Investigation of Tuberculosis’

Dr Helen Bynum, studied human sciences and medical history at UCL and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, before lecturing in medical history at the University of Liverpool. She is the author (as Helen Power) of Tropical Medicine in the 20th Century, (Kegan Paul, 1999) and co-editor of the ‘Biographies of Disease’ series. In this series, she is author of Spitting Blood: The History of Tuberculosis (OUP, 2012). Anna Dumitriu’s work is at the forefront of art and science collaborative practice, with a strong interest in the ethical issues raised by emerging technologies and a focus on microbiology and healthcare. Her installations and performances use a range of biological, digital, and traditional media. She has exhibited in Barcelona, Dublin, Taipei, and London. She is Artist in Residence on the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at The University of Oxford, and holds Visiting Research Fellowships with the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, and with the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research. Her exhibition ‘The Romantic Disease: An Artistic Investigation of Tuberculosis’ premiered in London (2014) and has since toured to Amsterdam and Berlin. It entails an artistic investigation into Tuberculosis from early superstitions about the disease to the latest research into genome sequencing of bacteria.

This workshop is organised by the ‘Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca. 1660-1832’ project team, a Leverhulme funded collaboration between colleagues in History of Medicine at Newcastle University and English Literature at Northumbria University.


'The Diseases, Health Risks and Phobias of Modern and Fashionable Living: Victorian Perspectives'

A Workshop funded by the Leverhulme Trust

Friday, 8 May 2015, 4.00 - 6.30pm
Room 3.38 ARMB (Armstrong Building), Newcastle University

Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford), ‘Fears and Phobias in Victorian Culture’.
Dr Melissa Dickson (University of Oxford) ‘Weak Nerves and Fashionable Women in Victorian Literature and Culture’
Dr Jennifer Wallis (University of Oxford) ‘ “Overheated apartments, balls, tea-parties, and feather beds”: The Risks of Nineteenth-century Fashionable Society’

Sally Shuttleworth, is Professor in the Faculty of English Language and Literature, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, and PI of the ERC funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives’, a five-year interdisciplinary research project based at St Anne's. Dr Melissa Dickson is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the ‘Diseases of Modern Life’ project, and focuses upon those diseases and pathologies derived from the Victorian soundscape and new understandings of the auditory experience, as well as on diseases of overpressure relating to education, nervous disorders and phobias. Dr Jennifer Wallis is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the ‘ Diseases of Modern Life’ project, and focuses on climate and health, and addiction in the nineteenth century. She is especially interested in how air was used in nineteenth-century medical technologies – from compressed-air baths to respirators – and how such technologies could alter the individual’s relationship with their external environment.

This workshop is organised by the ‘Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca. 1660-1832’ project team, a collaboration between colleagues in History of Medicine at Newcastle University and English Literature at Northumbria University.

All welcome.

Fully-funded three-year AHRC Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology (REACT) Collaborative PhD Studentship: Thomas Hardy and Heritage

Based at Dorset County Museum and the University of Exeter (Centres for Literature and Archives and for Victorian Studies, College of Humanities), this studentship will be focused on Thomas Hardy and his correspondents. The letters to Hardy (over 4,000) form part of Dorset County Museum's Thomas Hardy Memorial Collection, the largest Hardy collection in the world, selected in 2013 for the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Programme register.

The correspondence reveals Hardy’s involvement in a global network, engaged in social, intellectual and political debates from science and war to education and female emancipation, and includes letters from prominent writers (e.g. Grant Allen, J.M. Barrie, Browning, Havelock Ellis, George Egerton, Gissing, Kipling, T.E. Lawrence, Levy, Meredith, Charlotte Mew, Ezra Pound, Siegfried Sassoon, Swinburne, Wells, Woolf), artists and illustrators (Augustus John, George Du Maurier, Helen Paterson), musicians (e.g. Elgar, Holst), actors, charitable and political organizations, with correspondents from Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, Syria, Tasmania and the USA. The correspondence also sheds light on other historically significant individuals and on perceptions of the writer, and on the social practice of letter writing. The letters remain uncatalogued, unpublished and largely unknown, whereas the letters from Hardy are in print (and have been available online since 2012).

