BSHS Conference 2022

The British Society for the History of Science Annual Conference is the largest event in the BSHS calender. This year’s conference will again take place in person from Wednesday, 20 July to Saturday, 23 July 2022, at Queen’s University Belfast.

Registration is now open:

All conference information can be found here:



Wednesday, July 20 – 18:00-19:00

Plenary Presidential Address by Dr Tim Boon (Science Museum)

‘Some Years Of Cudgelling My Brains About The Nature And Function Of Science Museums’: Frank Sherwood Taylor And The Public Role Of The History Of Science’

Day I – Thursday, July 21

Session 1A: Politics, Science, and Diplomacy (1)

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

The Other Needham and China: Situating Dorothy Needham in Sino-British Science Diplomacy, 1944-1972
Gordon Barrett (University of Oxford)

Scientific Societies in India: Situating the Indian Science Congress Association
Sneha Sinha (Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS)

Diplomacy of Scientific Data: sketching a global history narrative (starting with the IGY)
Simone Turchetti (University of Manchester)

1B – Eugenics

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

What was biometry actually about? A distant and close reading of Biometrika’s archive
Nicola Bertoldi (Université du Québec à Montréal / Université Paris 1-Sorbonne)

When Men Were Monkeys… Almost: American Polygenism and the Human-Animal Divide on the Eve of Darwinism in the Mid-19th Century
Jacob Brandler (University of Oxford)

Lionel Penrose: ‘A dedicated opponent of Eugenics’.
Maria Kiladi (University College London)

1C – Early Modern Science

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Examining the Readership and Distribution of John Flamsteed’s Historia Coelestis Libri Duo (1712) and Historia Coelestis Britannica (1725)
Emma Hill (University of Kent & Royal Museums Greenwich)

Soils, Stars, and Statecraft: Cosmological Conceptions of Agriculture in China and Europe, ca.1600-1789
Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh (University of Cambridge)

Inventing the Scientific School-Book in Late Georgian England: The Case of Richard Phillips
Jon Topham (University of Leeds)

1D – Medical Practices and Technologies

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Urinary Tract Infection: Between General Practice, the Hospital Laboratory and Social Media
Eleanor Kashouris (University of Sussex)

The everydayness of Czech physicians in the first half of the 20th century
Tereza Kopecka (Charles University, Czech Republic)

Developing an Electronic Medical Record
Roan Parrish (Virginia Tech)

Session 2A – Politics, Science, and Diplomacy (2)

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

Penicillin production and industrial infrastructure in urban China, 1945-49
Mary Brazelton (University of Cambridge) 

The Scientific Policy of the Italian Communist Party During the Cold War
Daniele Cozzoli (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)

From Therapeutics to Prevention: Interwar Ophthalmology and International Health Organisations
Vesna Curlic (University of Edinburgh)

2B – Teaching & Science Communication

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

Diversifying the Curriculum Through the History of Mathematics: An Online, Open Access Resource
Brigitte Stenhouse (University of Oxford)

Science Conferences for All
Derya Gurses Tarbuck (Bahcesehir University)

Nature in the archaeological exhibited; The nature-culture dualism in Dutch archaeological museums, or archaeological exhibits and the relevance of connecting with nature
Lisa Winters (Independent Scholar)

2C – Botanical Gardens, Natural History, and Empire

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

Preserved plants, preserved knowledge: using Oxford’s du Bois Herbarium as insight into early-eighteenth century botany.
Madeline White (University of Oxford)

Information, Empire and the Theology of Nature in the Cambridge Botanic Garden, 1760-1820
Edwin Rose (University of Cambridge)

Gender and Natural History in Colonial Burma: Charlotte-Wheeler Cuffe and the Development of the Botanic Garden, Maymyo 1917-21
Nuala Johnson (Queen’s University Belfast)

2D – Teeth, Transplants, and Monitoring

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

‘Be True to Your Teeth and They Won’t be False to You’: Teeth, Health, and the Rise of Oral Hygiene in Twentieth Century Britain
Georgia Haire (University of Kent)

Objects and expertise in early diabetic sugar monitoring
Elizabeth Neswald (Brock University)

Living with Failure: Science, Surgery and Individuality in Joseph E. Murray’s Kidney Transplantation, 1947-1963
Hyung Wook Park (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Session 3A -Science and Empire in India

