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New ICOHTEC Newsletter  No 50: May 2009


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is a pleasure to publish the 50th ICOHTEC Newsletter today. Due to the combination of Newsletters and Newsletter updates the history of this small journal is dating back to the 1980s or even longer. Angus Buchanan and Hans-Joachim Braun have been the last editors.

Thanks to Yoel Bergmann the Newsletter publishes a report on the development of the history of technology in Israel. This very interesting report might encourage you to write reports on the development of the history of technology in your own country.

Concerning our Budapest meeting 28 July - 2 August 2009 the organisers of the ICHST Congress had to change the venue of the congress; it will take place at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. This university is near to the Corvenius University, but located at the other bank of the river Danube. Please visit the ICHST homepage http://www.conferences.hu/ichs09/ and find the third circular as well. It informs about the preliminary program of the conference.

ICOHTEC’s Program Committee prepared the call for papers of our next-but-one meeting 10 - 15 August 2010 in Tampere. The conference will take place together with The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH); the deadline for submission of proposals is 16 November 2009. A special homepage of this conference can be found on: http://www.tampere.fi/industrialpast2010/.
As in 2008 I want to publish a bibliography of books, edited or written by members of ICOHTEC, in the next Newsletter. May you please submit the bibliographic information and a short description (3-4 lines) of your books, published in 2008 and 2009? Please accept 15 June 2009 as deadline for submission.

Thank you for your comments on the survey “Playing with Technology” and best wishes
Yours Stefan Poser



I. History of Technology in Israel

II. ICOHTEC – Call for Papers 2010

III. Conferences

IV. Call for contributions

V. Miscellaneous

VI. Recently Published Books 


History of Technology in Israel, 2009

Yoel Bergman, graduate and associate fellow, Cohen Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel-Aviv University

In writing this report, I made contact with several of the active participants from academia and the report should best be regarded as an initial survey. Those contacted, work in five of the seven universities. The name and background of each is found in the appendix. Their main fields of expertise are associated with the history of technology or in fields that share common topics, such as the history of science, STS (science, technology and society), anthropology or sociology.

One prevailing view is that academia has not yet formulated a systematic program for teaching and researching the history of Israeli and general technology. Selected topics are taught or researched on an occasional basis. This embryonic scenario may be reminiscent of the pre-2000 situation in Finland described by Timo Myllyntaus and others.

One of the participants is persistent over the years with the critique that, although Israeli society is very much dominated by technology and technological culture, the amount of research into the history and the influence of technology on public life is minute. Much effort and expertise in academia have been allotted to the history of science but the history of technology, which is becoming more and more influential, has not been cultivated enough.

In the last few years, the number of STS study programs has increased, contributing in an indirect manner perhaps to the history of technology and to the discourse about technology's role in society. Relevant issues are examined in bi-annual workshops, STS activism is encouraged at least on the research level, and case studies on ecological abuses over the years are examined.

Local history: Transfers of modern technology to Palestine began during the Ottoman Empire that governed until 1917. The first agents of these transfers were German immigrants during the mid 19th century belonging to the messianic sect of Templers. Shortly afterwards, Jewish immigrants began to arrive in large numbers, mainly from Europe, partly learning technology from the Templers and partly enhancing technology on their own. Several Arab producers imported new machinery for different production processes. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman rule approved large projects such as railway lines, led by Middle Eastern and European entrepreneurs. A recent book was published on the first railway line, 86 km between Jaffa-Jerusalem, completed in 1892 and built to exploit the tremendous growth of pilgrim traffic and tourism during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Important modernization took place in agriculture and food production: Machines were imported to improve local processes, such as the traditional oil-making based on mechanical pressing. Entire processes were also brought in such as a new chemical process for olive oil production. In special cases, imported technology was very much improved or adopted to local conditions through local systematic studies. Shaul Katz has studied three typical cases during the Ottoman rule , examining the technical aspects of improvements in terms of their efficiency and adaptability to Palestine. His work, written in the 1970's, was a novel move at the time, since traditional interest was focused more on the role of new technology in national revival.

During the British Mandate (1917-1948), the industry expanded quickly when waves of Jewish refugees from Europe arrived. One large scale-up took place during WW II to supply British forces in the Middle East. The design and production of local arms also grew in that period (a clandestine Jewish operation during the Mandate which became overt and official since 1948). Of special interest are the initial military knowledge transfers during the 1930's and the importance of local improvements . Histories of past and recent military projects are sometimes examined in the media. Their importance is underlined and questions are often asked about who really deserves the credit (is it that reclusive engineer or the articulate project manager?).

Since independence in 1948, the growth of the national economy was stepped up to provide an acceptable standard of living to the rapidly expanding population and to meet the ever present and large scale defense needs. Industry had to adapt to the almost total lack of raw materials such as oil, coal and metal ores. This prompted the development of knowledge intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals and electronics, often based on local research. The worldwide rise of information, medical and bio-technologies has encouraged the large growth in local hi-tech. Such evolvements provide ample research topics for future research in the history of technology.

Historical topics in other geographies: The subjects vary with the students and their supervisors. Examples include the development of industries in Europe and America , , and scientific-technical developments.

