Proposals are invited for contributed papers to sessions on THE ROLE OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS IN WARFARE to be held at the 2002 History of Science Society (HSS), the 2002 Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), and the 2003 Society for Military History (SMH) conferences and to be combined into a published survey volume on the topic.
The goal of these sessions is to investigate the military uses of scientific instruments, either as distillations of scientific concepts for paraliterate users or as generative objects for the development of military sciences and thought. Examples of the former might include objects such as rangefinders that allow unskilled soldiers to utilize advanced ballistics, while examples of the latter could include diagnostic instruments which identify soldiers for certain duties or create ‘types’ of soldiers. More broadly, contributors might consider peculiarly military uses of general scientific instruments, from microscopes, testing machines, or even more broadly, computers or medical devices. Generally, however, the concept of scientific instrument should here be understood as a material object or technology which embodies scientific theory which used in a military setting in a way that distinguishes it from a civilian setting.
It is hoped that these papers will cover scientific instruments in war from a wide chronological base (pre-modern to present) and from many different perspectives (organizational, artifactual, logistical, or perceptual) and many different disciplines (mathematics, physics, chemistry, acoustics, biomedical, and so forth). Ultimately, the published volume will seek to do more than combine narrowly focussed investigations of individual objects, and published contributors will therefore be asked to place their specific investigation in a wider framework, whether chronological or thematic. Solicited contributions may be sought to fill gaps so that the published volume serves as an introduction to the field as well as showcasing individual important research.
SHOT meets in Toronto 17-20 October 2002
HSS meets in Milwaukee 7-10 November 2002
SMH meets in Knoxville 1-4 May 2003
Further inquiries or paper proposals (for either conference or a chapter in the published volume) should be directed to the address below.
Please include a title, abstract, and brief C.V. Initial inquiries should be made before Feb. 15 and completed proposals should be sent by March 1 for the fall conferences, and Sept. 1 for SMH.
Steven A. Walton
MTU-Dept. of Social Sciences
209 Academic Office Bldg.
Houghton, MI 49931
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