16:00 – 17:30 BST

Chair: n/a

The Instrumental Brahmin and the “Half-Caste” Computer: Astronomy and Colonial Rule in Madras, 1791-1835
S. Prashant Kumar (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) 

Medicalising Speech in British India, c.1850-1900
Thomas Parkinson (University of Cambridge)

Medical Knowledges and Embodied Identities in late Colonial Punjab: The case of Sikh Masculinity
Nikita Arora (Univeristy of Oxford)

3B – Ethnographic Observation and Population Studies

16:00 – 17:30 BST

Chair: n/a

‘We learn by living’: Patrick Geddes, the regional survey, and ethnographic observation
Harry Parker (University of Cambridge)

Science on the Strait: Natural and Cultural Data Entanglements in Ancirent Migration Research, 1865-1907
Brooke Penaloza-Patzak (University of Pennsylvania)

What, if anything, is a ‘population’? Debating ‘population’ in and around Oxford biology in the 1920s
Stefan Bernhardt-Radu (University of Warwick)

3C – Agriculture, Ecology and Collaboration

16:00 – 17:30 BST

Chair: n/a

Reforming the Green Revolution through Ecology, in Southeast Asia, 1964-2000
Leo Chu (University of Cambridge) 

Science and Speculation: The British Sisal Craze in Jamaica, 1890-1914
Matt Homes (University of Cambridge)

The Virile Crescent: Pure Seeds, Demonstration Farms, and the British Mandate’s Vision to Re-Engineer Iraq
Zsuzsanna Ihar (University of Cambridge)

3D – Medicine and Criminology

16:00 – 17:30 BST

Chair: n/a

From Heart Disease Prevention to Delinquency and Drug Prevention: J. David Hawkins and the Rise of Criminological Risk Factor Reseach, 1970s-1990s
Theo Di Castri (University of Cambridge)

‘In my opinion the answers given to me by Mrs Wilkinson were not those of a normal person’ – Medical Expertise in English and Scottish Maternal Child Killing Cases, c.1860-1945
Kelly-Ann Couzens (University of Warwick)

Juvenile Delinquency and ‘Predictive Instruments’ in American Criminology, c. 1930-1950
John Shepherd (University of Durham)

Plenary Lecture (18:00-19:00)

The Empire Of Climate by Professor David Livingstone (Queens University Belfast)

Day II – Friday, July 22

Session 4A – Roaring cargo, Imperial networks, zoology and the global animal trade around 1900

09:00 – 11:00 BST

Chair: n/a

‘Facilitating a public interest in zoology’: The London Zoological Society and imperial entanglement 1847-1903
Daniel Phillips (University of Exeter)

“Booms in Beasts” and the “fancy of the private collector”: Walter Rothschild’s global animal procuring network
Elle Larsson (University of Westminster)

Swapping elephants for kangaroos. The exchanges between the Zoological Gardens of Calcutta and Melbourne around 1900
Oliver Hochadel (IMF-CSIC, Barcelona)

The invisible labourers of zoology at the Horn of Africa
Annika Dörner (Universität Erfurt)

4B – Anatomy and Magic

09:00 – 11:00 BST

Chair: n/a

How to survive heat: the concept of “hot climates” in Russian medical writings of the 19th century
Anna E. Afanasyeva (HSE University (Moscow, Russia))

Morbid Anatomy in Britain 1790-1830
Richard T. Bellis (University of St. Andrews)

Skeletons in the Drawing Room: Popular Consumption of Flap Anatomies, 1880-1900
Jessica M. Dandona (Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

Gods from Machines: Technology and Magic in Nineteenth-Century Exploration Narratives
Brian Wallace (University of Manchester)

4C – Nature on the move: Circulating objects, information, and knowledge in the early modern period

09:00 – 11:00 BST

Chair: Emma Spary

Network and practice in Joachim Jungius’s botanical work
Niklaas Görsch (Universität zu Lübeck)

Seeds of Knowledge: a list format at the boundaires of global exchanges
Olin Moctezuma-Burns (University of Cambridge)

An “English prize and captive”: The circulation and publication of Fernão Cardim’s treatise on Brazil’s people and natural world
Sophia Speilmann (Technische Universität Berlin)