Technological Education

The amount of research into the history of technology may sometimes be linked to the percentage of people who received a technically-oriented high school education. Technical topics in general have lost ground over the last few years as more and more high school students became convinced that the easy ladder for success runs through economics and management and not through science and technology. Recently, the industry has begun to press for expansion in technological education. Supporters point to the personal biographies of leaders in finance and industry, showing that many came from a technological background. The importance of technology in meeting global and local needs is also stressed. This year's National Conference on Education is to be devoted to technological education.

Research Institutions and Programs

Research institutions active over the years and graduate programs are listed below:

The Sidney M. Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The Center serves to enhance advanced research in the history and philosophy of science, technology, and medicine. In particular, the Center fosters research based on the resources of the Einstein Archives, the Yehuda Theological Collection of Isaac Newton, the Edelstein Library that includes many rare books on the history of science, technology and medicine, including the Edelstein Collections on the history of dyeing and chemical technology. The Center offers post-doctoral fellowships, and short-term graduate support and engages in an active program of seminars and workshops. The Center constitutes a nexus between the faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, and Medicine. Particularly strong is the interaction of faculty and students with the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science programs, and the Departments of Philosophy and History, as well as of Physics, at The Hebrew University. Each year the Edelstein Center organizes an annual international workshop (in collaboration with Tel Aviv University and the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute), each one with a different theme.

The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv University: A research and graduate teaching institute within the framework of the School of History of Tel Aviv University. The Institute's curriculum reflects the Institute's intellectual credo as well as the staff's research interests. These include: History of Science and the Intellectual History of the Western World; Philosophy of Science with emphasis on the periods following the Scientific Revolution; The Anthropology of Knowledge; History and Philosophy of Biology; History of Technology; History and Philosophy of Ancient and Modern Mathematics; Cultural Studies with emphasis on critical aspects of modern western culture and, in the Israeli context, a critical study of science and Judaism.

The Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University:
Studies of science and technology incorporate many disciplines such as history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, literary criticism, critical theory. The students gain the tools needed to understand science, technology and medicine from a broad and critical perspective.

Recently, STS/history programs have been recently inaugurated in Haifa University and the Ben Gurion University in the Negev.


Some of the better known museums were created by those whose biography was very much related to technological improvements, as army veterans and industrialists. One typical example is the air force museum in the Negev created by veterans who set themselves to collect old aircrafts and renew them in the new museum location. Mr. Stef Wertheimer, a known industrialist, was active in the foundation of a museum located in Tefen Industrial Park at the Western Galilee. It is set amongst industrial plants displaying – among other things – the development of industry from the Stone Age until today.

Museums aimed at promoting understanding in technology are found in the major cities as the National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in Haifa and the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem.

List of participants

Tony Travis: Deputy Director of the Sidney M. Edelstein Center and of the Jacques Loeb Center for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He is also a senior research fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute London. He has published extensively on the history of technology in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Noah Efron chairs the Graduate Program in STS at Bar Ilan University (near Tel-Aviv). He is also President of the Israeli Society for the History and Philosophy of Science and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion.

Tal Golan specializes in the history of science in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the relations between science, technology and law. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1997), with a Ph.D.in the History of Science and he taught at the Ben Gurion University before coming to University of California-San Diego (UCSD) in 2004.

Shaul Katz teaches in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem: Areas of interests include the organizational and epistemological history of the Israeli research multi-system: research universities, scientific and technological institutions, and extra-scientific organizations producing para-canonic certified knowledge – all active in Ottoman and British mandatory Palestine and in the State of Israel .Shaul Katz teaches in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
Ido Yavetz teaches in the Tel-Aviv University. Member of the Cohen Institute – Areas of interest: History of Technology; History of Modern Physics; Ancient Astronomy.

Yuval Yonnay teaches anthropology and sociology in Haifa University and is involved with the STS program.



Reusing the Industrial Past
ICOHTEC & TICCIH Joint Conference 2010
Call for Papers

10 - 15 August 2010 Tampere, Finland

A Joint Conference between the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) and The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). The International Association of the Labour Museums (WORKLAB) is a minor partner in the conference.

Deadline for Proposals is 16 November 2009.

Conference language: English

As a joint conference, the primary theme ‘Reusing the Industrial Past’ is intended to be a broad idea covering various approaches. Clearly, the industrial past is reused whenever old industrial installations are renovated or adapted. There have been many attempts to preserve the most significant aspects of old industrial areas after productive activity has ceased, by giving them a new viable function. However, the idea of reusing the industrial past need not stop there.

Old industrial and handicraft technology can also be reintroduced and reused in manufacturing various products or in explaining how they work to the public in exhibitions. Various kinds of ‘retroproducts’ are now in vogue, while people are looking for alternative technological solutions for plastics, electronics, concrete, artificial chemicals and fertilisers. Knowledge of old technologies is in demand. What technologies do historians suggest could be reused?

Manufacturing still has a strong impact on culture, working habits and ethics. The industrial past and obsolete technologies are also present in the way people think and use their language. For instance, "put the small pulley on" continues to be used as a metaphor in British English for speeding up. Similar examples can be found in other languages as well. For social historians, it would be interesting to discover practices and ethics of factory work that continue to be used in offices and shops today. The culture of work seems to change more slowly than work itself and technology in use.

The conference programme will include scientific and plenary sessions, poster presentations, business meetings and general assemblies of the organising societies, excursions, social events such as receptions and the banquet, and pre- and post-conference trips. The premises of the University of Tampere and the historical industrial buildings on the in the City Centrum will serve as conference venues.

