Category Archives: Uncategorized

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Janis Langins (1945-2019)

With sadness, I write to note the passing of Janis Langins, Emeritus Professor at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto.

Craig Fraser, a colleague at IHPST, has written a short notice at the IHPST website, and the Toronto Star has an obituary notice with information about visitation and donations.

Janis was a part of the CSTHA community and supervised several young historians of Canadian technology, including myself. He was kind, generous, and will be missed.

2019 Conference / Colloque

XXI Biennial Conference
1–3 November 2019
Halifax, Nova Scotia


La version française apparaît ci-dessous

Please join us for the 2019 CSTHA biennial conference to be held November 1–3 at University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Program Committee invites papers and posters addressing this year’s conference theme: “Diversity and Tension: Science, Technology and Canadian Regionalism in Historical Perspective.” (more)

XXIème Conférence biennale
1–3 novembre 2019
Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse


Joignez-vous à nous pour la conférence biennale de l’AHSTC qui aura lieu du 1er et 3 novembre 2019 au University of King’s College à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse. Le Comité organisateur lance un appel pour des communications et des affiches portant sur le thème: « Diversité et tension : Science, technologie et régionalisme canadien dans une perspective historique ». (plus)

Registration for Three Societies Meeting Open

A note from the organizers of the Three Societies Meeting

Register now for the Three Societies Meeting.  This gathering of the British Society for the History of Science, the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science and the History of Science Society brings together historians of science every four years for a major international conference.  This conference will take place June 22-25, 2016, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

We are excited to welcome you to Edmonton, capital of the Province of Alberta and one of Canada’s major cities.  June is an ideal time to visit Edmonton, one of the sunniest places in Canada, with over 17 hours of daylight at the summer solstice and average temperatures of 22C/72F.  Edmonton is also known as a Festival City – during June we have The Works Art and Design Festival (June 17-29), The Edmonton International Jazz Festival (June 17-26), and Free Will Players (Shakespeare in the park – Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost  – June 21–July 17).
We have an exciting program taking shape.  There are a wide range of affordable housing options, and lots of time to meet your fellow historians of science in a relaxed atmosphere.

We are planning a wonderful reception in our newly renovated Art Gallery (exhibitions planned include  7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. and Unvarnished Truth: exploring the material history of painting).  And a great final banquet – and we promise no speeches!

You can access the special conference rates for the hotels both before and after the conference (from June 19-27), in case you want to do a bit more exploring.  We will also provide you with links to make your own arrangements for other travel in the area such as: to the Rocky Mountains and Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise or the Columbia Icefields; to the Alberta Badlands and Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum; or to the Oil Sands in Fort McMurray.

Register at

Early bird rates until April 15th.

New Editor-in-Chief

The CSTHA is pleased to announce David Pantalony as the new Editor-in-Chief of Scientia Canadensis. David has been a long-time member of the CSTHA, is Curator of Physical Sciences and Medicine at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, and teaches part-time at the University of Ottawa. He begins his five-year term in January 2015.

David will be replacing James Hull, a leading scholar in the history of technology in Canada at the University of British Columbia. James brought to publication several excellent issues, and we thank him for his years of service.

Welcome, David!


L’AHSTC est heureux d’annoncer que David Pantalony sera le nouveau rédacteur de Scientia Canadensis. David est conservateur des sciences physiques et de la médecine au Musée des scienes et de la technologie du Canada, et il enseigne à l’Université d’Ottawa. Il commence son mandat de cinq ans en janvier 2015.

David remplace James Hull, un spécialiste de l’histoire de la technologie au Canada, à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique. James a fait paraître plusieurs excellents numéros, et nous le remercions pour ses années de service.

Bienvenue, David!


Exciting things are happening with the CSTHA, starting with our new site. Feel free to explore our links, our archives, or send us a message: we’d love to here from you.

Stay tuned for more…


Tier 2 CRC in History of Science and Technology Policy

The University of Ottawa and its Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) invite applications for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in history of science and technology policy. Preference will be given to researchers working on innovation and Canadian policies in a global context from an historical perspective. The aim of the ISSP is to be the leading institute in Canada for research, teaching and knowledge transfer in the area of science, society and policy, and a major contributor to international dialogue, particularly on the topic of emerging technologies. The chairholder will assume a leadership role and contribute to capacity building at the ISSP.

Tier 2 CRCs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For more information regarding eligibility criteria, please consult the following webpage:

Required Qualifications: A PhD in History or equivalent, superior achievement in the CRC’s identified area(s), a commitment to teaching and graduate training, a strong track record in and a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, excellent communication skills in either English or French with a passive knowledge of the other official language.

Rank and salary: Regular academic tenure-track appointment in the relevant Faculty.


Deadline:  March 31, 2014


Application Package: Interested scholars are invited to submit an application consisting of the following:

  • A cover letter;
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • A research plan demonstrating the applicant’s strong commitment to research excellence, with details on how this research plan will mesh with the goals of the ISSP;
  • A statement of teaching interests; and
  • The names and email addresses of three people who may be contacted  by the university for letters of reference.