Persian bezoars, Chinese tea and Japanese ambergris: Jesuit commercial ventures across the late seventeenth-century Pacific
Sebastian Kroupa (University of Cambridge)

4D – Roundtable: Public History Of Science (PHS) (1): Digital Tools For The History Of Science And Technology

09:00 – 11:00 BST

Moderation: Tim Boon (Science Museum Group)

Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds)
Karen Logan (National Museums Northern Ireland)
Daniel Wilson (Science Museum Group/Alan Turing Institute)
Jon Agar (University College London)
Rebekah Higgitt (National Museums Scotland)
Sepideh Alassi (University of Basel)

Session 5A – Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Ethel Vickers and Helen Boyle: Lay and Professional Expertise in the Development of Psychotherapy in the UK
Hannah Blythe (University of Cambridge)

Reforming Girls: Psychiatry and Moral Education in Paris, 1870-1914.
Axelle Champion (University of Edinburgh)

From Therapy to Pathology: Seeking Reassurance in Twentieth-century British Clinical Psychology.
Eva Surawy Stepney (University of Sheffield)

5B – Science and Christianity (1)

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

The birth of Isis: Eliza Sharples, freethinking feminism and political astronomy in the 1830s
Eoin Carter (University of Cambridge)

“Where is our contradiction between scientific and religous truth?” Religious tendencies in Wener Heisenberg’s writings
Elena Schaa (Trinity College Dublin)

Greek, Orthodox, Scientists: Nationalism as a common narrative between Theology and the Natural Sciences in Greece (1830-1930)
Kostas Tampakis (National Hellenic Research Foundation)

5C – Philology and the Sciences in Modern Germany: Insights and Innovations across Time and Space

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Research Seminars and the Philogical Ethos of Modern Science in German
Kristine Palmieri (University of Chicago)

Philology that counts: from number-signs to modern algebra
Nicolas Michel (Utrecht University)

Collaborating on Text and Glass: How Historians of Chemisty and Asyriologists collectively discovered the Ancient Art of Babylonian Enamel Tile Glazing in 1920s German
Josephine Musil-Gutsch (Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität Munich)

5D – Roundtable: Public History Of Science (PHS) (2) Oral History Of British Science

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Moderation: Tim Boon (Science Museum Group)

Sally Horrocks (University of Leicester)
Thomas Lean (National Museums Northern Ireland)
Paul Merchant (British Library)

BIPOC Network Meeting

13:00 – 14:00 in Room A

Session 6A – Re-Sorting the History of Science and Technology

14:00 – 16:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Against ‘Science’
Joseph D Martin (University of Durham)

When Categories Constrain Care
Coreen A McGuire (University of Durham)

‘Not quite a science’: Eugenics, Actors’ Categories, and the Politics of (Re)classification
Alex Aylward (University of Oxford)

6B – Health, Mutation, and Translation in South Asian Scientific Research and Literature

14:00 – 16:00 BST

Chair: n/a

“O death where is thy sting? | Thy victory O grave?”: Malaria, Ronald Ross, and Indian-American Writing
Rhys Claire Chambers (University of York)

Masculinity, Empire and Tropical Science: The Correspondence of Arthur C Clarke and J B S Haldane
Oliver Dunnett (Queens University Belfast)

Articulating Anatomy, Hygiene, and Reproductive Health: Male Interlocutors and Female Interventions in Colonial-Era Urdu Manuals
Mobeen Hussain (Trinity College Dublin)

 The Deployment and Translation of British Indian Medical Science in Guy Wrench’s The Wheel of Health (1938)
Ashok Malhotra (Queens University Belfast)

6C – Animals, Primatology, and Veterinary Medicine

14:00 – 16:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Pubs and butterfly pictures: Working-class entomologists in Britain during the nineteenth century
L. Joanne Green (University of Cambridge)

The technology of the Aylesbury Duck Industry 1820-1920
Linda Henderson (University of Exeter)

“Primatology”: history of an academic field name
Marie Lacomme (Université de Paris)

Remedies for beast and man: Healing across species in early modern medicine
Kathleen Walker-Meikle (Science Museum Group)

6D – Public History of Science (PHS) (3): Varieties of the Public History of Science

14:00 – 16:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Rethinking Evidence: The View from the Health Scepticim Project
Caitjan Gainty & Agnes Arnold-Forster (Kings College London & London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.)

