March 2020

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The British Society for Literature and Science is very pleased to announce the shortlist for its annual book prize.  Nominations were sought from publishers and members of the BSLS; books published by current members of the BSLS executive committee are not eligible. Alphabetically by author, the four books are:

The winner will be announced at the online conference on Friday 17 April 2020, after Martin Willis's keynote lecture.

A list of past winners and shortlisted books is to be found here.


Our 2020 annual conference at the University of Sheffield has been cancelled, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BSLS executive committee and conference organisers know this will be very disappointing, but given ‘social distancing’ measures, international travel restrictions and, above all, concern for the health of our members, this is a necessary step for us to take.

The BSLS exec is deeply appreciative of the careful planning and many, many hours of work carried out by Katherine Ebury, Helena Ifill, and the rest of the conference committee, and we thank them for their efforts in putting together what would have been a wonderful programme.

We will endeavour to host the AGM (and book prize announcement) online in some way, and will announce the details of this soon.

We are currently investigating whether parts of the programme might be repurposed – perhaps hosted online, or transposed to our Winter Symposium or 2021 annual conference at Edinburgh Napier University. Please send any suggestions you might have to Fran Kohlt (, our book reviews editor, and these will be discussed at the online AGM.

Refunds for conference registration can be obtained by emailing the University of Sheffield’s online shop:

The executive committee recognises that some delegates (particularly the unwaged and those not affiliated to institutions) may be unable to reclaim some of their expenditure, and may not be covered by travel insurance. More fortunate members might wish to donate their reclaimed registration fees to a hardship fund - they can do so here: If you cannot reclaim expenditure and wish to apply to the hardship fund, please email relevant receipts to our Communications officer, Will Tattersdill (, by 15th April.

Wishing you all the very best at this difficult time, and hoping we can all meet again soon,

Greg Lynall (Chair of BSLS)

14 March 2020

There is understandably a great deal of concern about the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The advice we have received is that the risks of holding the event are low: this is a comparatively small event (100 people) being held during the Easter Break at the time when the university campus is quiet. There are currently no warnings against travel to or within the UK.

The local organisers and the BSLS exec are monitoring the situation very closely, but there are currently no plans to postpone or cancel the conference.

If the conference were to be cancelled because of a sudden change in government policies, the Online Store would be able to refund any fees, and attendees should be covered under their travel insurance.

We would also understand if attendees with concerns preferred to withdraw from the event and would hope to hear from them promptly about this. The deadline for registration is 1st April, which gives some time for everyone to consider.

Statement on coronavirus