The position will remain open until filled. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. The application package should be sent by post, courier or email (a single PDF file is preferred, documents in Word format will also be accepted), to this address:

Dr. Mona Nemer, Vice-President, Research

University of Ottawa

550 Cumberland, room 246

Ottawa ON Canada K1N 6N5

Phone: 613-562-5270 / Fax: 613-562-5271

Final Call for Papers!

Greetings Colleagues,

I’m sending this email [which has been posted to the website and blog] as a gentle (and final) reminder that proposals for our upcoming conference themed, “Energy and Society” are due 20 September 2013. The CFP is on the website in both English and French. Should you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. 
Individual abstracts can be submitted to while session proposals may be posted here:

Please keep in mind that students have an opportunity to win an award for their presentations. The Royal Society of Canada has graciously donated $500 for best student paper, while the CSTHA/AHSTC awards $250.

Kind regards,

Conference announcement!

Greetings Colleagues,

We have extended the deadline for abstracts for the CHSTA/AHSTC conference to September 20th. Individual abstracts can be submitted to while session proposals may be posted here:
Please keep in mind that students have an opportunity to win an award for their presentations. The Royal Society of Canada has graciously donated $500 for best student paper, while the CSTHA/AHSTC awards $250.
A final reminder: the deadline to book accommodations at the Day’s Inn Centreville ($79) is September 30th. It is very close to UQAM. The link and conference code is on the conference website:
Feel free to email me with any questions.
Warm regards,

Conference: Materiality: Objects and Idioms in Historical Studies of Science and Technology

CSTHA members may be interested in the following annoucement:
Registration is now open for Materiality: Objects and Idioms in Historical Studies of Science and Technology. Please visit the conference website here. It will be updated with exhibit information in the coming weeks. Spaces are very limited, so register soon if you’re planning to attend. The Conference will be preceded by a public lecture by Peter Galison. Please see details of conference and lecture below.

Materiality: objects and idioms in historical studies of science and technology.

May 3-4, 2013
York University
Toronto, CANADA

There is a renewed interest in materiality. After the turn to discourse and signs in the late twentieth century, much recent work in the history of science and technology has revived its focus on matter and meaning, and on their fusion in the potent objects we call “things”. But materiality is about more than things.  As an historical object; as a story of origins; as a tension with immateriality; as an effect of assemblage and argument; and as a way of thinking about scholarly work, materiality begs for broader treatment.

This conference explores materiality as both historical object and emerging idiom in historical studies of science and technology. On one hand, it seeks to push into new sites of inquiry: How do we historicize materiality? When does materiality become a concern for historical actors and for scholars? How do the specific, local materialities of scientific and technical work figure in the wide-scale sweep of historical developments? But alongside new sites and questions, the conference explores emerging research tools and modes of scholarly expression that move beyond traditional text into sound, film and objects. Through paper presentations, hands-on sessions, exhibits and installations, we bring together a range of scholars and projects interested in thinking about materiality as historical object, intellectual resource, and scholarly expression.

Keynote:  Peter Galison (Harvard University)


  • Katharine Anderson (York University)
  • Bob Brain (UBC)
  • Tina Choi (York University)
  • Kristen Haring (Auburn University)
  • Edward Jones-Imhotep (York University)
  • Carla Nappi (UBC)
  • Sophia Roosth (Harvard University)
  • Hanna Rose Shell (MIT)
  • Emily Thompson (Princeton University)
  • John Tresch (University of Pennsylvania)
  • William Turkel (Western University)
Peter Galison, Harvard University — “Time of Physics, Time of Art”
University-Wide Lecture
May 2, 2013 — 4:30pm
Robert McEwen Auditorium, Schulich School of Business
Admission: free

Abstract: In the standard picture of the history of special relativity, Henri Poincaré’s and Albert Einstein’s reformulation of simultaneity is considered a quasi-philosophical intervention, a move made possible by his dis-connection from the standard physics of the day. Meanwhile, Einstein’s engagement at the Patent Office (or Poincare¹s in the Bureau of Longitude) enter the story as lowly day jobs — irrelevant to fundamental work on the nature of the world. I have argued, on the
contrary, that the all-too material and the most abstract notions of time cross in essential ways. In a collaboration with the artist William Kentridge (“The Refusal of Time”) we explored this intersection, pushing on history, physics, and philosophy into a more associative-imaginative register. This talk is an account of this complex of problems at the boundary of art and physics history.
The conference is made possible by the generous support of the SSHRC Situating Science Cluster, the Institute for Science and Technology Studies, the Faculties of Science and Fine Arts, and the departments of History, Philosophy and Science and Technology Studies/Natural Science.

CFP: Consumer Technology/Technologies de consommation

**Call for Papers**

Scientia Canadensis invites interested scholars to submit proposals for research papers (approximately 7,500 to 10,000 words), research notes or exhibition reviews (approximately 2,500 to 5,000 words) for a special themed issue on Consumer Technology.

