New Orleans, LA, USA

Submission Instructions

Deadline: 1 March 2020 (23:59 EST)

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

To encourage and aid the creation of panels with strong thematic coherence that draw upon historians of science across institutions and ranks, the HSS has created a collaboration form to submit proposals in need of panelists and a spreadsheet to review submitted proposals. Anyone with a panel, paper, or roundtable idea seeking like-minded presenters should post and consult the postings on the spreadsheet or below to round out a prospective session.

Open Sessions (19)

Forming a roundtable

Should Historians of Science Know the Contents of Science?


Somaditya Banerjee


We are looking for three collaborators for the following session, which has an important theme that cuts across different cultural contexts and methodological approaches. If you are interested in joining us or would like further information, please send an email to banerjees@apsu.edu.

Draft Abstract: This round table asks a classic question in history of science: Should historians of science know science and master its contents? The history of science has long been plagued by debates between "internalists" and "externalists." Broadly speaking, internalists concerned themselves with the technical and conceptual development of science while externalists were motivated by culture, politics, and the sociology of science. Thomas Kuhn writing in the International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences in 1968 remarked "Until very recently most of those who wrote the history of science were practicing scientists, sometimes eminent ones." More recently in 1998, Alan Shapiro writing in the The Chronicle of Higher Education argued that "By neglecting internal history and disregarding content, scholars are turning their backs on a large audience of scientists and students." One important caveat for the cultural history of science was that the cultural values that were prevalent spatially and temporally exerted influences on scientific research, including the content of science, as revealed in the history of modern physics. Hence this panel will problematize the "internalist" and "externalist" approaches and will engage in a discussion about whether it is productive for historians to understand the sciences, thereby building 'bridges' between history and science.


Kuhn, T. S.: 1968, 'The History of Science', in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Macmillan Co. & Free Press, New York, vol. 14, pp. 74-83.

Shapiro, Alan E. 1998, "Historians of Science Must Again Master Scientific Substance," The Chronicle of Higher Education XLIV, no.21, sec B

Forming an organized session

Ephemeral Phenomena: Science and Technology in Experimental and Observational Research


Amy Fisher


We are looking for one collaborator and possibly a commentator or chair for the following session, which has a strong theme that cuts across different cultural contexts and time periods. If you are interested in joining us or would like further information, please send an email to afisher (at) pugetsound.edu. Thank you!

Draft Abstract: This session explores the intricate relationship between science and technology in experimental and observational research. As Jennifer Alexander (2012, p. 519) notes, "many historians of technology have decisively rejected 'applied science' as a useful term, already seeing in it precisely the subordination to science that [Paul] Forman describes," e.g., in his 2007 article 'The Primacy of Science in Modernity, of Technology in Postmodernity, and of Ideology in the History of Technology,' "and thus a denial of the intellectual autonomy of their subject." In contrast, this session investigates themes from the history of technology and the history of science on equal footing. It shows the complex interplay between the development of new instruments and experimental techniques and scientific discovery prior to 1980. By combining the history of science and technology, it illuminates not only the ways in which technological development contributed to the study of ephemeral phenomena, but also how it broadened the accessibility of some areas of scientific research, especially in environmental and electrical science.

Alexander, Jennifer Karns. "Thinking Again about Science in Technology." Isis 103, no. 3 (2012): 518-26.

Forman, Paul. "The Primacy of Science in Modernity, of Technology in Postmodernity, and of Ideology in the History of Technology." History and Technology 23, no. 1-2 (2007): 1-152.

