The 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine (ICHSTM 2013), organised by the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS), will be held in the University of Manchester on 22 – 28 July 2013. The theme of the meeting is ‘Knowledge at Work’.
The Annual BSHS Conference was revived in 2003 to provide an opportunity for scholars throughout the history of science, technology and medicine to meet and exchange ideas. Our inaugural meeting, in York, proved a resounding success, setting a pattern for the meetings in Liverpool, Leeds, Canterbury, Manchester, Leicester, Aberdeen, and Exeter which have followed to date.
The theme of the 24th Congress is ‘Knowledge at work’. We construe this theme broadly, and encourage studies of the creation, dissemination and deployment of knowledge and practice across all periods, and from a variety of methodological and historiographical approaches. Possible areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to
- case studies of knowledge-making and knowledge-use in particular scientific, technological and medical communities
- the use and adaptation of scientific knowledge in the workplace, the home, and the wider world
- how facts, and other knowledge-claims, travel between disciplines, countries and communities
- relationships between those knowledge-making enterprises which are described as ‘science’ and those which are not, and the dynamics of the boundaries between them
- definitions and meanings of ‘pure’, ‘fundamental’ and ‘applied’ research
- how scientists, engineers and healthcare professionals (and their historical antecedents) work, and whom they work for
- the status relations of knowledge and work, including the roles of ‘artists’, ‘artisans’, ‘professionals’, ‘amateurs’, ‘devotees’, ‘operatives’, ‘philosophers’, ‘adepts’, ‘scientists’ and ‘workers’
- sites and geographies of knowledge-production and knowledge-exchange: laboratory, field, factory, hospital, ocean…
- communication about science: forms and genres, advocacy and dissent, authorship and audience in print, manuscript, broadcasting, digital media and performance
Beside a mixture of loosely-themed and highly specialised panels, and plenary sessions from distinguished speakers — including the biennial Presidential Address — meetings have included visits to local museums and other attractions; themed discussion sessions on teaching and learning; and a variety of social events ranging from the meticulously-planned to the bewilderingly impromptu. The Annual Conference fills an important role in terms of its scale: small enough to be easily surveyed, yet large enough to represent all fields, periods and levels of seniority within the profession.
Young scholars’ prize:
A reminder that the Third DHST Prize for Young Scholars will be awarded at the Congress in Manchester. The prize is awarded every four years by the IUHPS/DHST, and is open to anyone who has received a doctoral degree in the history of science or technology no earlier than July 2008. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 31 August 2012.
Clarification on publications
The Congress is not a “publication conference” of the kind which is conventional in some academic fields. Our priority is to encourage discussion of current research, and while presentations should, of course, be well-structured and coherent, they need not be prepared as formal academic texts. Acceptance decisions are based on abstracts alone, and stand-alone papers are not pre-circulated.
The Congress does not issue “Proceedings” volumes, and acceptance does not imply an offer of publication. (Some symposium organisers will be working towards publications based on their symposia, but this is not handled by the central Congress organisers.)