Call for Abstracts: Circulating Knowledge conference in 2024

In August 2004, the Circulation of Knowledge conference—jointly organized in Halifax, Nova Scotia by the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science, the British Society for History of Science, and the History of Science Society—set out challenges to the then-dominant centre-periphery models of the origins and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Jim Secord’s keynote address, “Knowledge in Transit”, outlined the issues at stake.

Scholarship on the circulation of knowledge has since exploded and it is time not only to take stock, but to open new research avenues in globalised History/Philosophy of Science and Science and Technology Studies. Circulating Knowledge – 20 Years On proposes to revisit the circulation of knowledge, 20 years after this pioneering conference, through a series of plenary presentations, individual talks, roundtables, and special events. The goal of the conference is to foster international collaborative exchange along the axes of research, translation, and pedagogy.

The event is co-sponsored by the History of Science Society, the British Society for the History of Science, the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, and the Division for the History of Science and Technology (International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.).

Circulating Knowledge – 20 Years On will feature talks by Jim Secord (BSHS), Fa-Ti Fan (HSS), Arun Bala (Singapore), Sarah Qidwai (Regensburg), Lesley Cormack (UBC), Huynhee Park (NYU), Sundar Sarukkai (India), Geoff Bil (Delaware), and more.

We invite the submission of abstracts for potential 30-min. presentations, or special sessions, exploring recent shifts in HPS and STS on 1) the reconceptualization of the global circulation of knowledges, 2) on the roles translation plays in both the circulation and creation of new knowledge, or 3) on pedagogical issues specific to the teaching of a global history of the knowledge of the natural world.

To increase accessibility and reduce our carbon footprint, the conference will be hybrid, offering participants the chance to present either online or in person at the University of King’s College, located in beautiful Kjipuktuk/Halifax in Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia.

Associated Virtual Exhibit:

Contributors are further encouraged to suggest a significant artifact that could be included in the virtual exhibit that will showcase the themes of the conference in a digital format. This artifact could be a manuscript, a scientific instrument, an artwork, a work of translation, a historical document, or any tangible item that enriches your exploration of the Circulation of Knowledge.

Submission guidelines

Abstract should be submitted as a Word (.doc) or pdf file and must include:

One file containing:
  • Title of the paper
  • Abstract of the paper (approximately 250 words; fully anonymized, i.e., without any information that would allow referees to identify the author.)
  • Contact information for all co-authors.
  • Whether the presenters opt for on-site or online participation.
  • Suggested artifact for the virtual exhibit, where possible (optional)
Submission deadline: Friday January 26, 2024.

Scholars in early stages of their career, including graduate students, are welcome and are invited to participate in the conference mentorship activities, which will offer them the opportunity to discuss their work with established scholars.

Subject to budget, travel grants to support low-income presenters may be available (presenters will be notified before the meeting of the amount they will receive but funds will only be distributed after the meeting and only upon presentation of original receipts).

For further questions and inquiries consult the conference website:

Program Committee: Gordon McOuat, Andrew Fenton, Sarah Qidwai, Dani Inkpen

Local Organizing Committee: Melanie Frappier, Dani Inkpen, and Gordon McOuat. Cheers,