The PhD researcher will be based at Dorset County Museum, with supervision, training, mentoring and additional research taking place both at the University of Exeter and the museum. At Exeter, the student will be supervised by Professors Angelique Richardson and Tim Kendall, with Professor Gabriella Giannachi as the project mentor and Gary Stringer as the technical adviser. Dr Jon Murden, DCM Director, will supervise the student’s DCM activities, offering professional advice and support. The postholder will be granted full access to DCM's facilities, library and archival resources.

The project will enable the student to produce original knowledge, providing new contexts for reading Hardy as well as gaining knowledge of and informing the museum's existing multi-disciplinary software development. Working with Exeter's digital humanities team they will have the opportunity to inform the development of new mobile technology to interpret, entertain and educate, enhancing access to the newly catalogued archive, and allowing visitors to interact directly with the letters. In addition, the student will gain valuable skills providing comprehensive summaries and keywords for an international SPECTRUM standard catalogue, and will be expected to develop and disseminate his/her research, informing the museum’s display programme, public talks and outreach initiatives, and working with schools as well as in conjunction with the learning group of the Thomas Hardy Steering Group (partners include Dorset County Museum, Exeter, The National Trust, Bath Spa University, Dorset County Council, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Thomas Hardy Society).

Duration and value of award
The PhD will commence in September 2015, for a period of 3 years, dependent on satisfactory progress. UK/EU level fees will be paid as part of the studentship, together with a maintenance grant which will match the standard Arts and Humanities Research Council rate (£13,863 in 2014/15). Please note that this studentship is only open to UK/EU applicants.

Entry criteria
Applicants will normally have an MA or equivalent in a relevant discipline and should be able to demonstrate an interest in Hardy and Victorian literature and new digital technologies. If English is not your native language then you will need to satisfy our English language entry requirements.

To apply
To be considered for this doctoral award you must complete the online application form submitting a copy of your full CV, transcripts of your previous degree results, contact details for two referees, a covering letter outlining your academic experience and interests and your reasons for wishing to undertake this research project, and, if relevant, proof of your English language proficiency, by 26th April 2015.

All application documents must be submitted in English.

Interviews will be held in Exeter on 19th May. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to prepare a ten-minute presentation on the proposed focus of their PhD research.

For further information or informal discussion about the position, please contact Professor Angelique Richardson at



Following the successful 1st International Conference on Science and Literature, that took place in Athens last year, the International Commission on Science and Literature is happy to announce the Summer School on Science and Literature, which will be held in the Greek island of Andros, from the 22nd to the 26th of June 2015.
The Summer School will be of especial interest to graduate students and early-career researchers working on literature, the sciences and the history of science. It will offer the opportunity for an in-depth presentation and discussion of themes relevant to Science and Literature at large. Each day, a lecture will be given on a specific point of intersection between science and literature. Participants will then work in small groups and prepare their own views on the subject, and discuss how it pertains to their own research. Participants will also have the opportunity to present short papers on their research or on subjects they want to discuss and receive feedback on. Finally, a round table will be organized discussing the future of Science and Literature as an academic field and its possible application in scientific and literary education. The language of the Summer School will be English but there will be an opportunity for presentations in French, German and Greek if there is a relevant interest.
Dr. John Holmes, Chair of the British Society for Literature and Science, Prof. Manuela Rossini, President of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (Europe), Prof. Paola Spinozzi, University of Ferrara, and Prof. Constantin Canavas, Hamburg Technical University, have already confirmed their participation as invited speakers.
Andros island is a picturesque island on the Aegean Sea, about two hours from Attica (Rafina harbor), with several ferries during the day. There is a also a convenient connection between Athens airport and Rafina harbor.
For an overview of Andros island visit
The venue of the summer school will be Pighi Sariza Hotel (, with several nice beaches a short distance from the hotel. Participants will have also the chance to participate in several cultural events including visits to the famous Goulandri Museum of Modern Art and the Kaireios Library in Chora, the capital of Andros. The cost of the accommodation will be around 50 euros per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner included). There will also be a registration fee of 140 Euros. Support for a number of young scholars will be provided by a DHST/IUHPST grant.
Those who are interested to participate are invited to send an email to and/or by May 20, 2015.