Conference Subthemes

In order to make the conference theme as strong as possible, the programme committees have decided that all papers must fit within one of the following sub-themes (which must be indicated on the proposal). The bullet points under the subthemes are simply examples of topics that fit into the each subtheme. Papers need not deal specifically with a particular bullet point:

1. Nuts and Bolts Keep on Rolling
- Deindustrialisation and restructuring: Threat or opportunity?
- Stubborn technologies: Resistance to change
- Technological outcasts: Products and solutions rejected by consumers
- Technological comeback: Retroproducts and retrodesign
- Reinventing the industrial past: Innovations that never existed
- Legitimising competitiveness: Political and economic actions to support technological image and performance
- Processes in change: Technology of textile manufacturing and papermaking

2. Artefacts and Experiences in Transition: Challenges for Industrial Heritage
- Canonisation of the symbols of industrial revolutions
- Living and dead industrial landscapes
- Regeneration through heritage
- Reuse of industrial environments
- Societal aims for the conservation of industrial heritage
- Adapting technology and reforming industrial heritage
- Contested pasts - the heritage of science, technology and industry in geo-political conflict

3. Social History of Industry
- Reinterpretations of the First Industrial Revolution
- Social history of factory work
- Identities of blue-collar workers and white-collar workers in industry
- People and machines in industrial history
- Masculine machines and female labour: Gender in industry
- Local experiences: changes in work, vanishing employment, emerging opportunities
- Twins astray? Labour history and industrial history
- Serfs of looms and slaves of mobile phones

4. Cultural History of Technology
- Emotions and machines: Adored and hated technologies
- Technological optimism and pessimism
- Company cultures: Breaks and continuity
- Ethics of factory work
- Workers’ culture: Legitimising hard work
- Long shadow of history: Influence of the industrial past in our present way of life
- Fossilisation of factory rhetoric in language
- Exploiting images of the industrial past

5. Environmental History of Industrialisation and De-industrialisation
- Harnessing nature: Environmental exploitation
- Interdependence of energy and mechanisation in the smoke-stack industries
- Smoke-stack industry as an environmental burden
- Environmental heritage of the First Industrial Revolution
- Environmental consequences of deindustrialisation

6. Museums and Industrial Memories
- Collection policies for the industrial era
- New perspectives for exhibiting industrial heritage
- Challenges for museums in the postindustrial society
- Museum architecture in old factories

Proposal Guidelines
We urge contributors to consider organizing a full session of three or more papers. Individual paper submissions will, of course, be considered.

Note: Membership of ICOHTEC, TICCIH, or WORKLAB is not required to participate in the conference.

INDIVIDUAL PAPER proposals must include: (1) a 250-word (maximum) abstract in English; and (2) a one-page CV. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. Please indicate one of the specified subthemes for your paper.

In preparing your paper, remember that presentations are not full-length articles. You will have no more than 15-20 minutes to speak - depending on the number of speakers in your session – which is roughly equivalent to 6-8 double-spaced typed pages. Contributors are encouraged to submit full-length versions of their papers after the conference for consideration by ICOHTEC’s journal ICON or TICCIH’s journal Industrial Patrimony. For more suggestions about preparing your conference presentation, please consult the guidelines at the conference web site: http://www.tampere.fi/industrialpast2010.

SESSION proposals must include: (1) an abstract of the session (250 words maximum), listing the proposed papers and a session chairperson; (2) abstracts for each paper (250 words maximum); (3) a one-page CV for each contributor and chairperson. Sessions should consist of three or four speakers and may include several sections of three to four speakers each, which might extend over more than one day. We also encourage "untraditional" session or roundtable proposals.

POSTER proposals must include (1) a 250-word (maximum) abstract in English; and (2) a one-page CV. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. Please indicate one of the
specified subthemes for your poster.

Proposal submissions

The final deadline for all submissions is Monday 16 November 2009. Please submit proposals for papers and sessions via the website of the Tampere conference at http://www.tampere.fi/industrialpast2010.

If web access is unavailable, proposals may be sent by fax to ICOHTEC 2010 at: +358 (0) 3 5656 6808. Otherwise they may be sent via regular mail or courier, postmarked not later than 9 November 2009. The mail address is:

c/o Museum Centre Vapriikki
PL 487
Alaverstaanraitti 5
33101 Tampere

All questions about the programme proposals should be submitted to the local organizing committee, icohtecticcih2010@tampere.fi. Queries about the conference venue should be made to the same address.

Further information on host organisations:

ICOHTEC: http://www.icohtec.org/
TICCIH: http://www.mnactec.cat/ticcih/
WORKLAB: http://www.worklab.dk/
University of Tampere: http://www.uta.fi/english/
Museum Centre Vapriikki:
The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas: http://www.tyovaenmuseo.fi/?q=en

Transmitted by Timo Myllyntaus, Secretary General of ICOHTEC


III. Conferences

8-11 June 2009
Euro-Pop: The Consumption and Production of a European Popular Culture in the 20th Century
Villa Vigoni, Largo di Como, Italia

The conference suggests to scrutinise the consumption and production of a European popular culture and its societal effects. It wants to assess its current state in regard to historical developments, explore its potential for European social integration and identify factors that have facilitated or impeded its Europeanization.
Please find more information on http://www.ebha.org/.


