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CFP: Critical Histories and Activist Futures: Science, Medicine, and Racial Violence (Feb. 2017) September 21, 2016

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Call for Submissions: “Critical Histories and Activist Futures: Science, Medicine, and Racial Violence”
February 24-­25, 2017

The graduate students of Yale University’s Program in History of Science and Medicine are excited to invite submissions for a conference entitled “Critical Histories and Activist Futures: Science, Medicine, and Racial Violence.”

We have been inspired by recent conversations at Yale and other campuses on how to address histories of racial violence, inequality, and erasure at colleges and universities, and how these histories continue to impact our learning environments today. The activism led by undergraduates in the NextYale movement created new spaces and momentum within our university for organizing around issues of racial violence and social justice. However, last fall, at an open forum for graduate students to discuss issues of race, racism, and diversity, we were disappointed when Yale Dean Lynn Cooley suggested that teaching future scientists about subjects such as race and ethnicity would not only be impractical but also unnecessary, dismissively stating “How would you teach race and ethnicity studies in a science course?”

There is a long history of scientists and doctors perpetuating violence and inequality through their work. Yale administration’s failure to acknowledge ­­ or perhaps, even ignorance of ­­ this history is a telling reminder of the injustice that continues to permeate our universities. In this case, it was graduate students who responded, including our colleague Viet N. Trinh who wrote “Is it so ridiculous for future doctors to recognize that groundbreaking medical advances were often only possible through experimentation on enslaved people? For public health experts to know that their predecessors in California and Texas not only regarded the myth of the ‘dirty, unhygienic Mexican’ as scientific fact, but also used said myth to concoct medical justifications for segregating, regulating, and controlling nonwhite bodies?…Racism is not a problem exclusively for historians and sociologists…As inheritors of its painful legacy, we must all reckon with racism not
just as a matter of personal principle, but of professional ethics.”[1]

Historians of science and medicine are well­-positioned to examine these issues, and not only because of our own disciplinary record of documenting violence in scientific and medical practice. We are, ultimately, concerned with issues of how knowledge is produced, whose knowledge is valued, and who has access to knowledge, issues that underlie histories of racism in science and medicine. We believe that we have unique expertise to address systemic inequality and critique structures of power and authority. Yet we also recognize that if we want to address discrimination in the broader academy, we need to look for injustice within our own discipline ­­ who has access to our field? And in turn, what knowledge and forms of scholarship have been privileged?

Finally, conversations within our scholarly community alone can only take us so far. This is a critical moment to build bridges with activists, organizers, and the communities beyond our campuses. We hope that this conference will begin conversations and help build alliances and strategies for addressing systematic violence and inequality, inside and outside of academia.

We call for submissions that address three broad themes:

1. History of Science and Medicine as a platform for change in the larger world: what can
academics do to effect change, and how can scholars build equitable and productive relationships with outside communities?
2. Social justice and racial violence itself as an object of academic study
3. Issues of social justice, inequality, and violence within History of Science and Medicine as a discipline.

We are looking for submissions that address any of these topics. We are interested in traditional academic papers, as well as discussions of activist work, artistic projects, archival and museum initiatives, and other presentations that address the themes of science, medicine and racial violence in some way. We are particularly interested in hearing from individuals who have made activism a crucial part of their scholarly work. The conference committee will group presentations into panels on related themes. Rather than a series of discrete presentations, though, we envision structuring this conference as a series of panel conversations between participants. We want to encourage dialogue, partnerships, and idea­-sharing that will continue after the conference is over.

