Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Competition: Designing Darwin

Prize competition, organized by the British Society for the History of Science
Outreach & Education Committee. Details and poster available here.

The year 2009 sees both the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th birthday of his most famous work, On the Origin of Species.
In anticipation of the celebrations, the BSHS Outreach & Education Committee is
offering prizes for original designs that best illustrate the significance of either (or both) of these anniversaries.

Format of the entry
Entries may submitted in one of the following electronic formats:
i) A poster up to A3 in overall size
ii) An illustrated essay of 500 words
iii) A PC screensaver

Entries may be submitted as jpeg files or in other standard formats including a digital photograph or a digital scan (for any entry prepared initially on paper). The file size should be no more than 500kB to ensure that the winning entries can easily be downloaded from the BSHS OEC website.

Entry categories
There are three age categories for entrants, a prize of £100 being awarded in each category:
i) 11-14
ii) 15-18
iii) 19+
For categories i) and ii) the age of the entrant must be confirmed by a responsible adult (parent, guardian, teacher) and the entrants' age should fall within the relevant category by the competition deadline of May 6th 2008.


The entry should be emailed by May 6th 2008 as a file attachment to

In the body of the email you should include the name, address, and other
relevant contact details for all the entrant(s) who have contributed to the submission.

The winning entries will be announced at the BSHS/CSHPS/HSS conference at Keble College, Oxford, 5th July 2008.

Enquiries about this competition should be directed to

Monday, January 28, 2008

CFP: Lawrence Durrell: a Writer at the Crossroads of Arts and Sciences


Lawrence Durrell: a Writer at the Crossroads of Arts and Sciences July 1st - 5th, 2008 - Université Paris X - Nanterre CREE (CREA EA 370)

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true arts and science," Albert Einstein, "What I believe," 1930.

The aim of this conference is to explore Lawrence Durrell's universe at the crossroads of arts and science, but also to explore the world of Paris between the wars as the artistic and intellectual magnet that drove so many artists to become expatriates.

The sessions will focus on the relationships between Durrell's works and the aesthetic context as well as the development of scientific research. Contributions dealing with the Parisian intellectual and artistic crucible, the arts of politics, artistic intertextuality (drama, music, painting, philosophy), the scientific fabric (Durrell's investigations into quantum theory and psychoanalysis) are particularly welcome. But other propositions on wider fields are welcome as well.

Submissions for papers including a 250-word abstract, a short biography, and possibly a bibliography, as well as any request for specific material (recorder, videoprojector or other) should be sent by April 1st, 2008 to Corinne Alexandre-Garner (, or Murielle Caplan-Philippe ( or Isabelle Keller-Privat (

Thursday, January 24, 2008

4th February

Following on from last week's enjoyable discussion of the 'solar system atom', our next session will shift focus to explore the psychological roots of complementarity in works by William James and Niels Bohr.
  • William James, The Principles of Psychology (1890), Vol. 1, Chapter IX, "The stream of thought". London: Macmillan and Co, 1891, pp. 224-290 (esp. pp. 229-248).
  • Niels Bohr, "The Quantum of Action and the Description of Nature" (1929). In Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1934, pp. 92-101.
Photocopied reading packs containing these extracts, as well as the rest of the term's material, will be available from Monday afternoon (28th) in the Whipple Library box-file.

We hope to see you in Darwin College from 7.30-9pm!

BSLS 2008 - Programme

A draft programme for the 2008 conference of the British Society for Literature and Science has been released. Registration for the conference is also open, at preferential rates before 1st March.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

21st January

At our first meeting of term we will look at the rise and fall of the "solar system" model of atomic structure, as it was presented in the popular journal Scientific American. Copies of the selected readings are already available in the Whipple Library box file: please bring £1 to reimburse Daniel for the cost of photocopying to the first meeting.
  • A. H. Compton, "What Is Matter Made Of?" (May 15, 1915, pp. 451-2).
  • S. Dushman, "Beyond the Microscope" (June 1922, pp. 372-3).
  • A. T. Merrick, "Solar Systems Inside the Atom" (February 1925, pp. 80-1).
  • A. T. Merrick, "The Marvellous Speeds of Atomic Particles" (March 1925, p.301).
  • P. R. Heyl, "What Is An Atom?" (July 1928, pp. 9-12).
  • "Our Point of View: Whose Fault is It?" (November 1931, p. 299).

See you in the upstairs seminar room at Darwin College at 7.30pm!

Publishing Science Seminars

Publishing Science: Seminars in Book History and Bibliography

Organised by the Book History Research Group, the Open University, and the Institute of English Studies, University of London.

28 January 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Speakers: Jonathan Topham (University of Leeds) 'Scientific Publication and the Readership for Science in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain'

Jonathan Topham is co-author of 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature' (2004) and 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index' (2005), and co-editor of 'Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media' (2004).

11 February 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:00 - 19:30
Speakers: Jim Mussell (Birkbeck College/ NSE) 'The Roles of Secrecy in Nineteenth-Century Science Publishing'

Jim Mussell is postdoctoral research assistant on the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition. He is the author of 'Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press' (2007) and writes broadly on nineteenth-century science and publishing.

25 February 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Speakers: Gowan Dawson (University of Leicester) 'Moa Mania: Richard Owen's functionalist Paleontology and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture'

Gowan Dawson is the author of 'Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability' (2007), and co-author of 'Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature' (2004).

10 March 2008 (Monday)
Venue: Room 273 (ST)
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Speakers: Angelique Richardson (University of Exeter) ' "Among the earliest acclaimers of The Origin": Hardy and the Scientists'

Angelique Richardson is the author of 'Love and Eugenics in the late Nineteenth-Century: Rational Reproduction and the New Woman 1890-1914' and the editor of 'Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women 1890-1914' (2005). She is a member of the advisory committee of Exeter's Centre for Medical History, a Research Associate of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis), and a Contributing Editor to 'Critical Quarterly'.