Joining an organized session

The Hidden Histories of DNA


Neeraja Sankaran


DNA has had such a very visible public life--beginning from the moment that Watson and Crick announced their discovery of its double helix structure at a pub in Cambridge, that it is easy to overlook many important landmarks in the history of this molecule. The very discovery of the material, way back in 1871 is one example of a hidden or nearly hidden, history, as is the story of the very first X-ray photograph of the molecule--no, not Rosalind Franklin, but yes, it was a woman--and the immediate aftermath of the 1944 demonstration that DNA was the material of genes (though admittedly it was not reported in those terms). These are just threeexamples in what I am sure is a long list of secret, hidden or forgotten episodes in the history of DNA. So... if you have a DNA story that you would like to share, this is the place to do it. I already submitted this idea under a slightly different title (secret life instead of hidden histories) for an organized session, but felt that it was equally suitable for the round-table format. In fact, its less intimidating for some since we have less time per person. So please get in touch, if you have any ideas. Very short notice I know (barely 10 days) but please get in touch... thus far I am a party of one, and if I don't hear anything in a week, I'll go ahead and submit my idea as a stand alone.

Equally viable in either this (round-table) or the organized format. Get in touch and we can discuss preferred formats

Forming an organized session

Extraction, Reaction, Production: Telling the Histories of Chemistry through Labor


Alison McManus


Chemistry and economics share a vocabulary of transformation and separation. Yield, production, extraction, and reaction are just a few terms that apply to both the study of matter and the production of value, broadly construed. Though not analytically significant on its own, this terminological overlap has the potential to guide historical research in at least two ways. First, it instructs us to take labor as a serious element of the (al)chemical sciences. Indeed, historians have shown how labor-atory practice, material properties, and economic constraints conditioned the development and reception of alchemy and chemistry. Second, we may also turn the aforementioned method on its head, taking the history of chemistry as a key consideration in labor history. Thinking with labor reminds us that pressing present-day questions about chemical science and technology in the Anthropocene, such as the expansion of the chemical industry, the globalization of markets, and the ubiquity of toxic exposures, also exemplify long-term historical patterns and processes. Accordingly, this panel provides a robust look at the relationships between labor, in all its forms, and chemistry, in all its guises and applications. In so doing, it gestures toward the following questions: What can the history of chemistry offer labor history, and what can labor history offer the history of chemistry?

Forming an organized session

Animals in/as Technologies


Brad Bolman


Rachel Ankeny and I are hoping to bring together historians of science and technology for a cross-organization panel on the use of nonhuman organisms (broadly considered) as technologies. We're thinking of assistance animals, working animals, scientific organisms, and more. Studies can be of any period and we're particularly keen for global or multinational contributions. Our hope is to create dialogue between HSS and SHOT members about the multiple meanings of these practices with an eye toward discussions of organisms as platforms, frameworks, capital, and beyond.

Please reach out with any questions!

Forming an organized session

The Septic Fringe: Developing a History of Marginalized Species


Matthew Holmes


The term "septic fringe" is used to refer to marginal zones for waste and refuse, which have existed on the edge of human settlements since prehistory. We generally associate the animal and microbial inhabitants of the septic fringe, including bacteria, fungi, insects, birds and rodents, with fear or disgust across human history. Yet new animal and environmental histories have given us fresh insights into human interaction with "pests" and "vermin," including how our relationship with them is reflective of wider social and cultural contexts. Histories of biotechnology and biological control have also described how former inhabitants of the septic fringe were rehabilitated into a series of scientific and industrial enterprises. By the early years of the twentieth century, moulds and fungi were instrumental for fermentation based industries, while insects and birds were harnessed by the new science of economic biology to protect agriculture. New industrial farms and microbiological institutes investigated brewing, sterilisation and insect control, with the septic fringe becoming a site of innovation, inspiration and industry.

This panel seeks contributions from historians of marginalized species across any time period. Potential papers may include:

- Attitudes towards pest species

- Control of pests, vermin and microbes

- Economic biology

- Microbes, fungi or insects in medicine or biotechnology

The overall aims of the panel are to see whether the septic fringe can be adopted as a useful heuristic by historians of science, and if we can spot wider trends in histories of marginalized species and organisms. Please feel free to email me to discuss any potential contributions.

