History of Science Society

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History of Science Society
TypeProfessional Society
HeadquartersScience History Institute
Evelynn M. Hammonds
Key people
John Paul Gutierrez (Executive Director)
AffiliationsAmerican Council of Learned Societies (member)
Historians of science attending the 2007 international meeting in Washington, D.C.

The History of Science Society (HSS), founded in 1924, is the primary professional society for the academic study of the history of science.[1][2] The society has over 3,000 members worldwide.[3] It publishes the quarterly journal Isis and the yearly journal Osiris, sponsors the IsisCB: History of Science Index,[4] and holds an annual conference. As of January 2024, the current president of the HSS is Evelynn M. Hammonds.[5]

History of History of Science[edit]

The History of Science Society was founded in 1924[1] by George Sarton,[3] David Eugene Smith,[6] and Lawrence Joseph Henderson,[7] primarily to support the publication of Isis, a journal of the history of science Sarton had started in 1912[8] in Belgium.[9]

George Sarton edited the journal Isis from 1913 until 1952, when he retired. Bernard Cohen served as managing editor of Isis from 1947 to 1952 and took over as editor from 1952 to 1958.[10][11] Subsequent editors of Isis include Harry Woolf, 1959–1963; Robert P. Multhauf, 1964–1978; Arnold Thackray (1979–1985); Charles E. Rosenberg, 1986–1988; Ronald Numbers, 1989–1993; Margaret W. Rossiter, 1994–2003; Bernard Lightman, 2004–2014, H. Floris Cohen, 2014–2019.[12] and co-editors Alexandra Hui and Matthew Lavine.[13] Thackray also served as editor of Osiris from 1984 to 1994[14] and was responsible to returning it to activity.[15] During its early years in America, the journal was published by the Harvard Printing Office.[10] It has since been edited from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin, Cornell, Toronto, Utrecht, and Mississippi State University.[13][2]

Papers from the Society are held by The Smithsonian Institution Archives.[16] The History of Science Society's "Forum for the History of the Human Sciences", in 1989, is considered to mark the inclusion of psychology and other social sciences in the history of science.[17][18]

As of June 16, 2022, the University of Pennsylvania and the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announced that they would become co-hosts of the History of Science Society, which had been located at Notre Dame University since 2010.[19]

Awards and recognition[edit]

HSS sponsors two special lectures annually:

  • The George Sarton Memorial Lecture, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science[20][21] since 1960 (with a break from 1973 to 1975)[22]
  • The History of Science Society Distinguished Lecture (formerly the History of Science Society Lecture), delivered at a plenary session of the annual meeting of the HSS since 1981[2]

In addition, the HSS awards a number of prizes:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "History of Science Society". American Council of Learned Societies. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sokal, Michael M. (1999). "The History of Science Society, 1970-1999: From Subscription Agency to Professional Society". Isis. 90: S135–S181. doi:10.1086/384612. ISSN 0021-1753. JSTOR 238011. S2CID 143473403.
  3. ^ a b "History of the Society". History of Science Society. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  4. ^ "IsisCB Explore".
  5. ^ "Officers and Committees". History of Science Society. Retrieved 3 Feb 2023.
  6. ^ Brasch, Frederick E.; Hudgens, Lavada (1936). "The History of Science Society and the David Eugene Smith Festschrift". Science. 83 (2158): 424–426. Bibcode:1936Sci....83..424B. doi:10.1126/science.83.2158.424. ISSN 0036-8075. JSTOR 1663122. PMID 17820122.
  7. ^ Smith, Charles H. "Henderson, Lawrence Joseph (United States 1878-1942)". Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists: Chrono-Biographical Sketches. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  8. ^ Rossiter, Margaret W. (1999). Catching Up with the Vision: Essays on the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the History of Science Society. Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press for the History of Science Society.
  9. ^ "Isis and Osiris". Nature. 146 (3695): 262–263. 1 August 1940. Bibcode:1940Natur.146U.262.. doi:10.1038/146262e0. ISSN 1476-4687. S2CID 4092286.
  10. ^ a b Dauben, Joseph W.; Gleason, Mary Louise; Smith, George E. (March 2009). "Seven Decades of History of Science: I. Bernard Cohen (1914–2003), Second Editor of Isis". Isis. 100 (1): 4–35. doi:10.1086/597575. PMID 19554868. S2CID 31401544.
  11. ^ Holton, Gerald (March 2009). "George Sarton, His Isis, and the Aftermath". Isis. 100: 79–88. doi:10.1086/597571. S2CID 144852078 – via JSTOR.
  12. ^ "Front Matter". Isis. 112 (2). 1 June 2021. doi:10.1086/715737.
  13. ^ a b Nicholas, Sarah (21 August 2018). "MSU faculty named first co-editors of History of Science Society". Mississippi State University.
  14. ^ "Arnold Thackray (1939–)" (PDF). American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry. 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  15. ^ Cohen, I. Bernard (June 1990). "Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences . Arnold Thackray". Isis. 81 (2): 288–289. doi:10.1086/355346. ISSN 0021-1753.
  16. ^ "Finding Aids to Records of Professional Societies in the Smithsonian Institution Archives Accession 95-160 History of Science Society Editorial Administrative Files, circa 1962-1992 Collection Overview". The Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  17. ^ Hilgard, Ernest R.; Leary, David E.; McGuire, Gregory R. (January 1991). "The History of Psychology: A Survey and Critical Assessment". Annual Review of Psychology. 42 (1): 79–107. doi:10.1146/annurev.ps.42.020191.000455. ISSN 0066-4308. PMID 19702484.
  18. ^ van Eekelen, Bregje F. (24 October 2022). "Traveling Concepts: Anthropological Engagements with Histories of Social Science". Annual Review of Anthropology. 51 (1): 251–269. doi:10.1146/annurev-anthro-102317-050241. ISSN 0084-6570. S2CID 253128353.
  19. ^ Baillie, Katherine Unger (16 June 2022). "Penn and the Science History Institute to serve as new hosts of History of Science Society". Penn Today. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  20. ^ a b Garfield, Eugene (1985). "The life and career of George Sarton: the father of the history of science" (PDF). J Hist Behav Sci. 21 (2): 107–17. doi:10.1002/1520-6696(198504)21:2<107::AID-JHBS2300210202>3.0.CO;2-K. PMID 11608761.
  21. ^ "News and notes". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. 26 (2): 213–216. April 1990. doi:10.1002/1520-6696(199004)26:2<213::AID-JHBS2300260215>3.0.CO;2-R.
  22. ^ "George Sarton Memorial Lecture in the History and Philosophy of Science - History of Science Society". History of Science Society. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  23. ^ "Susan J. Levinson Prize - History of Science Society". History of Science Society. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  24. ^ Reynolds, Andrew (2011). "Review of Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies, Hannah Landecker". Isis. 102 (1): 149–150. doi:10.1086/660216. ISSN 0021-1753. JSTOR 10.1086/660216.
  25. ^ "Alex Clayton Wins Reingold Prize at HSS | U-M LSA Science, Technology, and Society Program (STS)". LSA University of Michigan. November 22, 2022.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "Appendix B: Prizes Awarded by the History of Science Society". Isis. 90: S323–S330. 1999. doi:10.1086/384623. ISSN 0021-1753. JSTOR 238022.
  27. ^ "The George Sarton Medal". Isis. 47 (1): 31–32. 1956. doi:10.1086/348453. ISSN 0021-1753. JSTOR 227545. S2CID 224841244.

External links[edit]