11-13 June 2009
Fashions: Business Practices in Historical Perspective. 13th Annual EBHA Conference
Milano, Italia

The 2009 Conference, jointly organized with the Business History Conference (BHC) will take place on 11-13 June 2009 at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. The theme of the conference will be "Fashions: Business Practices in Historical Perspective".
Please find the program on http://www.ebha.org/.


3-4 July 2009
Cities of Business, the Business of Cities...
Association of Business Historians, Annual Conference 2009
Liverpool, Great Britain

The 2009 ABH Conference will focus on the urban nature and context of most modern business activity. The Themes for the conference may include the role of cities in global business, urban business networks and elites, urban consumption, infrastructure etc.

For further information please visit
http://www.unternehmensgeschichte.de/ pdf/2009 _Conference_proposal.pdf.
Please contact abh2009@liv.ac.uk.


18 – 19 September 2009
Internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises
Research group „History of small and medium-sized enterprises“,
sixth meeting
Borgers Ltd.,
Telford (Shropshire)
United Kingdom
(Deadline passed – 15 May 2009)

The GUG‘s research group on small and medium-sized enterprises specializes in research on the problems and challenges of smaller firms. During its next meeting, it will address their international dimension. We are seeking proposals that discuss the expansion of these enterprises into international markets as well as papers that ask for these firms‘ reactions to the internationalisation and globalisation of the economy. The pivotal question that the meeting is to find an answer to is which strategies and concepts for coping with international challenges small and medium-sized enterprises developed and what distinguished their approach from that of major enterprises. Are small and medium-sized companies really more flexible, and can they thus react more swiftly to changes in the international economy? Or does their small size make them more vulnerable to the impact of globalisation? How did so many small and medium-sized companies manage not only to hold their ground in a globalized economy, but to do so well that some became the international leaders in certain niche markets?
We are looking forward to your proposals. Please email them to Andrea H. Schneider (managing director of GUG): ahschneider@unternehmensgeschichte.de until 15 May 2009. Dr. Schneider will happily answer any questions you might have concerning the meeting.

Organiser: Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte e.V., www.unternehmensgeschichte.de


24-25 September 2009

Division Street, U.S.A. Graduate conference
University of Texas
Austin, United States
CFP – Deadline 10 July 2009

The American Studies Graduate Committee at the University of Texas at Austin calls for papers for its upcoming graduate conference, "Division Street, U.S.A.," to be held in Austin on September 24-25, 2009. Our keynote speaker will be Eric Lott, Professor of American Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia.

Please visit

Please contact the American Studies Graduate Committee utamst09@gmail.com


18 October 2009

Michael Mahoney and The Histories of Computing(s)
SIGCIS History of Computing Workshop in Memory of Michael S. Mahoney
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
CFP – Deadline 22 June 2009

The Society for the History of Technology's Special Interest Group for Computers, Information and Society (SIGCIS - www.sigcis.org) welcomes submissions for "Michael Mahoney And The Histories of Computing(s)," a daylong workshop on the history of computing in memory of historian Michael S. Mahoney. In keeping with Mahoney's broad historical perspective, we encourage submissions not only about computers themselves but also about the technologies and knowledge systems into which computers have been embedded as well as the societies in which they are used. Contributions directly related to Mahoney's work are welcome but not required.

The keynote speaker, William Aspray, will discuss Mahoney's contribution to the development of the history of computing.

The workshop will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on Sunday, October 18, 2009. It will occur on the final day of the annual SHOT meeting with sessions in the morning and afternoon. SHOT has reserved that day for SIG events and therefore the workshop will not overlap scheduled sessions and most other SHOT functions. It will be held at the same site as the SHOT meeting.

SIGCIS encourages scholars of all levels and affiliations to participate.

Organized sessions and individual papers are both welcome. In keeping with the conference theme contributions that address historiographic issues or situate work within a particular history of computing are particularly welcome. Individual contributions can fit one of a variety of formats.

1. Traditional 20 to 25-minute presentations followed by a question and answer session with the SIGCIS community. In this case a one-page abstract (maximum 400 words) will be reviewed and included in the electronic conference program. Abstracts should address the paper's topic, argument, evidence used, and contribution to the existing literature. A full version of the paper should be sent to the session commentator at least a week prior to the meeting.

2. Dissertation proposals. We hope to include a ‘dissertations in progress’ session, in which individuals will present their ongoing dissertation work and seek feedback from the history of computing community. In this case submit an abstract of your dissertation proposal. The full proposal will be included in the electronic conference program if accepted. Participants will be encouraged to read this prior to the session. You will have five to ten minutes to introduce the material, leaving the bulk of time available for discussion.

3. Works in progress. This is your chance to receive informal and expert discussion of draft dissertation chapters, journal articles, or book chapters. Submit a one-page abstract (maximum 400 words) including discussion of the current state of the work and any specific kinds of feedback you are seeking. If your proposal is accepted you will need to supply the draft for discussion by 1 October for inclusion in the electronic program for the workshop. You will have five to ten minutes to introduce the material, leaving the bulk of time available for discussion.

4. Proposals in other formats are also welcome. For example round table discussions, demonstrations of software of interest to historians of computing, or "author meets critics" sessions.