Joining an organized session

Tools of the Trade: Medical Devices and Meaning in Sweden and Denmark, 1850 - 1900


Kristin Halverson


Hi! I am a PhD student studying the relationships between medical devices, technological change and practice in Sweden and Denmark in the nineteenth century. I would be interested in joining a session that deals with themes involving medical technologies, nineteenth century medicine, circulation of scientific knowledge and sessions involving innovation processes. I conceptualise "device" rather broadly, so technologies involving everything from surgical instruments, operating tables and orthopaedic devices to early roentgen apparatuses could be included, if the session prefers focus on a specific device. I have an abstract ready for potential collaborations. I hope to hear from you!

Forming an organized session

The Chemistry of Indigenuos Peoples


Marcos Aurélio Silva


The chemistry of indigenuos peoples techniques pharmaceutical science important scientist research legacy of indigenuos peoples

Forming an organized session

Another Vast Machine: Data, Models, and Simulations in the Human Sciences


Tabea Cornel


I welcome any suggestions that broadly fit this topic. It would be particularly exciting if the panel covered a wide range of geographic and disciplinary foci.

Ten years ago, Paul Edwards argued that the "vast machine" of meteorology had neared completion. Global systems of weather observation, data manipulation, and data interpretation have not tamed the climate, but they have established (almost) undeniable facts about it, including the existence of global warming. More recently, data, models, and simulations have become essential to the human sciences. Recidivism algorithms, genetic diagnostics, and multivariate pattern analysis are only three examples of the numerous technologies on which scientists rely to establish facts about humanity and predict the future of individual humans. How did these technologies originate? What consequences are there, if any, of applying technologies to humans that had originally been developed for non-human systems? How stable have such technologies and related concepts been across time, space, and cultures? To what extent have these technologies reinforced or eroded power dynamics within and between scientific communities? In what ways have these technologies helped or hindered establishing (almost) undeniable facts about humanity?

Forming a roundtable

Teaching Beyond the Canon in the History of Science


Courtney Thompson


Despite the many transformations of the field and its methodologies, collections of primary sources in the history of science often focus on the major works of "great men" in the history of science, who tend to be white, male, and from Europe or the United States. Primary sources in the history of science also frequently privilege published scientific texts, which can be difficult for students to understand, and which neglect other kinds of documents and sources, such as letters, diaries, popular publications, images, and artifacts.

This roundtable will offer strategies for decolonizing the syllabus and incorporating non-traditional sources, moving history of science pedagogy away from a focus on "great men" and white, male, Western perspectives and towards a broader, more inclusive, and more creative approach to sources and case studies. I'm seeking participants who have incorporated non-Western and/or non-traditional case studies, primary sources, and experiences into their approaches to teaching the history of science.

Informal ten-minute presentations on primary sources and other ideas for approaching history of science pedagogy from scholars in any area of the history of science are welcome. Additionally, the participants will collaborate to put together a collection of primary sources and other resources beyond the canon that can be shared with attendants to incorporate into their courses.

Forming a roundtable

When History of Science and Technology Is Difficult History


Aimee Slaughter


How do we talk about the history of technology and science when it's difficult history? Public historians and museum professionals use the term "difficult history" to describe histories of injustice or violence, histories that can often be challenging for audiences. Examples in history of science and technology include eugenics, the Manhattan Project, national responses to disasters and environmental hazards, and many more large- and small-scale topics. In this roundtable we hope to start an open conversation around the intersections between difficult history and the history of science and technology: How do we talk about these histories with the public and with students? What responsibilities do we have as a field when engaging with difficult history in our scholarship?

Ten-minute presentations on a variety of topics are welcome in this roundtable, which will be submitted as a joint session of SHOT and HSS.

Forming an organized session

Scientific Knowledge Between Local and Global


Noa Nahmias


I am seeking collaborators for a panel exploring the production of global and local in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Global histories of science encourage us to think beyond the borders of the nation, and turn our attention to circulation, networks, and knowledge in motion. In the context of Imperial expansion and colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, these interactions occurred frequently and relied on various actors imagining science as universal while participating in its localization. This panel will examine a variety of ways knowledge moves to consider the tensions and possibilities of the categories "local" and "global." To what degree are these binary opposites? What might exist in the space between the local and the global? What kind of tensions did the definition of either category produce?

