In March 2020, Canadian PhD Student Sarah Qidwai recruited four of her social media contacts, also early career historians of science, to produce content at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since conferences and on campus opportunities would be gone for the foreseeable future, as countries around the world went into lockdown, she visualized building a community online, where people could continue to share work, learn new things, and network. Along with Megan Baumhammer, Kelsey Gibbons, Edward Guimont, and Daniella McCahey, from April –August 2020, this group, which they dubbed Virtual #HistSTM, organized weekly history of science content for their members, ranging from book talks, to virtual museum visits, professionalization and publishing workshops, a reading group, and quiz nights. Since then, as schools reopened, Virtual #HistSTM pulled back to monthly online events, attempting to promote the history of science both through the profession and to the public more broadly.
Virtual #HistSTM continues under the leadership of Dr. Qidwai and has grown enormously. It now had a subgroup on the History of the Body, organized by Rebecca Martin and Alok Srivastava. It frequently collaborates with the Consortium for the History of Science’s Ocean Science Group and the British Society for the History of Science. This next collaboration with the History of Science, Technology & Medicine Network of Ireland, will hopefully be the first of many! Please sign up for Virtual #HSTM’s listserve here.