SHOT presenters are encouraged to apply but must present material significantly different from that presented in the main conference program.

Submission Procedures

Individual submissions should be made at http://www.sigcis.org/?q=workshop09a,

Proposals for complete sessions should be made at http://www.sigcis.org/?q=workshop09b,

The deadline for proposals is June 22, 2009. Notifications will be sent by June 29, 2009. If you are a graduate student seeking travel funding please submit ASAP for expedited review because the SHOT deadline for funding is June 1.

Workshop Organizers:

Joseph November, Program Committee Chair

Jeffrey Tang, Local Arrangements Chair

Brent Jesiek, Internet Infrastructure

Thomas Haigh, SIG Chair


For more information please visit


29-31 March 2010

Carcinogens, Mutagens, Reproductive Toxicants. The Politics of Limit Values and Low Doses in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
Strasbourg, France

CFP – Deadline 26 June 2009

We are inviting proposals for an international conference on the various forms of governing specific substances and products that are now classified as Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or toxic to Reproduction(CMR for short). This conference will draw together scholars from different backgrounds - history, sociology, political science, anthropology, law, etc. - and will be held from the 29 to the 31 March 2010 in Strasbourg, France. The conference will be organised in a workshop format with pre-circulated papers. Each paper will be introduced and discussed by a commentator. We plan to move quickly to an edited publication. Proposals for papers should contain an abstract of at least five hundred words and a short curriculum vitae. The deadline for paper proposals is 26 June 2009. The list of accepted proposals will be available from 10 July 2009 and the accepted participants will be expected to submit a full manuscript version of their paper by 15 January 2010 at the latest. Funds will be available for accepted participants to cover food, accommodation, and travel expenses.

The boom in industrial activity and the development of techno-scientific activities over the course of the twentieth century together with the commercialisation of a myriad of innovations and the introduction of new substances into the environment have continually extended the range of potentially dangerous health and environmental hazards and have long been the focus of a series of initiatives that have aimed to categorise, expose, criticise and manage such risks. The development and deployment of methods for regulating these products and activities as well as their side-effects have been the fruit of long processes of scientific research, activism, public policy and ongoing mutations in the institutional landscape that have taken place at different periods and at a varying pace in national spaces - the United States in particular - the European Union and on an international scale.

The aim of this conference is to analyse how carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR) related issues have been constructed as scientific research topics and gradually formulated and dealt with in the public and political arena until they became the subject of transnational policies that now seek to regulate the entire range of toxic substances via a UN-sponsored system of global governance. Our task, as social scientists, is therefore to classify the various ways of regulating these substances while recognising the overlap between the changes in the scientific paradigms used to assess the related hazards and the different forms of related criticism, the resulting activism and the institutional and political solutions that have been devised to highlight the changing nature of the “CMR” issue both over time and in terms of its tendency to shift from one scientific, social and political space to another.
We feel that this is a suitable analytical framework for assessing the production dynamics, legitimization mechanisms and deployment vectors for public policies dealing with health and environmental hazards. In particular, we would like the conference to:

- Explore long-term trajectories and dynamics. While the whole CMR issue along with all of its attendant implications is now debated in the public domain, the underlying issues go back a long way and have largely helped to forge the manner in which the topic is perceived and dealt with in today’s society. Therefore, in order to understand and analyse the processes that underpin present-day forms of expertise and regulation, it is essential to retrace the historical timelines of the long-term trends that underpin these same processes.

- Apply different spatial and temporal scales. The shaping, analysis and management of CMR-related issues operate on a number of different social, geographic and temporal levels and therefore need to be dealt with from a number of different perspectives. When studying the different ways of governing CMRs, we feel it is particularly important to analyse the international regulatory environment and variations at national, European and international level. We need to examine the problem as it is dealt with by different expert bodies – those that operate at a very local level such as a company, for example, as well as those operating at national or international level. The same goes for temporality: a problem will have specific features at a given moment in time, but it is also composed of overlapping narratives squeezed into shorter or longer periods. Differences and shifts in spatial and temporal scales will all contribute meaning and help to define and transform the object of interest, namely CMRrelated issues.

- Expand and contrast analytical categories and perspectives. Analysing ways of governing CMRs over a relatively long period poses a certain number of methodological problems that need to be identified and clarified. While we stress the need to pay careful attention to long-term dynamics, these dynamics need to be dealt with in different ways: either based on an analysis of the actors (scientists,politicians, activists, etc.) who have actually been involved in carrying out CMR-related scientific or political work, in monitoring certain substances, devising standards and thresholds or defining toxicity; or, at another level, based on an analysis of the arenas and spaces in which CMRs have been present. And while each of these different levels and categories of analysis will provide important information, what we are really interested in is how they all fit together in the overall picture. As such, we feel that it would be heuristically beneficial to sift through a number of case studies dealing with substances, committees, institutions or national systems for comparative purposes, and to localise the actors and places concerned by the development of general CMR-related categories and policies.

TOPICS The following section includes a number of topics likely to shed light on CMR-related issues, however we are very much open to suggestions involving other topics not mentioned here.

