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  • Jargonium editors

New roundtable series on the history of chemistry and molecular sciences

Updated: Jun 12


A new series of online roundtable discussions will kick off this month. The goal of the Conversations on the History of Chemistry is to start a discussion around the future of the history of chemistry and the molecular sciences. How do historians of chemistry select their objects of inquiry and what are the tools and methods they use to study the past? How have they seen their specific methods and fields evolve among other examinations of scientific endeavours and how do they view the future of the field?


These and other questions will be examined with the help of a number of exciting speakers who will share their thoughts and help introduce a general discussion in which the audience is invited to take part. Each session will focus on a specific theme, investigating the different methodological approaches to the history of chemistry and the molecular sciences, its importance for a variety of audiences, and its relation to other disciplinary areas. What can historians of the chemical sciences broadly construed learn and/or contribute? To what extent might we even view the history of chemistry as a separate field at all?


The first few meetings of this new series will take place on Zoom during May and June. Interested in attending? You can register to receive the links here.


Conversation 1. Methodologies and approaches

17 May 2023, 1-2 pm UTC (6-7 am PT/9-10 am EST/3-4 pm CEST/10-11 pm JST)

  • Donna Bilak (Goldsmith and historian, New York University & 12 Keys Design)

  • Hasok Chang (Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge)

  • Sofiya Kamalova (PhD student, López Piñero Inter-Institute for Science Studies, University of Valencia)

Conversation 2. The history of chemistry and its audiences

1 June 2023, 1-2 pm UTC (6-7 am PT/9-10 am EST/3-4 pm CEST/10-11 pm JST)

  • Philip Ball (Freelance science writer)

  • Jesse Smith (Director of Curatorial Affairs, Science History Institute)

  • Annette Lykknes (Historian of Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Conversation 3. Food, toxicity and the life sciences

15 June 2023, 3-5 pm UTC (8-9 am PT/11-12 am EST/5-6 pm CEST/12-1am JST) (TBC)

  • José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez (Professor, López Piñero Inter-Institute for Science Studies, University of Valencia)

  • Paulina Sophie Gennermann (Postdoc, Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine, Heidelberg University)

  • Victoria Lee (Associate Professor, Ohio University)

Conversation 4. Resources, energy and environment

29 June 2023, 1-2 pm UTC (6-7 am PT/9-10 am EST/3-4 pm CEST/10-11 pm JST)

  • Marcin Krasnodębski (Assistant Professor, Institute for the History of Science, Polish Academy of Sciences)

  • Cyrus Mody (Professor in the History of Science, Technology, Innovation, Maastricht University)

  • Tristan Revells (Postdoc, Tsinghua University)

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