Historical Perspectives On Contemporary Issues

Series: IsisCB Special Issue on Pandemics

This series offers discussions with the editors and authors of a special issue of the Isis Current Bibliography. It provides perspectives into the state of current scholarship on the history of pandemics, and where the field might be heading in the future.

For more information and to access the special issue, see https://pandemics.isiscb.org/

Neeraja Sankaran and Stephen P. Weldon introduce the series.

Get an inside view of the editorial decisions and motivations behind a special issue of the Isis Current Bibliography, which focuses on scholarship in the history of pandemics. The editors discuss several important topics, including their approach to making the special issue both open access and open peer review; their efforts to make their special issue global in scope; and their editorial management of scholarly collaboration.


Neeraja SankaranNeeraja Sankaran is a historian of science and medicine at the National Centre for Biological Sciences-TIFR, Bangalore, India. Her work focuses on the recent and near-contemporary history of biomedical sciences. An independent scholar since 2015, she has held both research and teaching positions at universities in different parts of the world, including the United States, Egypt, South Korea, India, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.




Stephen WeldonStephen P. Weldon is a historian of science at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism (Johns Hopkins Press, 2020) and is editor of the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science, the definitive bibliographical resource for the discipline, which goes back to 1913. In 2015, he established an online open access service called IsisCB Explore that allows anyone to search this database.




Closed-captioning available on YouTube.

Recorded August 29, 2022.

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Related Publications from our Speakers:
Neeraja Sankaran, A Tale of Two Viruses Parallels in the Research Trajectories of Tumor and Bacterial Viruses (2021, University of Pittsburgh Press)
Stephen P. Weldon, The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism (2020, Johns Hopkins University Press)
Stephen P. Weldon, “History of the World History of Science Online Project,” Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum (2013). Open Access URL: http://www.bahps.org/09_Weldon-2013-2-09.pdf (pdf)
Stephen P. Weldon, “Recent Trends in Research in the Field of the History of Science,” Webinar Presentation for the Collections Forum on Science, Technology, and Engineering, Center for Research Laboratories, Annual Council Meeting, April 19, 2013. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDmywUFD_IA; presentation begins at 35:00 and runs to 1:17:00


Related forums and podcasts:
A Tale of Two Viruses, an interview with Neeraja Sankaran
Series: Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic (12 episodes)
Series: Perspectives on "Race Science" and Scientific Racism (10 episodes)
The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism, an interview with Stephen Weldon
Trust in Science: Vaccines
Sickness and the City


See also recent work from our fellows:
George Aumoithe, Epidemic Preparedness in the Age of Chronic Illness: Public Health and Welfare Politics in the United States, 1965-2000
Nicholas Bonneau, Unspeakable Loss, Distempered Awakenings: North America's Invisible Throat Distemper Epidemic of 1735-1765
Marcos Cueto, A History of Global AIDS and Health Activism in Brazil
Bethany Johnson, In the Aftermath of the “Lost” Pandemic: Philadelphia, 1919-1922
Julia Mansfield, The Disease of Commerce: Yellow Fever in the Atlantic World, 1793-1805
Matthew Newsom Kerr, Re-Visualizing Vaccination: The British and American “Anti-Anti-Vaccinationist” Movement, 1890-1914