Other Organisations

Other organisations of interest to members of the BSLS

Next year's conference of the Commission on Science and Literature will be held in Girona in Spain on 2-4 July. Here is the preliminary call for papers:

CoSciLit 2020 Call for Papers

Word follows of a fundraising campaign which is not officially connected to the BSLS, but in which BSLS members might be interested:

Charles Lyell (1797 - 1875) is well known for his part in the Darwinian evolutionary debates, his travels to America and his role in convincing readers of the significance of 'deep time'. During the past decade, Lyell's geographical theory of climate and his subdivisions of recent geological periods have gained renewed attention in connection with discussions of climate change and the Anthropocene. The Lyell archive is almost certainly the most important manuscript collection relating to nineteenth century science still in private hands.  At its core are 294 notebooks, which provide a daily record of Lyell's private thoughts, reading notes, travels, field observations and conversations from the mid-1820s to his death half a century later.

In order for the family to meet inheritance tax, the Lyell notebooks were sold to an unknown foreign buyer towards the end of last year. Fortunately, the UK government has imposed a temporary export ban to enable fundraising to purchase these remarkable documents, conserve them, and make them available on-line for free to the public. The University of Edinburgh Library, which already has the largest collection of Lyell material, is organizing the campaign. The website for this became active at the end of last week. The sum required is £1,444,000; major donors have already pledged more than a third of the total needed.

The temporary export ban has an initial deadline of 15th July, so time is extremely short.  If significant progress is made, then it may be extended until 15th October. Therefore, all who are interested are asked to pledge a donation, which will only be collected when the required amount is achieved. For more information about the notebooks and to make a pledge, please click on https://www.ed.ac.uk/giving/save-lyell-notebooks/pledge-to-save/

If you, your students and friends can give anything to this campaign--even five pounds or a pound--it will make a big difference, not least in showing larger donors that there is substantial public interest and concern. It would be great if we can get the donor count over 1000.

I'd appreciate it if you could pass on this message to anyone who might be interested, and to any other relevant lists.

Jim Secord (jas1010@cam.ac.uk)
Professor of History and Philosophy of Science
Director, Darwin Correspondence Project
University of Cambridge

The next conference of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, on the theme of SpaceTime, will be held in Athens on 25-18 June 2019. To read the cfp, click below:


The Commission on Science and Literature will be holding its third conference on 2nd-4th July 2018 in Paris. Click below for the updated call for papers (deadline 10th March), together with a list of hotels near the conference venue. Proposals for papers and panels on any aspect of the relationship between literature and science worldwide are welcome.

CoSciLit conference cfp

SYROS, 5-8 JULY 2016
“Beyond Nature in Science and Literature”

The International Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST, the Hellenic Open University and the Institute of Historical Research/ National Hellenic Research Foundation organize a two-days’ workshop to study “Beyond Nature in Science and Literature”. The CoSciLit workshop is a new addition to the prestigious Hermoupolis Seminars which have been organized for more than 30 years every July on Syros Island.
This workshop follows the successfull 1st workshop organized in 2016 on the theme of "Nature(s), Humans and God(s) in Literature. Representations" and it will be part of series of workshops which will be organized with a specific theme every July.

The venue of the workshop will be the “Historical Archives of the State” in the Town Hall of Hermoulis. Hermoupolis was once the capital of Greece and a city of great cultural, scientific and industrial heritage. Syros Island is very close to Piraeus by boat and an ideal place for a high quality, inexpensive summer visit.

Those who are willing to participate in the workshop with a presentation may ask further information and/or submit an abstract of max. 200 words sending an email to gvlahakis@yahoo.com until 15 May 2016.

Languages: English, Greek, French, German

For participants giving a paper there will be a modest fee of 50 Euros and for those who will attend without a paper a fee of 40 Euros to cover administrative expenses. There will be some hotels with reduced prices on offer for the participants but there are plenty of places, in Hermoupolis or close by, at very convenient prices.
Coffee and refreshments will be offered.

The Commission on Science and Literature organized two events in the past summer. The workshop 'Nature, Humans and God(s)' was held on the island of Syros in Greece on 8-9 July. The 2nd International Conference on Science and Literature was held at Echophysics in Poellau, Austria, on 7-9 September. The proceedings of both meetings are to be published. In particular, the proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Science and Literature will be published by Living Editions, Austria.