Participants should submit a brief (300 words max.) proposal to historysciencejustice@gmail.com no later than November 15, 2016. The conference committee will review all proposals and respond to all submissions by December 15, 2016. Please circulate to anyone you think would be interested.
[1] Viet N. Trinh, “On Science and Racial Violence: A Letter to Lynn Cooley,” ed. Amanda Joyce Hall,Conversation X, December 1, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.conversationx.com/2015/12/01/on­science­and­racial­violence/

CFP: 49th Annual Meeting of Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences, June 2017 September 16, 2016

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Call for Papers: 49th Annual Meeting of Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Conference Date: June 22-25, 2017

Conference Location: Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

Submission Due Date: January 15, 2017, 5pm EST


Papers, posters, symposia/panels, or workshops are invited for the 49th annual meeting of Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The conference will be held at Mississippi State University, Starkville (two hours/160 miles from Memphis, TN), with Courtney Thompson as local co-host, assisted by Alexandra Hui and Alan Marcus. Starkville’s local Golden Triangle Regional Airport, with service from Atlanta, provides free shuttle service to Starkville, including the MSU campus. The meeting will take place Thursday, June 22, to Sunday, June 25, 2017.

Submissions may deal with any aspect of the history of the human, behavioral, and social sciences or related historiographical and methodological issues. For this year’s meeting in Mississippi we particularly encourage submissions of all formats (papers, posters, symposia/panels, and workshops) which explore issues related to LGBTQ+, as well as gender, race/ethnicity, and other marginalized communities. All submissions should conform to the guidelines listed below.

All submissions must be received by 5pm EST, January 15, 2017. Please email your proposals to the 2017 Program Chair, Jacy Young at jacyleeyoung@gmail.com


All papers, posters, and proposed symposia/panels should focus on new and original work, i.e. the main part of the work should not have been published or presented previously at other conferences.

To facilitate the peer review and planning process, please provide a separate page that includes: a) title; b) author’s name and affiliation; c) author’s mail and email address and phone number; d) audio/visual needs. In all types of proposals below, names of authors/presenters should not be indicated anywhere but on the separate cover page for the submission.

Papers: Submit a 700-800 word abstract plus references that contains the major sources that inform your work. Presentations should be 20-25 minutes in length.
Posters: Submit a 300-400 word abstract plus references that contains the major sources that inform your work.
Symposia/Panels: Organizer should submit a 250-300 word abstract describing the symposium as a whole and a list of the names and affiliations of the participants. Each participant should submit a 300-600 word abstract plus references that contains the major sources that inform your work.
Workshops: Organizer should submit a 250-300 word abstract describing the workshop and, if applicable, a list of the names and affiliations of those participating.

Travel Stipends & Young Scholar Award

Travel Stipends: Cheiron will make funds available to help defray travel expenses for students, as well as other scholars facing financial hardship, who present at the conference. We encourage everyone to apply for support from their home institutions. The Travel Stipend is limited to $100 to $300 per accepted submission; co-authored presentations must be divided among the presenters. If you wish to be considered for the Stipend, please apply by sending the Program Chair a separate email message, explaining your status, at the same time that you submit your proposal.

Young Scholar Award: Since 2008, Cheiron has awarded a prize for the best paper or symposium presentation by a young scholar. To be eligible for consideration, the young scholar must be the sole or first author on the paper and must be responsible for the bulk of the work of the paper. The young scholar must be a student currently or must have completed doctoral work (or other final degree) not more than 5 years prior to the meeting. Past winners of this award are no longer eligible.

About three weeks after the meeting, applicants for this award will submit a copy of the presented paper (rather than the abstract); it may include further, minor changes and bibliography. Submissions go to the Cheiron Executive Officer, who sets the exact deadline and determines eligibility, and the entries will be judged by select members of the Program Committee and the Review Committee. The winner will be announced by early autumn following the Cheiron meeting, will receive a certificate, and will be asked to submit the paper to the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences within a reasonable period of time. The Award winner may ask Cheiron for assistance in preparing the paper for submission to JHBS. If the paper is accepted by JHBS for publication, the winner will receive a $500 honorarium from the publisher, Wiley-Blackwell, in recognition of the Cheiron Young Scholar Award. Please note that the award committee may choose not to grant an award in any given year and that the honorarium depends on publication in JHBS, in addition to winning the Award.



