The Commission organises two symposia at the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Manchester (UK), July 22-28 2013.
- S088 Expanding women’s sphere: knowledge and the re‐definition of women’s work in the 20th century by Rosemary Wall and Rima Apple
- S110 Homemade Science: Domestic Sites and the Gendering of Knowledge by Donald L Opitz and Brigitte van Tiggelen
‘Expanding women’s sphere’ explores the way in which women defined their work and role, often within strongly masculine environments – veterinary science, medicine and science. We have recruited speakers to illustrate women’s strategies across varied disciplines. We propose six papers across two sessions, with 15 minutes per paper and 45 minutes for a commentary and a general discussion within each 90 minute session. These papers have a trans-national perspective, mainly focussing on Britain and the USA, but also the activities of British and American women in China, Malaya and West Africa. The first session will examine women’s work in biological and health sciences from the perspective of the USA and the UK and will be followed by a commentary by Rosemary Wall, drawing connections between the three papers. The second session will situate the activities of American and British women working in health and science within an international context, beginning with ideas of public health and educational theory in the USA, followed by American and British incursions into education and practice in Asia and Africa. The session will be completed by a commentary by Rima Apple, linking together the papers in this session and drawing connections with the rest of the symposium.
Homemade Science: Domestic Sites and the Gendering of Knowledge: As a robust area for investigating the production of scientific knowledge, the geography of science has been dominated by places like the field, laboratory, marine station, museum, and civic lecture hall. But scientists among these diverse sites uniformly must retire to one common place: the home. How might our accounting of the geography of knowledge-production shift when we add this fundamental institution to the work-lives of scientists? In what ways did the home provide spatial, material, and social resources for the pursuit of science, and how was “homemade science” produced in perhaps distinctive and yet replicable ways? How might the home have spawned distinctive gender meanings and dynamics in knowledge-production? What were the statuses of domestic sites within broader geographies of science? In this symposium, speakers have been invited to address these questions by examining the status of the domestic production of science in a range of time periods, locations, disciplines, and physical configurations. Individual presentations will pay particular attention to how the gendered meanings and dynamics of scientific work assumed particular forms within domestic settings, and what those forms entailed for scientific outcomes. A commentator for the symposium, as a whole, will draw lessons from the individual cases to suggest how, collectively, the contributions push our historical understanding of the geography of gendered knowledge production.