Call for Papers: Life Sciences, Agriculture, and the Environment

The Department of History of Science & Technology at Johns Hopkins University is soliciting proposals for a volume of essays that will explore the relationship between the life sciences, agriculture, and the environment from 1750 to the end of the 20th century. Of special interest is the reciprocal interaction between biological sciences and agriculture, including how agricultural problems inform the theory and practice of biology, and how biological research affects the development of scientific agriculture and agricultural practices. Biological sciences are broadly conceived to include experimental and field sciences, natural history, and biogeography. Agriculture is also broadly conceived to include any domestic or industrial uses of animals and plants. Environment here refers to interest in such problems as climate, soil type and topography as they affect distribution of species. Continuities between 19th and 20th century research will be explored, as well as the development of new disciplines (such as genetics) that emerge in agricultural contexts. They especially seek essays that explore these questions in different national contexts, in order to develop a comparative perspective on the relationship between life sciences and agriculture.

Proposals of 250 words should be sent to Profs. Denise Phillips ( and Sharon Kingsland ( by March 1, 2012. For selected papers, drafts of essays (25 pages) will be due by January 15, 2013. A workshop will be held either in spring or early summer of 2013 for discussion of papers among the contributors, but participation in the workshop is not mandatory for inclusion in the volume. The workshop will be held at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and all travel and accommodation expenses of participants will be fully covered. In addition the department offers an honorarium of $500 for accepted papers. Final drafts will be due on August 1, 2013.