March 2016

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The closing date for the next round of the Wellcome Trust Research Bursaries scheme is 1st April 2016.

This scheme is for small and medium-scale research projects based on library or archive collections supported by the Wellcome Trust. Projects must focus either on Wellcome Library holdings or on any collection supported by a previous Wellcome Trust Research Resources grant, but they need not be historically grounded.

These awards can support experienced researchers based in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Applications may also be made from scholars based outside the UK or the Republic of Ireland who wish to carry out research on a collection supported by the Trust.

Awards are not limited to academic researchers. Applications may also be submitted by conservators, artists, performers, broadcasters, writers, public engagement practitioners and others working in the creative arts.

More information on the scheme is available on the Wellcome Trust website:


The full programme for the 2016 BSLS conference at the University of Birmingham is now available BSLS 2016 - Provisional Programme 2nd edn.

For details of how register to attend the conference, please see this link.

Reviews that have appeared on the British Society for Literature and Science website in February 2016

A list of books for which we are currently seeking reviewers can be found here.

Please email Gavin Budge on <> if you would like to propose a book for review  - anything published from 2010 onwards will be considered.

This is a list of books that are currently in the process of being reviewed.

A list of books that have already been reviewed on the British Society for Literature and Science website can be found here.

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Following the success of the JLS/BSLS essay prize in previous years, The JLS and the British Society for Literature and Science would like to announce the 2016 prize for the best new essay by an early career scholar on a topic within the field of literature and science.

Essays should be currently unpublished and not under consideration by another journal. They should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words long, inclusive of references, and should be send by email to both Josie Gill, Communications Officer of the BSLS (, and Martin Willis, Editor of the JLS (, by 12 noon on Friday, 17th June, 2016

The prize is open to BSLS members who are postgraduate students or have completed a doctorate within three years of this date. (To join BSLS, go to

The prize will be judged jointly by representatives of the BSLS and JLS.

The winning essay will be announced on the BSLS website and published in the JLS. The winner will also receive a prize of £100.

The winning essay for 2015 was Maria Avxentevskaya’s ‘The Spiritual Optics of Narrative: John Wilkins’s popularization of Copernicanism’ which was published in issue 8.2 of the JLS in December 2015. Read this and other prize winning essays in issues 7.2 and 6.2 at

(The judges reserve the right not to award the prize should no essay of a high enough standard be submitted.)

Call for Papers/Expressions of Interest

Who Do They Think They Are? Cultures of Climate Scepticism,

Anti-Environmentalism, and Conservative Environmentalism

Symposium, June 6-8 2016, UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada


Environmentalists know who climate sceptics are: oil company shills, religious fundamentalists and neoliberal cheerleaders. The questions asked at this symposium are: who do they think they are? What kinds of selves do sceptical texts project? What concepts of nature and science do they deploy, contest and defend? Is the sceptical challenge to scientific consensus defensible, or disastrous? Is there any meaningful difference between ‘scepticism’ and ‘denialism’? What are the internal differences amongst anti-environmentalist discourses? How does climate scepticism vary between nations and ethnic groups? Is ‘conservative environmentalism’ an oxymoron in 2016, and, if so, why? As political polarization deepens in Europe and the United States, this symposium seeks to understand ‘the enemy’, challenging reductive stereotypes and homogenizing assumptions in the interests of constructive democratic debate.

Initial research into sceptical artefacts reveals internal diversity. The sceptical documentary ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ (2007) gives airtime to Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor to Margaret Thatcher, along with ex-Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore and Richard Lindzen, one of the few esteemed climatologists to hold sceptical views. Yet the film’s director is former Revolutionary Communist Martin Durkin, who claims climate change is aneoliberal conspiracy to prevent development in Africa. He describes it as ‘a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry: created by fanatically anti-industrial environmentalists; supported by scientists peddling scare stories to chase funding; and propped up by complicit politicians and the media’. Scepticism has left and right wing; Christian and agnostic; empiricist, creationist and constructivist forms that could usefully be teased apart.

This event is conceived as a one-room symposium to initiate an innovative research agenda in the environmental humanities: the critical analysis of anti-environmentalism in cross-cultural perspective. The symposium will begin with a presentation on existing research into climate scepticism (Greg Garrard, UBC), and will include presentations on anti-environmentalism in the USA (George Handley, BYU), the UK (Richard Kerridge, Bath Spa), Germany (Axel Goodbody, Bath) and France (Stephanie Posthumus, McGill). Accommodation at UBCO is C$60-120/night, and the registration fee will be C$100 (waged)/C$40 (grad student/unwaged). This cost-price fee will cover two lunches, one dinner and coffee breaks during the conference.

Given that this is a new field of research, we do not expect all participants to contribute complete papers. Rather, we invite interested scholars and graduate students to submit abstracts; panel proposals; suggestions for position papers; or expressions of interest without a formal commitment to speak. Please send a CV and abstract/proposal/statement of interest (250 words max in any case) to by April 8, 2016.