The Idea

In its 2016 Prague conference, the ESHS inaugurated a new type of plenary lecture for its biennial general conferences. The idea for these lectures stemmed from the following observations.

There are fields or topics within the history of science (broadly conceived) that have received considerable attention and/or have generated fresh approaches to the discipline in recent years. Plenary lectures devoted precisely to presenting an overview of such fields and topics may significantly contribute to improve the circulation of new concepts, methods and ideas within the history of science.

The ESHS Scientific Board has considered that early career colleagues (up to 8 years after PhD) were in the best position to give lectures of this kind.

Two or three lectures of this kind will be chosen every two years for the next general conference of the ESHS. The texts of these "state-of-the-art-in..." lectures would be published in Centaurus.

The lectures should last 30 minutes, to be followed by discussion. It is expected that these lectures do not only address specialists of the topic or subdiscipline, but all colleagues in the history of science in a broad sense.


The Procedure of selection of the Early Career plenary Lecturers

One and a half year before the ESHS conference, members are invited to nominate a topic/field in which in the previous ten years, there appeared many important publications significant for the whole field, and also a possible lecturer. It is strongly advised to nominate early career colleagues (up to 8 years after PhD) for the lectures.

Nominations must be sent to the ESHS Secretary and should include

  1. the name of a presenter, with a résumé
  2. a short argument on the sector of history of science to be presented
  3. a list of related important publications in this field 

The ESHS Scientific Board will appoint an independent commission of four ESHS members to assess the submissions. The commission, chosen for its diversity in every respect, will select the two or three proposals considered best, paying due attention to a balance in geographic, topical, and gender diversity.

The suggestions by the independent commission will be submitted to the Scientific Board, with a complementary list of topics and names. At its mid-term meeting, the Scientific Board will decide the final results and contact the winning lecturers to invite them to the conference to be held one year later. The topics and lecturers for the next ESHS meeting will be announced to all members and made public on the ESHS website.

The speakers’ conference fees will be waived. Her or his travel expenses (economy) and three nights accommodation will be covered.


Publication in Centaurus

 It is expected that early career scholars’ lectures will be prepared for publication in Centaurus, the official journal of the ESHS, and submitted if possible the year after their delivery.