Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts


The call for papers is now closed; for the full programme see here

Announced call:

The programme committee especially encourages the submission of panel/session proposals, but also welcomes the submission of stand-alone papers. Session organizers and contributors are free to send their proposals on any topic on the history of chemistry, broadly construed as the cluster of molecular sciences, industry, technology and engineering. A non-exhaustive list of possible sessions could include historical papers on the development of all aspects of the material and life sciences, such as:

  • Chemistry, professors, textbooks and classrooms
  • Teaching and didactics of history of chemistry
  • Chemistry and law: controversies, expertise, counter-expertise, fraud and activism
  • Toxics regulation, risk assessment and public health
  • Environmental chemistry, energy and regulation
  • Chemistry, industry, and economy
  • Spaces and sites of chemistry
  • Instruments, collections and material culture
  • Biographies and prosopographies, and databases
  • Chemistry, war and exile
  • Representation of chemistry, and visual cultures
  • Alchemy, Chymistry and Early Modern Science and Medicine
  • Gender and chemistry

Proposal Guidelines

All proposals must be in English, the language of the conference. Submitted abstracts and session proposals will be subject to review by an advisory committee. Although the conference is open to individual paper submissions, preference will be given to organised sessions with three or more papers. All paper proposals must use the template provided below, and must include (1) an abstract of the session topic (200-250 words), the name(s) of the organiser(s), and the proposed papers; (2) abstracts for each paper (200-250 words); (3) a short CV of the organiser(s).


Please use the following template for panels and individual papers: template


All proposals should be submitted by email to:

Important Dates

Deadline for submitting proposals (both panels and individual papers): 31 January, 2017
Notification of acceptance: 31 March, 2017
Early Registration: 31 May, 2017
Conference dates: 29 August – 2 September 2017

Open Calls (Sessions)

1) Session organized by Danielle Fauque and Brigitte Van Tiggelen


Chemists and the IUPAC:

Taking Responsibility and Taking Actions

Since its foundation in 1919, many famous chemists have contributed to the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), with the drive to improve standardisation of methods, nomenclature, units and standards, among other things. Without a doubt, progress was made, despite power struggles, uncompleted projects and unproductive commissions.

The session aims at shedding light on the activity of chemists invested with responsibilities in the IUPAC, whose actions are often overlooked in national biographical dictionaries. This session falls into the broader project on the centennial of the IUPAC, in 2019. Each paper will focus on the responsibilities and actions of individual chemists, alone or combined in a small national or disciplinary group, inside IUPAC.  The case study can however expand on roles in other international organisations (IRC, ICSU, SDN or UNESCO to name but a few). A first survey is provided by the books of R. Fennell (1994) and S. S. Brown (2001).

By focusing on individual actions, the aim is to get a better sense of articulation between the local and the international, and how this articulation was constructed through the work and actions of chemists dispersed across the world.

Please send your abstract (200 words max, with short CV) to:

Danielle Fauque (

and Brigitte Van Tiggelen ( by 1st January 2017.


2) Session organized by Ximo Guillem ( and José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez (, Institute for the History of Medicine and Science, University of Valencia: <>

Living in a Toxic World (1800-2000)

Historical studies on toxic products have flourished during the last decade. The studies have been inspired in part by the growing social concern over the thousands of new products deposited every year into the atmosphere, rivers, sea, ground, our food, and our bodies. During the last two centuries, this range of substances has included mineral products (compounds of mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic), substances synthesized or isolated in laboratories (pharmaceuticals, plastics, and pesticides) and many other organic products (such as polyvinyl chloride, bisphenol-A, just to name a few). These substances have been employed for many different purposes: medical therapies, colorants, food additives, war weapons, fertilizers, pesticides, or even as part of everyday commodities. Historians have followed these products in different cultures and societies from different perspectives: history of chemistry, environmental history, history of public health, food history, or history of crime. A review of recent trends on these topics can be found in edited volumes such as Massard-Guilbaud and Mosley (2011); Le Roux and Letté (2013), Boudia and Jas (2013; 2014); Davis (2014); and Rodger and Johnson (2014), as well as in the recent special issue of Endeavour (Bertomeu-Guillem, 2016), and the essay reviews by Jas (2014) and Guillem (2015) in the journal Ambix.

The purpose of this session is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for current historical research on toxic products during the two last centuries (1800-2000). Papers are expected to cover issues related to the regulation of toxics, risk control, public and academic controversies, public and occupational health, law (toxic torts, environmental laws, poisoning trials, etc.), inequalities (environmental justice, toxic segregation, etc.), local and global circulation (dangerous trade, standards, international regulations, etc.). Papers can be organized around a particular space (rivers, mines, industries, etc.), historical actors (victims, poisoners, activists, lawyers, experts, politicians, industrial managers, mass media, etc.) or products (chemicals, drugs, tobacco, cosmetics, pesticides, fumes, fertilizers, asbestos, food adulterants, genetic modified organisms, nanomaterials, criminal poisons, etc.). Participants are expected to present a particular case (including work in progress) while addressing general historiographical issues and providing points for comparative analysis.

Proposals of approximately 200 words summarizing the contents of the paper, historical actors, main focus and general approach, accompanied by a brief CV (one page) of the author(s), are due by 15th January 2017. Please direct proposals or queries to Ximo Guillem ( and José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez (



Norwegian University of Science and Technology Research Council of Norway Norwegian Chemical Society European Chemical Sciences Chemical Heritage Foundation