Concerning meeting program, contact 2017 Program Chair:

Jacy Young

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Surrey UK

jacyleeyoung@gmail.com; telephone: 204.451.5814 (cell)

For questions about the Young Scholar Award or general organizational issues, contact David K. Robinson, Cheiron Executive Officer: drobinso@truman.edu

CFP: HISRECO, April 2017 September 12, 2016

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History of Recent Economics Conference

University of Lucerne – April 21-22, 2017

Call for Papers

The eleventh History of Recent Economics Conference (HISRECO) will be held at the University of Lucerne on April 21-22, 2017. Since 2007 HISRECO has brought together researchers from various backgrounds to study the history of economics in the postwar period. It is the organizers’ belief that this period, during which economics became one of the dominant discourses in contemporary society, is worth studying for its own sake. The increasing availability of archival materials, along with the development of new perspectives inherited from the larger history and sociology of knowledge, has helped to provide insightful histories of the development of recent economic practices, ideas, and techniques. In particular, this area of research offers good opportunities to young scholars who are interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the history of economics.

We invite researchers in all related fields to submit a paper proposal of no more than 500 words. Even though the organizers are open to a wide range of approaches to the history of economics, paper proposals that address the interface between this field and the history and sociology of science, or cultural and science studies will be particularly appreciated. Proposals should be sent electronically (as a pdf file) to Verena Halsmayer (verena [DOT] halsmayer [AT] unilu [DOT] ch) by October 14, 2016. Successful applicants will be informed by November 15, 2016.

Thanks to financial support from the University of Lucerne, FIPE (The Institute of Economic Research Foundation, Brazil), the European Scientific Coordination Network (GDRI, CNRS) and the KWI (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut) Luzern, HISRECO has limited funds to partially cover travel and accommodation for up to four young scholars (PhD students or researchers who have obtained their PhD over the past two years, from July 2014 to October 2016). Young scholars should include in their proposal their current affiliation and the university and year of their PhD, if this is the case. Those needing more information about funding are welcome to approach the organizers.

For those who want to know more about HISRECO, a list of past conferences and contributors can be found at http://www.hisreco.org.

The organizers, Verena Halsmayer (University of Lucerne), Pedro Duarte (University of São Paulo), Yann Giraud (University of Cergy-Pontoise), and Joel Isaac (University of Cambridge).

HSS Atlanta Updates September 10, 2016

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Be sure to find GECC-sponsored events while at HSS. It’s a great way to connect with graduate students and early careerists and to get involved with GECC.

  • Graduate Student Mixer: Thursday, November 3, 2016 – 9-11pm, Coke Zero Room at STATS (300 Marietta St. NW)
  • GECC Business Meeting: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 12:00-1:15pm, Chastain F (6th Floor)
  • Roundtable Session: “Becoming a Teacher-Scholar: History of Science Pedagogy and the Early Careerist,” Saturday, November 5, 2016 – 3:45-5:45pm, Augusta B (7th Floor)


GECC provides a number of professionalization development opportunities while at HSS. If you’re interested, check out the links below to register for mentorship from more senior scholars and to sign up for our annual CV review. Keep an eye out for updates to our programming, including dates for the GECC Business Meeting and the Graduate Student Mixer as we know more.

Find more information about the mentorship program here.

Sign up for CV review here.


Last Minute Need-to-knows in preparing for HSS:

  • Registration is still open. Click here to be directed to the History of Science Society registration page. It’s easier and faster to register now than it is to register on-site!
  • Hoping to save some cash getting from the airport to the hotel? Here is our cab share forum! Connect with people by providing information about when you will be arriving. Be sure to check which airport you’re flying into, as there are two that serve Atlanta!
  • Keep an eye on the program for GECC-sponsored events! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HSSGECC for live updates during the conference.


“Alt-Ac” Careerist Profile: Leo Slater July 25, 2016

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Describe your current work or job. How does it compare to your academic experience either as a graduate student or lecturer? What do you like? What’s challenging? Slater photo 1

As the National Science Foundation’s historian, I am part of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, so we are very concerned with the present and future and with communications and politics.  As the historian on the team, it is my job to provide historical perspective and help preserve corporate memory.  At a research-focused organization like NSF, the past fades quickly even as the future is being made, so some grounding in the past is essential, and this is the historian’s role.