In terms of geography, I work on China in the 20th Century. The panel is open to all geographic foci, but potentially would be most suited to those working on colonial contexts.

Potential papers could focus on

- Knowledge circulation between different regions or countries

- Translation as "localizing" knowledge

- Popular science as knowledge transmission

- Science nationalism and internationalism

- Tensions between the local and national

The abstract is a suggestion of broad themes, and will be adapted to better fit the shared goals and interests of potential collaborators.

The abstract is a suggestion of broad themes, and will be adapted to better fit the shared goals and interests of potential collaborators.

Forming an organized session

Science Popularization as Cultural Diplomacy: UNESCO (1946-1958)


Jaume Sastre-Juan


From its creation after World War II, UNESCO became a political battleground in which different visions of science and the world order fought for hegemony. As it is well known, Julian Huxley (1887-1975) and Joseph Needham (1900-1995) were the first General Director and the first Director of the Natural Sciences Division. Their administration stressed the "social implications of science" -through the influence of Bernalist Marxism- and the "periphery principle" in international relations. They also included science popularization in its priorities, but UNESCO's popularization program would only start once the Cold War increased in intensity and Huxley and Needham's policies were substituted by the leadership of the physicist Pierre Auger (1899-1993), as new head of the Natural Sciences Division.

The goal of this session is to explore the history of international science popularization policies and practices at UNESCO as tools for governance and cultural diplomacy from the Huxley-Needham administration to the end of Auger's leadership in 1958. Who were the main actors behind the global science popularization program at UNESCO? What were their political agendas? What were their specific approaches to science, internationalism, diplomacy and popularization? How were UNESCO's popularization policies actually implemented around the world in different national and local contexts? What was the role of science popularization in the global reconfiguration of international relations? Historiographically, we would like to engage with the literature that has focused on the politics of science popularization, the literature which is reassessing scientific internationalism as a historically and ideologically situated practice and the renovated interest in science and diplomacy. While our main focus is the period 1946-1958, we are flexible in terms of chronology: case-studies exploring the continuities and ruptures with the League of Nations, as well as the 1960s are also welcome

Forming an organized session

Environment, Industry, and Organisms


Marsha Richmond


By the 1960s, society could no longer ignore problems caused by decades of industrial pollution of the atmosphere and waterways, nor new postwar threats caused by newly introduced industrial chemicals such as pesticides. After the founding of the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, as well as the banning of production of DDT and PCBs, many environmentalists and wildlife biologists were hopeful that reducing pollution and harsh chemicals would improve outcomes for organisms. But the rapid expansion of the chemical industry led to even more daunting environmental problems in the 1980s that affected humans as well as wildlife. This session seeks to explore intersections of factors connected with the environment, biology, industrial growth, and public health in the decades after the Second World War.

I would be happy to reshape the abstract to fit projects that require a different descriptor..

Forming an organized session

Graphic Narratives for History of Science


Mark Hineline


Much of the representation in the earth sciences is visual: maps, images, charts, and graphs. The range of images is particularly rich. This is true, to a similar or lesser extent, for other sciences. This session will explore ways of working in history of science using many of the same visual objects, but in narrative form - a genre that was introduced as a possibility by Martin J. S. Rudwick in "The Great Devonian Controversy" but not fully realized from that initial model.

Forming a roundtable

The Future of Digital Humanities in the History of Science


Kathleen Sheppard


The Technology and Communication Committee are sponsoring and forming a round-table in order to discuss issues in digital humanities in the history of science. We hope to have an open, but organized, discussion where attendees can share their working projects, their project ideas, or simply their opinions on the digital humanities in history of science, as well as learn more about how DH is working (or not) within the discipline. Further, we want your input on how the TCC can work within HSS and with its members to make projects easier to create, to promote projects, and to help develop plans for supporting DH in the years to come. Please submit ideas for presentations for this round-table! All levels of expertise are welcome.