What makes interdisciplinarity work? Crossing academic boundaries in real life.
Ustinov College, Durham University, United Kingdom
Friday and Saturday 10–11 July 2015

Durham University’s Ustinov College now welcomes presentation proposals to its inaugural Annual Conference. The conference seeks to bring together research students and established practitioners to share knowledge and insights on interdisciplinary projects, as well as the advantages and disadvantages experienced on the path from conception to completion.Please see attached the full call for papers:

Ustinov Annual Conference 2015_CfP

To submit a proposal, email

The workshop ‘Effects of the Scientific Imaginary’ will take place at the SPH Centre in Bordeaux-Montaigne University on June 11th & 12th 2015.

The workshop aims at discussing the examining the effects of scientific thought-experiments and fantasies from a variety of disciplinary angles. For example: do stories of brain transplantation and swamp-people import conceptual assumptions into the philosophical arguments of which they are a part? How do science fantasies motivate social and political change? For more information about the workshop visit our blog:

Speakers: Lesley A. Sharp, Simon Bréan, Melanie Williams, Cédric Brun, Pierre Cassou-Noguès, William Tattersdill and A.M. Ferner

To register, email:
There are limited places, so please register soon to make sure you get a space.

While it is free to register there are, unfortunately, no bursaries available for travel or accommodation.

Several positions on the BSLS Executive Committee will be either vacant or up for renewal this April 2015: Chair, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Book Reviews Officer*, Member at Large and a new role of Member at Large - for a postgraduate or early career researcher without a permanent post*. If you are interested in any of these posts or have questions about them, please do contact me, or any member of the committee. The sections of the Constitution relevant to this process are appended below. (*These are new posts to be recommended by the Executive Committee for ratification at the AGM)

The current position is this. We have had expressions of interest in the posts of Chair, Treasurer, and one of the two posts of Member at Large. Our Membership secretary Jessica Roberts is standing for re-election. We are therefore especially interested in hearing from anyone with an interest in the role of Book Reviews Officer or the new early career Member at Large. If we receive further formal nominations for the posts of Chair, Treasurer, or Member at Large, or more than one nomination for the new posts, there will be an election by secret ballot during the AGM.

Any member of BSLS is eligible for these posts and can propose themselves or someone else. Each proposed candidate will also need two nominations from members of BSLS, and these proposals and nominations should be sent to our current Chair John Holmes ( and myself, the Secretary (

Could expressions of interest or proposals be sent as soon as possible please, and ideally before April 8, 2015.

Peter Middleton
18. 3. 2015

4.1 There shall be an Honorary President, whose appointment is for an unlimited period.
4.2 There shall be an executive committee, consisting of: Chair; Secretary; Treasurer; Membership Secretary; Communications Officer; and not more than three Members at Large.
4.2.1 The role of the Chair is to oversee the fulfilment of the Society’s aims.
4.2.2 The role of the Secretary is to document meetings and other aspects of the Society’s activities, particularly to prepare minutes of Committee meetings and General Meetings, and to put them forward for approval.
4.2.3 The role of the Treasurer is to be signatory to the Society’s bank account(s); to present accounts for approval at the AGM.
4.2.4 The role of the Membership Secretary is to receive and process membership applications, to obtain fees from existing members, to pass on money to the Treasurer, and to maintain a membership database.
4.2.5 The role of the Communications Officer is to develop electronic resources; to manage and maintain an e-mail list, and to liaise with the Membership Secretary in relation to membership of the list.
4.3 Where it proves impossible to fill posts, one member may hold two, but no more than two posts.
4.4 Signatories for the society’s bank account(s) shall be the Treasurer and any other committee member.
4.5 The membership of the Executive Committee shall be determined by elections held at the annual general meeting of the society. Members wishing to stand for election should be nominated by two members of the society before the start of the AGM. Where there is more than one candidate for any post, election shall be held by a ballot on the basis of a single transferable vote.
4.6 Members of the Executive Committee shall serve three-year terms of office.

The programme for next term's seminars on Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century at Oxford University has been announced. The speakers are Lee Macdonald, Matthew Paskins and Rachel Bowlby. Click on the link below to see who is speaking when:

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