Penn and the Science History Institute will be the new guests of the History of Science Society

Founded in 1924, the History of Science Society (HSS) is the oldest and largest society in the world dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine and their interactions with society in historical context. This professional and academic center will now have its headquarters in Philadelphia, a city with a rich community of scholars and awareness-raising in the field of the history of science.

In a unique partnership, the Department of History and Sociology of Science and the University of Pennsylvania Institute of the History of Science will host HSS for at least the next five years. The Society has more than 3,000 members and has been based at the University of Notre Dame since 2010. The Institute will serve as a foundation, providing support, as well as opportunities for on-site meetings, exhibitions and other programs. As part of the agreement, Penn is funding mentoring and student employment opportunities with the Company’s executive office.

“HSS is thrilled to have the Science History Institute and Penn as our new home,” says John Paul Gutierrez, executive director of HSS. “Being the preeminent company dedicated to the history of science, technology and medicine and entering into a partnership with the Science History Institute and Penn’s esteemed Department of History and Sociology of Science has been a natural progression for HSS, especially as we approach to our centenary. This partnership will allow the company to continue to provide and grow our offerings for our members and will strengthen the Institute of History of Science as a central hub for the field. “

M. Susan Lindee, Janice and Julian Bers Professor of History and Sociology of Science and chair of the department of Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, led the proposal to relocate the company, working with Projit Mukharji, associate professor in the department; Michelle DiMeo, Arnold Thackray Director of the Institute’s Othmer Library; and David Cole, president and CEO of the Institute.

“For Penn students, graduates and perhaps even undergraduates, in the history and sociology of science, this is an incredible opportunity to learn what it means to work for an academic company and gain skills, experience and credentials,” says Lindee. “Finding the Society here and at the Science History Institute further strengthens Philadelphia’s importance in the field.”

Typically, HSS was hosted by a single university. This is the first time that two institutions will share hosting tasks, and Lindee and DiMeo hope the partnership will spark further opportunities for collaboration and learning.

“This new partnership builds on decades of collaboration between the Science History Institute and the University of Pennsylvania,” says DiMeo. “This is the first time that the company’s welcoming duties have been balanced between a university and an organization in front of the public. Philadelphia has the largest concentration of science history institutions of any major city in the United States. Welcoming the executive office of HSS here will enable greater collaboration in our community, create mentoring opportunities for students and fellows, and provide a platform for reaching new audiences. ”

In addition to Penn and the Institute, several other Philadelphia institutions with ties to the history of science have written in support of the host agreement, including the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine; the American Philosophical Society; and Drexel University.

“There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm in this move,” Lindee says. “It is allowing us to continue building a strong disciplinary presence for the history of science in Philadelphia.”

Media Contact of the Institute of the History of Science: Caitlin Martin at [email protected] or 215-873-8292

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