From automobiles to automated messages, personal technologies have come to shape the daily lives of nearly all Canadians. The history of consumer technology can reveal much about the material needs, social ideologies, gendered assumptions, and economic considerations of the peoples who used, rejected, and manipulated technologies of consumption. Why have Canadians favoured some technologies over others? Why (and when) do technologies fail? How have personal technologies influenced notions of work? Leisure? Masculinity? Femininity? Public space? Private space? What has been valued more — aesthetics or function? We invite proposals that consider these types of questions or deal with any aspect of consumer technology, including, but not limited to:

– Domestic goods: kitchen appliances, frozen foods, lighting fixtures, laundering technologies, sewing machines, barbeques, or even, entire homes;

– Gendered goods: lipstick, birth control pills, bras, power tools, condoms;

– Personal goods: telephones, personal computers, debit and credit cards, automobiles, cameras, bicycles

We also welcome submissions from students of museum studies or museum curators who have worked on or are working on special exhibits about consumer technology; these can include either temporary or permanent exhibitions that relate to consumer technology in Canada. Authors of exhibition reviews should include information on the concept and design of the exhibit, as well as its reception, if possible, while framing the discussion in relation to scholarship in the field. While Canada is our geographic focus, submissions that examine Canada in a comparative context would be very welcome.

Submissions should be in MS word format (.doc or .docx) with footnotes in University of Chicago humanities style, and should be accompanied by a detailed abstract no more than 250 words, as well as the author’s curriculum vitae. This special issue is scheduled to appear in print in winter 2012.

Please send all proposals electronically by June 1, 2012, to the guest editor, Dr. Dorotea Gucciardo, University of Western Ontario ( and the journal editor, Dr. James Hull ( Inquires as to the suitability of an article topic are welcome and may be directed to Dr. Gucciardo.

Scientia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the history of science, technology, and medicine in publication since 1981, and includes specialized articles written by experts, notes about current research, critical book reviews, and bibliographies.
**Appel à communications**

Scientia Canadensis lance un appel de textes, sous forme d’articles (de 7500 à 10 000 mots), de notes de recherche ou de critiques d’expositions muséales (de 2500 mots à 5000 mots) et portant sur le thème des « technologies de consommation ».

De l’automobile à la messagerie automatique, les technologies de consommation personnelle ont façonné le quotidien des Canadiens. Leur histoire peut éclairer les besoins matériels, les idéologies, les présupposés de genre et les considérations économiques des gens qui utilisent, rejettent et manipulent ces technologies. Pourquoi les Canadiens ont-ils favorisé certaines technologies plutôt que d’autres ? Pourquoi, dans quelles conditions et à quel moment certaines technologies ont-elles été connu l’échec ? Comment les technologies à usage personnel ont-elles influencé les idées de travail, de loisir, de masculinité ou de féminité, ou encore d’espace public ou privé ? Qu’est-ce qui, de l’esthétique ou de la fonctionnalité de ces biens de consommation, à pesé le plus lourd dans la balance ? Nous sollicitons des propositions qui abordent ces questions ou qui traitent d’autres aspects de l’histoire des technologies de consommation personnelle, dont :

– les technologies domestiques (appareils électroménagers, aliments congelés, barbecues, machines à coudre, ou même des maisons entières) ;

– les biens de consommation genrés (rouges à lèvres, pilules contraceptives, outils électriques, préservatifs) ;

– les objets à usage personnel (téléphones, ordinateurs, cartes de débit ou de crédit, automobiles, caméras, bicyclettes).

Nous encourageons également les propositions d’étudiants en muséologie ou de conservateurs de musée ayant travaillé ou qui travaillent sur des expositions portant spécifiquement sur les technologies personnelles et les technologies de consommation au Canada. Les critiques d’exposition devraient offrir de l’information sur le concept et le design de l’exposition, et si possible sur sa réception, tout en situant l’exposition dans l’historiographie des rapports entre technologie et société. Même si l’appel de textes priorise l’espace géographique canadien, nous encourageons les contributions qui abordent le Canada sous un angle comparatif.

Les propositions doivent être transmises en format MS Word standard (.doc ou .docx), avec des notes de bas de page en format University of Chicago. Le texte doit être accompagné d’un résumé d’au plus 250 mots et du curriculum vitae de l’auteur. Le numéro sera publié en à la fin de l’année 2012.

Pour plus d’information ou pour soumettre un manuscrit, veuillez contacter la responsable du numéro spécial, Dr Dorotea Gucciardo de l’Université Western Ontario (, ainsi que le rédacteur en chef de la revue, le professeur James Hull de l’Université de Colombie-Britannique ( Les propositions devraient être transmises par voie électronique avant le 1er juin 2012.

Scientia Canadensis est une revue savante consacrée à l’histoire de la science, de la technologie et de la médecine. Elle publie depuis 1981 des articles spécialisés sur ces sujets ainsi que des notes de recherche, des essais critiques, des comptes rendus d’ouvrages et des bibliographies.