Performing ‘progress’: interwar pageantry and technology naratives
Erin Beeston (University of Manchester)

Mediators, Media and Meaning: Collecting Digital Computing Objects at the Science Museum
Tilly Blyth & Rachel Boon (Science Musem Group)

Moon Rocks in Museums: The public history of a materialised sacral heroisation of science
Christopher Halm (Deutsches Museum Munich)

Session 7A – Historiography, Methods, and Reviewer

16:30 – 18:00 BST

Chair: n/a

On Doing the Same Research Twice: Reflections on the Sociology of the Human Genome Project and the History of the Human Genome Project
Brian Balmer (University College London)

Inventing the Scientific Revolution
Jim Secord (University of Cambridge)

[Rejected!] – The Royal Society’s referee reports from 1835 to 1957
Alexander Stoeger (Leiden University)

7B – Intelligence: Artificial and Designed

16:30 – 18:00 BST

Chair: n/a

“Contact with Real Computing”: Practice and Theory in Christopher Strachey’s Programming Research Group
David E. Dunning (University of Oxford)

“Are you there, Google? It’s me, Margaret”
Benjamin Huskinson (Queens University Belfast)

The Misunderstood Paley: Revisiting Paley’s “Design”
Andrej Zeman (University of Edinburgh)

7C – Science and the Modern World

16:30 – 18:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Science and technology in Scotland and Ireland – two examples of cross-fertilisation
John Mellis (Independent Scholar)

Collective Epistemic Humility in the Development of Structural Formulas
Marabel Riesmeier (University of Cambridge)

Gentlemen of science redux: Recent visions of Cambridge, UK as a site for high-technology businesses
Alistair Sponsel (Tufts University)

7D – Publishing From Outer Space, Deep Space, And Third Space: Zines As Public History Workshop

16:30 – 18:00

Moderation: n/a

Kate Heffner (University of Kent)
Eleanor Armstrong (Stockholm University)

Plenary Lecture (18:30-19:30)

The Disabled Gaze In The History Of Science by Dr Jaipreet Virdi (University of Delaware)

Day III – Saturday, July 23

Session 8A – Evolution, ethics, and politics in fin de siècle Britain

09:30 – 11:00 BST

Chair: Stuart Mathieson

‘His opponent steps out boldly from the ranks of the contemned inferior caste’: journalism, working-class agency and the 1890s evolution and ethics debate
Caroline Sumpter (Queen’s University Belfast)

Bacterial Builders of Empire: Parasitical disease in the shadow of Darwin & Wallace
Max Meulendijks (Independent Scholar)

Gender, race and religion in the evolutionary theology of Henry Drummond
Diarmid Finnegan (Queen’s University Belfast)

8B – Geochemistry, Geology, and Meteorites

09:30 – 11:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Discoverer and Methodologist: Alfred O.C. Neir and the Instrumental Revolution in Geochemistry, 1935-1948
George Borg (Science History Institute)

Postcolonial Geology: Continental Drift Theory and the decline of Empire
Daniella McCahey (Texas Tech University)

On Blue Ice: Antarctic Meteorites and Deepening Planetary Time
Alexis Rider (University of Pennsylvania)

Humphry Davy in Naples Chemically Recovering Ancient Literature, 1817-1820
Frank James (University College London)

8C – Science in the Age of Enlightenment

09:30 – 11:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Is genius born or made? Isaac Newton’s Historical Context and the Scottish Enlightenment’s biographical turn
Lewis Ashman (University of Edinburgh)

The Role of the Hartlib Circle in Robert Boyle’s Controversy with Sponoza
Filip Buyse (University of Oxford)

The Early Modern Home
Leonie Hannan (Queens University Belfast)

8D – Modern Medicine

09:30 – 11:00 BST

Chair: n/a

A road map of Portuguese medical care (19th and 20th centuries) – facing new challenges in contemporary medicine?
Isabel Amaral, Monique Palma (Centre for the History of Science and Technology, CIUHCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)

The Long March into the DSM: Tracing the Emergence of Prolonged Grief as a Diagnostic Category from Freud to COVID-19
Ashley Cooper (University of Cambridge)

