Call for Papers for Topical Collection: Environment and the Life Sciences

Collection Editor: Jacob Darwin Hamblin

Please read our Author Instructions for Topical Collections to get further information about the submission, review and publishing process of Topical Collections.

The Journal for the History of Biology is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for a topical collection dedicated to “Environment and the Life Sciences.” It focuses on historical scholarship that connects the history of scientists and scientific ideas to environmental history or the history of environmental issues, broadly conceived.


We seek submissions that approach environmental topics through the specific lens of the history of the life sciences. How have biological ideas informed and influenced the environmental sciences or environmental issues? What roles did scientists or scientific ideas have upon private and public discourse about the natural environment? How have environmental ideas—cultural, religious, political, or otherwise—changed under the influence of scientific ideas in biology? Conversely, how have environmental ideas shaped scientific knowledge? How have these ideas differed across time, spaces, or cultures?


We imagine this collection linking histories of science to such topics as environmental justice, ecological change, uses of natural spaces (e.g., agriculture, fisheries, toxic waste sites), understanding of health effects (from chemical exposure, for example), the use or exploitation of non-human species, cultural values and practices, environmental politics, and environmental issues writ large.


The above is intended to be broadly interpreted, with one caveat. Although we respect the notion of using today’s scientific ideas to interrogate the past, the journal is focused on an interrogation of science’s past. Contributors should bear in mind that the Journal of the History of Biology focuses on science, its history, and those who have participated in knowledge creation in the life sciences.