1. Scientific knowledge and expertise

In view of the numerous works devoted to CMR-related issues, these have become firmly established as a topic of scientific research and expertise. Many debates and initiatives have focused on the health hazards of physical or chemical agents and sought to classify and define ways of protecting and regulating. Many fields and an increasing number of scientific disciplines have been involved in exploring these issues over time – oncology, toxicology, ecotoxicology, epidemiology, expology and environmental health. Within this complex mosaic, it is important to analyse the associated competing and conflicting professional and cognitive imperatives. Some scientists work on pathologies, others on environmental pollutants and others on dosimetry, all of which have triggered a rapid development in research and expertise that is frequently driven by internal dynamics but constrained by a certain number of factors inter alia controversy, activism and compliance requirements. These spheres are often linked not physically but by calculations represented in various tables showing estimated doses and regulatory or recommended limits. Due to the specialised nature of these domains, dosages and exposure limits appear to be largely disconnected from the experiences and evolving demands of ordinary populations. Another aspect concerns how scientific proof is provided and the limits to its validity for the various protagonists in controversial debates. Models used, data gathering techniques, populations studied and the definition of the reference population are all variables likely to trigger contradictory debates over what constitutes scientific proof in the eyes of both experts and lay-people.

In the conference, we will attempt to retrace the historical trajectory of CMR-related studies and knowledge production by analysing a series of topics: for example, the groups of scientists involved in the production of knowledge relating to the effects of exposure to toxic substances or industrial or environmental pollutants as well as the definition of the theoretical concepts and experimental and instrumental methodologies deployed in such work; or the formation and specific features of various disciplines that deal with these issues and the influence of the prevailing disciplinary culture on the production of cognitive and technical knowledge. We wish to identify and map the various domains concerned and the manner in which information circulates between them. We whish also to pay special attention to the deployment of the toxicological “threshold paradigm” and the practices developed around the definition of dose-effect models and exposure limits, with particular emphasis on the whole question of uncertainty (uncertainty over the effects, existence of a threshold, status of scientific proof, causality, pathological latency, etc.), and the ways in which all of these have been managed and the political uses to which they have been put.

2. The construction of national and transnational regulation systems and spaces

CMRs were largely developed and managed within national or transnational regulatory frameworks and now account for an important part of the work of these regulatory bodies. Beginning in the 1950s, the principle of setting exposure limits has mostly been taken up by the experts working in many different areas: food additives, pesticide residues, radiation, electromagnetic waves, nanoparticles and water and air pollutants – in other words the whole environment in the broadest sense of the term – dwellings, workplaces, the urban environment and the entire planet. This gave rise to the contemporary proliferation of terms for describing maximum values: Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADIs) for food additives or pesticide residues; Maximum Allowable Concentrations (MACs) or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for the air and workplace. The growth in the use of different terms and the occasional use of different approaches simultaneously has helped to forge the systems for detecting and managing industrial and environmental pollutants that still largely underpin contemporary CMRrelated policies.

We wish to retrace the history of CMR-related policies and regulatory bodies as well as how these have been managed over time. Our aim is to understand how these substances have been identified, formulated and integrated into scientific expertise processes. We wish to focus in particular on the transnational regulatory framework. The entire CMR field has evolved through regular interchanges between the international, European and national regulatory spheres. We would welcome research in the following areas: the early attempts to introduce concerted policies at European and international level prior to the Second World War (scientific commissions, International Labour Organization, Society of Nations, etc.) ; the growth in the number of regulatory bodies in the years after World War II and the organisation of international systems of regulation in the 1950s and 1960s; developments in this institutional landscape in the early 1970s driven by growing environmental awareness and ecological activism; and, the transformations that have taken place since the mid-1990s in the approaches to detecting and handling new crises and the emergence of new forms of governance with EU adoption of the new regulations on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals (REACH), followed by the gradual deployment of the UN-Sponsored Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). We feel that for each period it is important to analyse both complementary and conflicting interests as well as the power games played out between the different countries and institutions involved in transnational regulation. We are interested in research that presents an overview of a specific period, regulatory approach or area as well as in research with a narrower focus. In every case, proposals need to reflect the manner in which experts deal with a whole range of frequently contradictory parameters and imperatives: scientific knowledge, economic and political choices and the social acceptability of risky technologies, etc. Moreover, because scientific expertise forms the basis for an opinion that will in turn be used in political decision-making, it is of specific interest in understanding the true role of science in the development of public policy. As such, we will focus especially on the trajectories and networks of the scientific experts involved in these systems. Our preliminary research has shown that the same scientific experts are often key players in various regulatory bodies and may have to stand up for competing approaches and interests. The fact that experts belong to and move between many different bodies is essential to understanding the modus operandi and how a common culture is forged within a regulatory system. We are also very interested in analyses focusing on how agreements and disagreements have been dealt with between experts and their impacts on public policy. As such, careful attention must be paid to how data is actually gathered and used on the one hand, and to the various obstacles encountered by scientific expertise on the other.