Making History in Crisis: Creating a national collection of COVID-19 testimonies
Stephanie Snow (University of Manchester)

Session 9A – Colonialism, Collaboration, and Conflict: Making Scientific Knowledge in an Age of Empire 1800-1895 (1)

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: Sabine Clarke

Institution, Infrastructure, and Empire: The 8th Duke of Argyll as Secretary of State for India and the Origins of the Royal Indian Engineering College, 1868-1871
Nathan Bossoh (University College London)

A Marriage of Convenience: the Politico-Spatial Layout of early twentieth-century ‘Electrical Calcutta’
Animesh Chatterjee (Universität Darmstadt)

Claiming Life: Toxicity, Pollution, and Decolonization on the Grand River, 1975-1985
Rohini Patel (University of Toronto)

9B – Geosciences

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Eotvos Torsion Balance and the Introduction of Geophysical Techniques in Geological Surveying
Xiaoyu Lui (University College London)

Climate and Consumer: Reciprocal Changes in Atmospheric Information and the UK Utilities Industries During the Past Century
Robert Naylor (University of Manchester)

Environment, technology, and visual technique in the study of snowflakes, 1800-1900.
Floris Winckel (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich)

9C – Science in Public

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Communicating Ethology from London Zoo to The Naked Ape
Miles Kempton (University of Cambridge)

Educating Energy Consumers: Energy Exhibitions in Britain, 1913-1947
Hiroki Shin (Queens University Belfast)

Natural history television, urban/rural divide, and the enactment of the “organic democracy” in late Franco’s Spain (1960s-1970s)
Carlos Tabernero (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

9D – Science and Christianity (2)

11:30 – 13:00 BST

Chair: n/a

Dutch comparative religion in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-centuries
Alexander van Dijk (University of Cambridge)

Geology and Genesis on a Mission: Samuel Kinns, William Carruthers, and “Day-Age Theory’ in 1880s Britain
Richard Fallon (Univeristy of Birmingham)

Anti-voluntarism, laws of nature, and miricles in Thomas Burnet’s Theory of the Earth
Thomas Rossetter (Independent Scholar)

Session 10A – Colonialism, Collaboration, and Conflict: Making Scientific Knowledge in an Age of Empire 1800-1895 (2)

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: Graeme Gooday

Ordering the observatory, disciplining the Earth: conflict, collaboration, and the experimental spaces of nineteenth-century survey science
Edward Gillin (University College London)

“The Grand Strategy of an Observatory”: division of labour among observatories during the middle of the nineteenth century
Daniel Belteki (Royal Museums Greenwich)

When The House of Stars Goes Dark: the story of the Lucknow Observatory
Sarah Qidwai (University of Regensburg)

10B – Across Wor(l)ds: Patterns and Practices of Scientific Travel Writing in Europe and Beyond

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

Notes in Moton: An American Naturalist in (Central) Europe
Katalin Straner (University of York)

Private and public internationalism before and after the Great War: the case of Alexander Sommer Batěk
Jan Surman (Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

Postcolonial Order as Literary and Scientific Production: Geological Travel Accounts and Polish Vision of Africa, 1950-1980s
Justyna Aniceta Turkowska (University of Edinburgh)

10C – Public Science

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

Projected Horizons: natural science, natural theology and magic lantern lectures in 1880s Oxford
Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University)

Warington Smyth, The Royal School of Mines, and the teaching of mining in Victorian London, 1851–1890.
Joshua Hillman (University of Leeds)

Signal Spaces: Meterology at the International Exhibitions 1851-1900
Claire Oliver (University of Cambridge)

10D – Humans in Medicine

14:00 – 15:30 BST

Chair: n/a

The Factory on the Couch: Psychoanalysis, Industrial Democracy and Human Relations in the Glacier Metals Project, 1948-1965
Grace Whorrall-Campbell (University of Cambridge)

From the Outside/In: ACT-UP’s Women’s Committee and the Production of Biomedical Knowledge
Ethan Mendell (University of Cambridge)

Cholinesterase: Brain Enzymes and Human Experimentation in post-war Britain
Rebecca Watterson (Ulster University)

Registration is now open:

All conference information can be found here:

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