Submission Instructions

⚠ We are no longer accepting abstracts

The History of Science Society (HSS) will hold its 2020 conference in New Orleans, LA, USA. This will be a joint meeting with the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). The Society encourages submissions on all topics. Proposals (2,000-character maximum per abstract) must be submitted via the HSS online submission form. Unlike many academic societies, the HSS does not require that participants be members, but all participants must register for the meeting.


One Submission
Only one proposal per person is permitted.

Nonrecurrence Rule
Anyone presenting an individual paper, flashtalk, or on an organized session or roundtable (including commentators) cannot appear on the meeting program in any other capacity. This rule does not apply to chairs or organizers, who could, e.g., chair one session and present in another.

Registration Required
Anyone who appears on the program must register for the meeting. Failure to pay this fee will result in removal from the program.

Word Limit
All abstracts must be 2,000 characters or fewer (about 250 words).

Selection Guidelines
The Committee on Meetings and Programs (CoMP) has established a set of best practices and guidelines for proposal. Program chairs will look to these best practices and guidelines when accepting abstracts for the meeting.

The submission form only accepts plain text, which disallows italics and bold. All titles should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style's title guidelines. Use a title capitalization tool to ensure your title conforms to CMS rules.

Double Sessions
Organizers who wish to have more than 4 presentations in their session can propose a double panel. Please be aware that we can only accept a limited number of double sessions.


Why we collect demographic data

Driven by our mission “to foster interest in the history of science,” the HSS collects demographic information to understand the composition of its submitting authors, members, and meeting attendees; to identify under-served and under-represented communities; to formulate strategies to increase representation across communities; and to communicate aggregate, anonymized demographic data to its members and the public.

We are cautious of the exploitation enabled by demographic data collection. Therefore, we are committed to collecting information in a manner that is voluntary, promotes self-description, and is purposeful. The information will be used by the program co-chairs to guide their construction of the program with the goal of achieving balance in demographic characteristics and maximizing representativeness among the society’s communities.

The structure of this questionnaire is still in a pilot phase. We welcome your feedback via our contact form.

–Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

Demographic questions ask about insitutional affiliation, employment status, country of residence, gender, race and/or ethnicity, and HSS presentation history.

Abstract Classification

All submissions require a title, abstract, and classification according to topic, chronology, and geography.


  • Tools for Historians of Science: careers, general histories of science, historiography, interdisciplinary or multi-topic approaches, pedagogy, popular history of science, reference works and repositories, social engagement
  • Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Science: historians, history of science as a discipline, Science and Technology Studies, science studies, Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK)
  • Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science: arts & literature, economic, ethics, gender, law, politics, race and ethnicity, religion, war
  • Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization: instruments and measurements, military funding of science, patronage, research and development ethics, science policy, scientific institutions and societies, scientific publication
  • Biology: biochemistry, botany, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, great chain of being, model organisms, molecular biology, natural history, speciation, zoology
  • Chemistry: alchemy, atomic theory, atomism, chemical revolution, electrochemistry, periodic table/system
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences: age of the earth, geography, geology, paleontology, volcanology
  • Mathematics: ethnomathematics, general, paleolithic, neolithic, indigenous cultures of the Americas, other indigenous cultures (non-European), indigenous European cultures (pre-Greek, etc.), Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Islam (medieval), India, medieval, 15th and 16th centuries, renaissance, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, twenty-first century, contemporary
  • Medicine and Health: anatomy, germ theory, nutrition, pharmacy, psychiatry, psychology, public health, wound care
  • Physical Sciences: astronomy, electricity, general relativity, materials science, mechanics, natural philosophy, optics, physics, quantum field theory, special relativity, thermodynamics
  • Social Sciences: archaeology, cultural anthropology, economics, education, law, linguistics, political science, sociology
  • Technology: agricultural science, air and space technologies, ancient Rome, biotechnology, computer science, digital technologies, industrial revolution, middle ages, second industrial revolution


  • Cultural and cross-cultural contexts, including colonialism in general
  • Longue Durée
  • Prehistory and early human societies
  • Ancient Near Eastern
  • Ancient Greek and Roman
  • Chinese Dynasties/Centuries
  • Medieval
  • Pre-Colonial
  • Pre-Columbian Americas
  • Renaissance
  • Early Modern
  • Seventeenth century
  • Eighteenth century
  • Nineteenth century
  • Twentieth century, early
  • Twentieth century, late
  • Twenty-first century


  • Africa
  • Australasia/Oceania
  • Central Asia
  • East Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Near and Middle East
  • North America
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Global or Multilocational

Find a Collaborator

Collaboration information has been removed because the abstract submission deadline has passed.

Independent Scholar Award

Thanks to a generous gift by HSS Member Virginia Trimble, the Society will offer for the first time an award of $500 for the best abstract submitted by an independent scholar. Those scholars who are part of an organized session or who submit a contributed paper, and whose institutions do not consider these scholars to be working historians are eligible. If you meet this criteria and would like to be considered, please inform your organizer or select this option on the submission form.

HSS/SHOT Joint Session

Session proposals addressing themes and issues with interest to both societies are particularly welcome and will be included in both HSS and SHOT programs as joint sessions. When submitting a proposal for a joint session, please make explicit in your session abstract why/how your session brings together approaches/themes/speakers of interest to both HSS and SHOT. Additionally, select the option for joint session inclusion on the abstract form. Finally, authors and organizers must submit their proposals to the HSS and SHOT.

Submit an Abstract

Organized Session

A panel about a common theme, consisting of an organizer, chair, and presenters. The organizer submits all abstracts and presenter information. In addition to an organizer and chair, possible configurations include 3 speakers and 1 commentator/panel discussion or 4 speakers. See a sample submission (PDF).

Contributed Paper

A presentation on the history of science no longer than 20 minutes. See a sample submission (PDF).


To facilitate dialogue at its annual meeting, the History of Science Society requests proposals for roundtables. Roundtable participants may not present in another session. The typical roundtable will feature 5 presenters, including a commentator, who will each speak for 10 minutes or less, leaving ample time for exchanges with the audience. (Roundtables may include from 4 to 8 total speakers.) See a sample submission (PDF).

Flashtalks ⚡

As part of a special Presidential Session, the HSS invites graduate student proposals for flashtalks. The president of HSS will evaluate abstracts and moderate the session. These flashtalks will be presentations of 5 minutes or less and a slide, followed by discussion. Proposals require only a title and a short abstract (2-3 sentences). Flashtalks speakers are not permitted to present on the program in any other fashion. See a sample submission (PDF).

Download the CFP

Call for Papers (Google Doc)