3. Criticism, activism and the public space

CMR-related issues gradually became a nub of social and political contention over the course of the twentieth century. The increasing importance of the related problems and proposed solutions owes much to the different forms of public criticism and activism deployed throughout the twentieth century in a wide range of different public forums. Obviously, the various forms of collective mobilisation, characterised by a return to political and association-based activism and the use of litigation, public debates and other citizens’ forums or conferences has varied according to the populations concerned, the geographical areas in which they took place and local political traditions. CMR-related issues have mobilised different populations depending on the period in question and the substances involved: these populations have ranged from workers employed in specific sectors to the population as a whole and included specific populations such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, users of a given product, commuters or consumers, and residents living near classified facilities or high-risk activities. In addition to the different populations concerned, each issue is defined by its own specific national or regional features and political traditions. The basis used to organise various umbrella associations for local residents, victims or citizens has an increasing bearing, not only on how fears are shaped, but on the cognitive stances that enable people and groups to hone their arguments and put forward demands relating to industrial and environmental exposure. These processes in turn produce new forms of activism such as those witnessed in workplaces where whistle blowing on health-related issues has helped to place working conditions and industrial risks firmly back on the agenda. Activism raises issues such as the effects of, and interaction between multiple exposure hazards and helps researchers assess the methods for researching epidemiology and toxicology.

The papers submitted may be of use in mapping the various types of activism and the spheres in which they are deployed, the different forms of action, the nature of the arguments, the impact of such mobilisation on the issues in question and, more generally, the scoping mechanisms used to circumscribe the problems. We would also be very interested in receiving submissions dealing with the emergence of activism and organisations that strive to exert influence on an international scale and thus help to drive forward the process of global regulation.

Please contact: Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas, Université de Strasbourg - IRIST: soraya.boudia@unistra.fr, jas@inra.ivry.fr

25-27 March 2010
The Business History of Everything. 2010 Annual Meeting on Business History
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia
CFP – Deadline 1 October 2009

Business history for many years was primarily associated with the study of firms and formal business institutions. Recently its scope has widened drastically to include a far greater diversity of economic institutions and practices. It is now widely accepted that Business History is not just about the history of businesses. One of the driving ideas behind the foundation of the BHC journal Enterprise & Society (reflected in the choice of name) was that business historians now had to grapple with much more fluid ideas of what "business" was and draw on a new range of concepts and approaches to deal with this. There are in fact a very wide range of human enterprises that can usefully be conceptualised as "businesses" (the organization of production and services for use and gain), and "business history" provides approaches and methodologies for the historical analysis of economic and social institutions that can be applied across a huge range of fields.

Work that has been primarily conceptualised in different scholarly discourses can be examined (sometimes against the grain) from a "business history" perspective, often with interesting or provocative implications. Just a few examples discussed in Enterprise & Society in the last few years include: the marketplace of Christianity; the culture and commerce of chewing gum; intellectual property law and musical creativity; the commercial aspects of cultural practices; and business histories of murder, sport, holidays, childhood, hunger, war, retirement, sex, fraud, sickness, and beauty. However, as yet, only a limited amount of these types of studies have been fully presented directly at the annual meetings of the Business History Conference.

The Conference theme of "The Business History of Everything" aims to highlight the dual themes of widening the scope of business history and using its insights to re-vision many cognate areas of historical study. It also seeks to highlight the integration of the methods and practices of business history with other scholarly discourses and aims to stimulate fruitful encounters and interactions and help widen frames of reference and make kindred sub-disciplines more aware of the insights that a "business history" angle on their problems might generate. Also, in light of the current global economic crisis we would particularly welcome papers on the impact of ruptures and breakdowns, destruction and reconstruction in business history. Finally, in recognition of Barack Obama's first year as the first black President of the United States, we intend to feature a major sub-theme on race and ethnicity in business history, including a projected plenary on "African American and Ethnic Business History" and a series of related panels. Alongside this, as always, the BHC program committee will also be pleased to entertain submissions not directly related to the conference themes.

Potential presenters may submit proposals either for individual papers or for entire panels. Individual paper or poster proposals should include a one-page abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae (CV). Each panel proposal should include a cover letter stating the rationale for the session, the name of the panel's contact person, a one-page abstract and author's CV for each proposed paper (up to three), and a list of preferred chairs and commentators with contact information.

Proposals also are invited for the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best dissertation in business history. The Krooss Prize Committee welcomes submissions from recent Ph.D.'s (2007-09) in history, economics, business administration, history of science and technology, law, and related fields. To participate in this competition, please indicate so in a cover letter, and include a one-page CV and one-page dissertation abstract. Semi-finalists will be asked to submit copies of their dissertation after initial review of proposals. Finalists will present summaries of their dissertations at the Athens meeting.

BHC also awards the K. Austin Kerr Prize for the best first paper by a Ph.D. candidate or recent Ph.D. (2007-09). If you wish to participate in this competition, please indicate so in your proposal. Proposals accepted for the Krooss Prize panel are not eligible for the Kerr Prize.

The deadline for receipt of all proposals is 1 October 2009. Notification of acceptances will be sent by 15 December 2009. Presenters will be expected to submit abstracts of their papers for posting on the BHC website. In addition, presenters are encouraged to post electronic versions of their papers prior to the meeting, and to submit their papers for inclusion in our on-line proceedings publication, Business and Economic History On-Line. The BHC also offers grants to graduate students who are presenting papers to offset some of the costs of attending the conference; an announcement of application procedures will be sent to those presenting papers at the meeting.

Please send all proposals to BHC2010@Hagley.org. Hard copies may be sent or faxed to: Dr. Roger Horowitz, Secretary-Treasurer, Business History Conference, P. O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807, USA. Phone: (302) 658-2400; fax: (302) 655-3188.

