Publish or Perish? The Past, Present and Future of the Scientific Periodical

Publish or Perish? The Past, Present and Future of the Scientific


A history of science conference at the Royal Society

19-21 March 2015


Academic Programme

Thursday 19th March 2013

1230-1300: registration

1300-1310: Welcome

1310-1410: Plenary: roundtable discussion – Adrian Johns (Chicago) & Jim Secord (Cambridge) Chair: Aileen Fyfe (St Andrews)


1430-1600: Parallel Session 1:

The Early Phil Trans and the Republic of Letters

Chair: Niall Hodson (Durham) (TBC)

Daniel Carey (NUI Galway):

The History of Nature and the Ends of Travel: The Philosophical Transactions, Inquiries and the ‘Natural History of Man’

Urmi Bhowmik (OU):

Making a Corporate Body: the Phil Trans and the Community of Experimental Philosophy, 1660-1677

Jens Bjerring-Hansen (DSL, Copenhagen):

The perils of periodicals: Some observations regarding 18th century concerns on journal reading


Reform and Reaction in the 19th and 20th centuries

Chair: David Knight (Durham)

James Mussell (University of Leeds):

Conservative Attitudes to Old-Established Organs: Oliver Lodge and the Philosophical Magazine

Steven Joseph (independent)

Awkward bedfellows: photography and scientific periodicals in Belgium, 1865-1890

Maeve Adams (Manhattan College)

Discipline and Publish: The Modern Academic Journal and the Reform of Scientific Scholarship


1600-1730: Focus session 1 – Form and Genre; or, what is a Scientific


Noah Moxham (St Andrews)

Iain Watts (Princeton)

Chair and Respondent: Simon Schaffer (Cambridge)

1730-1900: The Experience of Scientific Publishing – public oral history event.


Friday 20th March:

0930-1100 – Parallel Session 2


Editors, Reviewers and Disciplinary Context

Chair: Peter Bowler (Queen’s University, Belfast)

Roberto Lalli (MPIWG, Berlin)

General Relativity, refereeing practices and the editors of the Physical Review

Sylvia Nickerson (York, Ontario)


Jennifer Connor (Memorial University of Newfoundland):

The ‘Least Understood’ Medical Specialty: C20th developments in editorship


Distribution of scientific journals

Chair: Noah Moxham (St Andrews) [?]

Thomas Broman (Wisconsin)

The Profits (& Perils) of Publicity: The Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, the Thurn und Taxis Post, and the Periodical Business in the 1780s.

Alex Csiszar (Harvard):

The Separate Copy: A Secret History

Joris Vandendriessche (KU Leuven):

Historicising Peer Review: publishing procedures in 19th-century Belgian medical societies


1130-1230 – Plenary – Aileen Fyfe. Chair: Stuart Taylor (Royal Society)

Journals, learned societies and money: The Philosophical Transactions c.1750-1950


1330-1500 – Parallel Session 3 –

Images and Knowledge in the early Philosophical Transactions

Chair: Michael Hunter (Birkbeck)

Sachiko Kusukawa (Cambridge):

Illustrating the Philosophical Transactions: the first fifty years

Jim Bennett (Science Museum):

The use of text and image for communicating developments in instruments in the early Phil Trans

Meghan Doherty (Berea College):

Serialized Comparisons: Illustrating Anatomy in the Philosophical Transactions

Elizabeth Yale (Western Carolina University):

The Image of Antiquities in the First Century of the Philosophical Transactions


Beyond Europe: Learned Society Journals in the 20th Century

Beth LeRoux & Mariette Franken (Pretoria):

Transformations and Challenges in the Publication of Academic Journals in South Africa

Ke Zunke & Li Bin (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences):

Ke Xue and the Science Society of China

Charu Singh (Jawaharlal Nehru University):

Scientific publishing, Hindi print, and the Vijnana Parishad in early-twentieth century

north India (WITHDRAWN)

Peter Collins (Royal Society):

Publishing and the postwar Royal Society on the global stage

1500-1630 – Focus session 2: Peer review in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Julie McDougall-Waters (St Andrews)

Melinda Baldwin (Harvard)

Chair and Respondent: Bill Brock (Leicester)


1730-1900 – The Future of Scientific Publishing – Panel Discussion


1930-2130 – Conference Dinner (Royal Society)


Saturday March 21st

0900-1100 – Parallel Session 4

Chair: Sylvia Nickerson (York, Toronto) (TBC)

Maths in the Phil Trans

Sloan Despeaux (Western Carolina University):

Peer review for mathematics in the Philosophical Transactions and beyond

Adrian Rice (Randolph-Macon College)

“Fish Remarkably Stinking”: Augustus De Morgan’s antagonistic attitude to the RS and its Phil Trans

Deborah Kent (Drake University)

The Philosophical Transactions: An inimitable publication across the pond

June Barrow-Green (OU):

“Merely a speculation of the mind?” William Henry Fox Talbot, the Phil Trans and mathematics


The European Circulation of the Philosophical Transactions, 1665-1800

Chair: Mordechai Feingold (Caltech) (TBC)

Jeanne Peiffer (Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris):

Translating the Philosophical Transactions (1731-1741) Into French: François Brémond’s Motivation and Agenda

Niall Hodson (Durham):

Henry Oldenburg’s Philosophical Transactions as a Repository of Translations

Jens Haeseler (Potsdam):

The presence of the Philosophical Transactions in the international scientific press in Germany during the first half of the 18th century.

Patrizia Delpiano (Torino)

The Philosophical Transactions in 18th century Italy


1115-1300 – Parallel Session 5





Constructing Scientific Communities – Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st


Chair: Jonathan Topham (Leeds)

Geoff Belknap (Leicester)

Participating in Victorian Science through the Illustrated Periodical

Berris Charnley (Oxford)

Publishing Eleanor Ormerod’s Notes of Observations of Injurious Insects 1878-1901

Sally Frampton (Oxford)

‘A Borderland in Ethics’: Relations between the Medical and Lay Press in Late Victorian Britain


18th Century scientific authorship

Chair: Thomas Broman (Wisconsin) (TBC)

Marie-Claude Felton (McGill):

Self-Publishing Science Journals in C18th Paris – a Comparative Study

Maria Conforti (Sapienza):

Becoming a scientific author: how Italians contributed to the Philosophical Transactions

Iris Montero Sobrevilla (Brown):

How do hummingbirds feed? Solving a natural-historical conundrum in English, French and Mexican Journals 1693-1790

Richard Sorrenson (Auckland):

How can a content analysis of the Phil. Trans. in the 18th century contribute to a history of the Royal Society?


13:00 CLOSE

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