This will be more of a round-table workshop and would sit in multiple categories.

Forming an organized session

Technopolitics and Economy


Hippolyte Goux


Historians of science and technology have carefully attended to the political consequences of technological systems. This junction of social organization and technology-now called technopolitics-has been described as the production of a nearly autonomous system, or as a system that shaping the political. Less satisfactory in these studies has been their treatment of the economic. What is called economy is both a system of power and the basis for the material production and reproduction of society. It is in many ways a feature unique to capitalism. Yet the economic cannot be reduced to just a system of power, or technological structures-although it contains both. It would seem that the relation between justice and infrastructure cannot be understood without a proper consideration of economy.

We seek presentations investigating the interaction or co-extension of technopolitics with economic "logics," on a global or local scale. Work on any geographical area and time period is welcome.

This session would be submitted jointly to SHOT and HSS.

In case of interest, please provide a one-page abstract (250 words maximum) to Hippolyte Goux at goux@ucla.edu no later than February 15th 2020.

Time periods of interest: Nineteenth century, Twentieth century, Twenty-first century

Forming a roundtable

Is Deep History White?


Pratik Chakrabarti


The need for the roundtable discussion emerges from the realization that the history of deep time is predominantly derived from the works of European savants from the eighteenth century. These propositions refer to European intellectual traditions, antiquarianism and religious debates. Similarly, the histories of deep time and geohistory too are invested in European intellectual traditions, museums, institutions, print cultures and epistemologies even when these have extended these beyond Europe.

Further, in deep history resides Europe's core, secular, rational, modern and "natural" self.

Yet, these concepts are often used to depict histories of people (living or extinct) and their livelihoods and habitats, which lie beyond Europe and its frames of deep history.

At the same time, there is an entrenchment of deep history, more as an adjective (rather than as a noun) in Asia, South America, Africa and Australia, in their respective geomythologies, sacred geographies, and questions of aboriginalities.

There is also an emerging and exciting scholarship around deep history from Asia, Africa, South America and Australia.

We need to have a roundtable discussion to take stock of what this is doing to existing ideas of deep history and if there is a need to re-evaluate its changing parameters.

Therefore, the question of whether deep history 'white' is not primarily a racial one, rather it is epistemological. It questions the pre-eminence of European deep naturalism.

Some of the questions for the group could be:

• Is deep history, as we know it, 'White'?

• Is that deep history complicit in the Western and colonial appropriation of global nature, time, myths and capital?

• What is the power of deep history as a white mythology, in epistemology and in governance?

• Is a Black deep history possible or even desirable?

Confirmed participants: Pratik Chakrabarti, Sarah Qidwai, Myrna P. Sheldon

Forming an organized session

Credibility in Circulation: What Role Did Non-European Knowledges Have in Shaping the Methods of Modern Disciplines?


Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh


In 2006, Kapil Raj published his ground-breaking Relocating Modern Science, in which he argued that historians of science have much to learn from relocating their studies of the construction of knowledge from "local" sites to spaces of circulation. This shift, Raj argues, reveals the indispensable role played by non-European actors and knowledges in the co-construction of methods and practices that have gone on to shape modern "Western" science. Since then, historians-particularly those striving to understand the non-Western character of what has elsewhere been characterised as "European modernity"-have employed Raj's methods to great effect. One key issue that deserves further examination, using episodes from across historical and geographical regions, is that of the credibility of non-European methods in shaping emergent disciplines in the Enlightenment. For example, in his recent work on the "first global turn", Alexander Statman has suggested that Europeans' encounters with Chinese history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries radically reshaped conceptions of what history could look like as an academic discipline. How does a shift from local to circulating spaces change the way historians of science can analyse the construction of credibility? This panel seeks to explore the processes involved in constructing credibility in spaces of circulation and examine whether this reveals previously under-appreciated non-European influences upon ostensibly "European" methods in emergent disciplines during the Enlightenment.

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)