The program committee is: Jeff Fear (chair), University of Redlands; Sally Clarke, University of Texas; Tracey Deutsch, University of Minnesota; Robert Weems, University of Missouri; Shane Hamilton, University of Georgia; Steven Tolliday (BHC President-elect), University of Leeds.

The Business History Conference Dissertation Colloquium will be held in conjunction with the 2010 BHC annual meeting. This intensive workshop, sponsored by BHC, will take place at the conference venue Wednesday evening, 24 March, and Thursday, 25 March. Participants will work closely with a small, distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars, including at least two of its officers. The assembled scholars and students will review dissertation proposals, consider relevant literatures and research strategies, and discuss the business history profession. Limited to ten students, it is intended for doctoral candidates in the early stages of their dissertation projects. Those interested in participating should submit a statement of interest, a preliminary or final dissertation prospectus, and a CV, and must arrange for a letter of support from your dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor). All application materials should be sent to Roger Horowitz by 1 December 2009, via email BHC2010@Hagley.org or fax 302-655-3188. All participants will receive a stipend that will partially cover costs associated with attending. The review committee will notify all applicants of its decisions by January 15.

IV.Call for Contributions

Talking Green: Oral History and the Environment

CFP – Deadline 1 June 2009

Oral History Forum d’histoire orale invites submissions for a special 2010 issue on “Talking Green: Oral History and the Environment.” Over the last several decades, environmental history has bloomed. How have oral historians engaged with this new field? What stories about nature, environmental activism, ecological disaster and natural catastrophe, green living, conservation, climate change, etc. have oral historians collected and interpreted? This special issue will feature scholarly articles as well as op-ed pieces, reports on works-in-progress, teaching resources, discussions, and reviews. Oral History Forum d’histoire orale is a peer-reviewed online journal of the Canadian Oral History Association, welcoming submissions from around the globe that present and discuss oral history research.
This special issue will be guest edited by Ryan O’Connor and Alan MacEachern of the University of Western Ontario. Proposals of maximum 500 words should be sent to roconno3@uwo.ca by 1 June 2009. Final papers are to be submitted by 1 November 2009. This special issue will be opened online in 2010.
Oral History Forum d’histoire orale is co-edited by Alexander Freund, Nolan Reilly, and Kristina Llewellyn. It is a multimedia journal that utilizes image, audio, and video files, as well as PDF-format files of articles and other contributions. Its editors encourage the inclusion of audio and video excerpts and high-quality photographs to accompany the articles. For more information about the journal, please visit http://journal.canoha.ca or contact forum@uwinnipeg.ca.


V. Miscellaneous

Our member Wolfgang König, Professor for the History of Technology at the Berlin, University of Technology (Technische Universität Berlin) was elected as member of acatech, the German Academy for the Engineering Sciences (Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften).


VI. Recently Published Books

Fickers, Andreas / Müller, Ego (eds.): Interactiviteit. Special issue of the Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, vol 11 (2008-2).

The special issue deals with the history of interactive approaches to media dating back to the 1960s; contributions are written in Dutch and English.

Inkster, Ian (ed.): By Whose Standards? Standardisation, Stability and Uniformity in the History of Information and Electrical Technologies, Special Issue of History of Technology, vol 28 (2008, published 2009).

Technical standards have received an increasing attention in recent years from various disciplines of research. Often inquiry focuses on the emergence of stability, technical closure and culturally uniform modernity. Yet current literature also emphasizes the durability of localism, heterogeneity and user choice. This collection investigates the apparent tension between these trends using case studies from across the 19th and 20th centuries.

Anthony Travis: On Chariots with Horses of Fire and Iron: The Excursionists and the Narrow Gauge Railroad from Jaffa to Jerusalem. Magnes 2009.

  שאול כץ: לתולדות היסטוריה הטכנולוגית של ארץ-ישראל בשלהי התקופה העותמאנית-שלשה חקרי-מקרה, ספרי העלייה השנייה , כרך 1, עורך ישראל ברטל (יד בן צבי, תשנ"ח), עמודים 189-212.
Shaul Katz (in Hebrew): "On the Technological History of Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Three Case Studies”. = The Second Aliya, Studies, Vol. I, (ed. Israel Bartal). Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Press, Jerusalem 1977, pp.189-212.

Alexander Block: The Development of Military Technology in Palestine / Israel (1933-1947 (Technology transfer as a ladder to success. Ph.D Thesis, Tel- Aviv University, supervised by Ido Yavetz and Aron Shai,1998.

Anthony S. Travis (3 books): The Rainbow Makers: The Origins of the Synthetic Dyestuffs Industry in Western Europe. Lehigh University Press, Bethlehem, London 1993; (with Carsten Reinhardt) Heinrich Caro and the Creation of Modern Chemical Industry. Kluwer, Dordrecht, Boston 2000; and Dyes Made in America, 1915-1980: The Calco Chemical Company, American Cyanamid and the Raritan River. Edelstein Center Jerusalem/Hexagon Press Arizona US, Jeremy Mills UK, 2004.  

Yoel Bergman: Development and production of smokeless military propellants in France 1884-1918. Ph.D. Thesis- Tel Aviv University, supervised by Ido Yavetz, 2008.

Shaul Katzir: A History of Piezoelectricity: the First Two Decades. Ph.D. Thesis Tel Aviv University, supervised by Ido Yavetz, 2001.