Reader Project

in the History of Science

Contact Coordinators Angela Creager (Princeton University) & Dagmar Schäfer for Further Information

About the Reader Project

The disciplines of the history of science, medicine, and technology are rethinking themselves in global terms. In order to widen the scope of both subject matter and scholarly discussion, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, in collaboration with the History of Science Society, the American Association for the History of Medicine, the British Society for the History of Science, the Division of the History of Science and Technology of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, the European Society for the History of Science, the Society for the History of Technology and the Society for the Social History of Medicine, proposes a pilot project: a two-volume, multi-language reader that will translate into Chinese ten influential historical articles or book chapters on science, technology, or medicine published in English during the last 25 years (since 1990) on any topic and epoch in our fields.

The reader will be published by Edition Open Access, in conjunction with a renowned Asian academic publishing house, and will be made available both online and by print on demand. The companion volume will translate into English an analogous selection of articles in Chinese chosen by our colleagues in those countries, into English. If this trial project is successful, we hope to expand it to include other regions and languages.

From October to December 2015 the partner institutions hosted a web-based poll to solicit nominations from members of the societies (and anyone who was interested). 244 different essays were nominated in this poll in the disciplines of history of science, history of medicine, and history of technology. This provided a starting place for the discussion of the editorial committee (see members below) that reviewed the results and selected the most influential articles for publication. The selection process took place in winter and spring of 2016. The chosen articles are currently being translated and will be published in 2017.

The partners will use this website to inform the public about the ongoing process and its results. In addition, they intend to host some events to reflect about the issue of translating in the history of science.


The Editorial Committee

  • David Beck (BSHS)
  • Angela N. H. Creager (Coordination, HSS)
  • Christopher Cullen (DHST/IUHPST)
  • Lorraine Daston (MPIWG)
  • Yao Dazhi (SHOT)
  • Olga Elina (ESHS)
  • Florence Hsia (HSS)
  • Jürgen Renn (MPIWG)
  • David S. Jones (AAHM)
  • Dagmar Schäfer (Coordination, MPIWG)
  • Carsten Timmermann (SSHM)
  • Hansjakob Ziemer (MPIWG)