What skills did you acquire from your PhD training that have or are helping you in your current occupation?
What I learned in graduate school was how read, write, and think in critical and organized fashions.  I learned how to use archives.  Writing was in long form, detailed, and transparently documented.  In my current position, much writing is done in short forms—a thousand words on one topic at one time is a lot—and we write for many different audiences, not just a small group of peers.  And I don’t just use archives; I help to make sure that important documents are identified, preserved, and archived.  So, I guess, the skills that I gained in PhD training did educate me for what I do now, but one needs to learn new processes and methods to supplement the basic training.  Different types of written communication and the need to create archival collections and not merely use them are some of the major differences between academic and public history.

How did you end up in your position or job? What steps did you take to get there? What decisions were you required to make in regards to taking your job? For instance, what did you sacrifice in leaving academia? What did you gain? Were you surveying a variety of career or job options?

Well, it’s been a bit of a long path, as I began my academic life with a
BA and an MS in chemistry, followed by four years in the pharmaceutical industry.  But it was my time as a history fellow during my graduate training that led me to public history.  The academic job market was not good, and I was not very geographically flexible.  Besides, the Chemical Heritage Foundation was doing a lot of really interesting things, and there were plenty of intellectual challenges to be had outside of academe. I certainly had to abandon my life-long goal of teaching college.  But change is good, and I am very pleased by the choices I have made.  My current position is my third in a Federal history office, totaling some twelve years now, so I am pretty specialized in the ins-and-outs of this branch of public history.SlaterInset

Retrospectively, is there anything you would have done to prepare for your current position or job?
Nothing big. I really feel that my career in history has brought me pretty smoothly to where I am today.  Perhaps it would be worthwhile for folks applying to history grad schools, or during their graduate training, to be aware of the alternatives to academic careers and to understand public history as a diverse set of alternate career choices.  I understand that, for the most part, students are much more conscious of this than when I was in school.

How can PhD students in History or History of Science/Tech/Med sell themselves off of the academic job market?

It is important to be able to work as a part of team, to meet deadlines, to engage with many substantial tasks that may not be research, writing, or lecturing.  Too often when folks contact me about making a jump from academe, they still want to maintain the same work habits and produce the same products as though they were a research fellow at an academic institution: “I want to work independently on a long-term project of my own choosing…”  Sure, there are some positions like this, but that is not something to put in one’s cover letter.  And for most folks, it just isn’t a possibility.  One needs to be prepared to work on teams, to multitask, to be engaged with other people’s objectives and interests.  Before you market yourself, make your peace with doing what those hiring want done.

What questions should graduate students and early careerists be asking that we (GECC) aren’t asking you here? Any last words you want to impart on young scholars trying to make it out in the big world?

The other advice I always offer—even if nobody asks—is this:  Educate yourself about what is out there and think hard about how it might fit with your training, your interests, and your strengths, but be adventurous, too.  One of my favorite and long-lasting jobs was one that I really didn’t think I wanted, but applied for it and went on the interview.  The place and people turned out to be great!  Never turn down a job that you haven’t been offered.  Go on interviews, be enthusiastic, and be flexible.


A former pharmaceutical research chemist, Leo B. Slater earned a PhD in History at Princeton University in 1997 and has held a number of fellowships and positions including:  the DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Memorial Fellowship in the History of Biomedical Sciences and Technology, Office of NIH History; Fellow at the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Enterprise of The Johns Hopkins University; and Director of Historical Services at the Chemical Heritage Foundation.  From 2007 to 2016, he served as Historian at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.  Today, he is Historian for the National Science Foundation.  In 2009, he published War and Disease: Biomedical Research on Malaria in the Twentieth Century (Rutgers University Press; paper 2014).