We have decided that the Syros workshop should be the first of a series of seminars, each of which will have its own theme, to take place in the first week of July each year. The 2nd Syros workshop, which will have as its subject Beyond Nature in Science and Literature, will be held from 3-5 July 2017. Though relatively early, proposals for this Workshop are welcome. Our emails can be found on the contacts page of the CoSciLit website.

The 3rd International Conference on Science and Literature will take place in 2018, place and dates to be decided.

We would like also to remind you that we will be holding a symposium at the 25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 23 to 29 July 2017. The deadline for abstracts is 5th November 2017.

Please send abstracts for the Rio Congress and proposals and enquiries regarding the 2nd Syros workshop to gvlahakis@yahoo.com.


George Vlahakis, John Holmes and Kostas Tampakis


The newsletter can be viewed at the following link





May 26-27, 2016
Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris

The Bergen Literature and Science Research group invites scholars of the humanities, neurologists and psychiatrists to explore the phenomenology of the ageing self. This research seminar encourages topics that intrinsically connect especially literary texts on ageing and old age with the realms of neurology and psychiatry. It will allow us to study comparatively some physical and psychological aspects of ageing, as they are perceived through the lenses of medicine, literature (imaginative, autobiographical, reflective) and also visual media, in any historical period. While we do not expect literary scholars to be medically trained or neurologists and psychiatrists to be experts in literary critique, we do hope to enable a lively dialogue. In this way the event will give various responses to some inherent challenges in an interdisciplinary approach to ageing. How can fictions, images and testimonies of the ageing mind cohere with neurology's materialized conceptions of neuro-degeneration? How do the weakened senses of senescence affect sensitivity, and how is this rendered in our divergent discourses? What conceptual frameworks and critical tools can the humanities adopt to study ageing in synergy with the scientific approaches pursued by medicine and psychiatry?

Confirmed speakers will include:
Martine Boyer-Weinmann (Université de Lyon 2), "Amnesia, hypermnesia and hyper-aesthesia narratives"
Bernt Engelsen (University of Bergen), "The ageing self in an epileptological and neuropsychiatric and setting"
Jan Frich (University of Oslo), "Literary Myths about neuro-degeneration: The case of Huntington's disease"
Samuel Lepastier (Université de Paris Diderot)
George Rousseau (University of Oxford), "Ageing Brains, Jihadi Terrorists, and the black holes of Language"

The seminar language will be English.

Please send by February 15, 2016: a title and a short abstract (max. 200 words) including name, discipline and affiliation to Margery Vibe Skagen: margery.skagen@uib.no

Applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by March 1.



7-9 September 2016

Pöllau, Austria

Following the successful 1st International Conference on Science and Literature which took place in Athens this Conference is the second to be organized under the aegis of the Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST. The second International Conference will be co-organized by the History of Physics Group/European Physical Society, Echophysics and the Victor Franz Hess Society with the technical support of the Hellenic Open University. As it was the case with the first Conference, the second one does not have a specific theme, as its intent continues to be the creation of an open forum for all scholars interested in Science and Literature, thus bringing into the dialogue multiple perspectives. Nevertheless, the Conference will be organized along thematic sessions, according to the papers which will be accepted by the Scientific Committee.

Proposals for individual papers or panels of three or four papers should be submitted from 1st February until the 30th of April 2016. They must include the title of the paper (or the theme of the panel), name and affiliation of the author(s), an abstract of no more than 350 words and a short CV of up to five lines.

A dedicated webpage will be available for the submission of the proposals.

An international scientific committee will review the submissions and notice of acceptance will be sent two weeks after the deadline for the submission of proposals.

Registration: 1st February 2016 to June 30th 2016

Registration fees (include coffee, tea, refreshments and Conference material): 150 Euros

Fees for students and early career scholars: 75 Euros

Participants are asked to make their own arrangements concerning their accommodation in Pöllau, but the Conference organizers will be happy to give any necessary assistance.

Further information will be included in the second CfP which will be circulated on 30th January 2016.

The 10th conference of the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts will take place in Stockholm, June 14-17, 2016.

The conference's theme is Control, and confirmed speakers include Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam), Lauren Berlant (University of Chicago), Michael Dillon (Lancaster University), Alexander Galloway (New York University) and Steven Hinchliffe (University of Exeter).

The deadline for abstracts is December 14th, 2015.

The call for papers, along with more information, can be found on the conference homepage, http://control2016.com.


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