History of Science Society Establishes Physical Sciences Forum

By Catherine Westfall


The Physical Sciences Forum met for the first time at the 2012 HSS meeting in San Diego. At this inaugural meeting, Catherine Westfall was elected chair and she selected Joe Martin and Greg Good to serve with her on the Steering Committee. At the meeting those assembled also laid out three plans for the next year, and identified committees to implement each plan.

Greg Good is spearheading the effort for an annual meeting, the first to be held in spring 2013, that will provide an additional forum for early career scholars on the history of the physical sciences. With the help of Westfall, David Kaiser, and Suman Seth, PSF also plans to sponsor a Distinguished Lecture at the 2013 HSS meeting. At the meeting, the forum also plans a session that will discuss future directions in the history of the physical sciences. The associated committee members are Seth, Amy Fisher, and Don Howard.

The general aim of the PSF is to further scholarship in the history of the physical sciences as broadly understood, including but not limited to: physics; earth, space, and atmospheric science; astronomy; and materials science. It will help forge a more coherent community for those with a core specialty in these subfields with a particular emphasis on developing the connections linking these sub-fields and exploring their resonance with wider scholarship. For further information, contact Catherine Westfall at westfa12@msu.edu.

Complementing the Forum will be a new Humanities and Social Sciences Net (HNet) list, which will serve as a communication channel providing announcements, calls for papers, book reviews, and job postings in addition to promoting discussion about current research and the state of the field. For further information on H-Net, contact Joe Martin, mart1901@umn.edu.

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