Working Party on History of Chemistry

12th International Conference in History of Chemistry

The 12ICHC will take place in Maastricht, the Netherlands from 29 July till 2 August, 2019.


The Conference will be hosted by Maastricht University (UM), a young university, founded in 1976, with a very international student population, and a strong research group in Science, Technology and Society (STS), including the history of science and technology. The conference will be sponsored by UM, the Royal Dutch Chemical Society and several other organizations.

The conference programme will include scientific sessions, key-note lectures, the WP business meeting, as well as social events such as excursions, receptions, and a conference dinner banquet. Key-note lectures will be given by Marco Beretta (Bologna University), Carsten Reinhardt (Bielefeld University) and Lissa Roberts (Twente University).

The Steering Organizing Committee encourages the submission of panel/session proposals, but also welcomes the submission of stand-alone papers. Session organizers and contributors are free to send their proposals on any topic on the history of chemistry, broadly constructed as the cluster of molecular sciences, industry, and technology. A non-exhaustive list of possible sessions could include historical papers on the development of all aspects of material and life sciences, such as:


– Chemistry, professors, textbooks and classrooms

– Teaching and didactics of history of chemistry

– Chemistry and law: controversies, expertise, counter-expertise, fraud and activism

– Environmental chemistry, energy and regulation

– Chemical industry, its transition towards a circular economy

– Spaces and sites of chemistry

– (Post)colonial perspectives on chemistry

– Chemistry and its businesses in a globalizing world

– Commodities and commodification

– Modern chemistry and physics of semiconductors and nano-materials

– Chemistry and digital humanities; editions of manuscripts, etc.

– Instruments, collections and material culture

– Replication of historical experiments

– Periodic Table (2019 = International Year of the Periodic Table)

– Biographies, prosopographies, and databases

– Chemistry, war and exile

– Representation of chemistry, and visual cultures

– Chemistry in the age of the Anthropocene

– Early modern art and chemistry

– Alchemy, Chemistry and Early Modern Science and Medicine

– Gender and chemistry


The Steering Organizing Committee consists of Christoph Meinel, Universität Regensburg, and Ignacio Suay-Matallana, Universidad Miguel Hernández (chairs of the committee), Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University (Steering Organizing Committee), Brigitte Van Tiggelen, Science History Institute (chair of the WPHC), and Ernst Homburg, Maastricht University (chair of the Local Organizing Committee).


Important Dates:

Deadline for submitting proposals (both panels and individual papers): 31 January 2019.

Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2019.

Early bird registration: by 15 May 2019.

Conference dates: 29 July – 2 August 2019.


Proposal guidelines:

All proposals must be in English, the language of the conference. Submitted abstracts and session proposals will be subject to review by an international Advisory Committee. The conference is open to individual paper submissions, but preference will be given to organized sessions. The sessions should include about 3-5 papers, and no more than one session can be proposed by the same organizer. All paper proposals must use the templates provided on the conference web site. All proposals should be submitted by email (by 31 January 2019) to:

For more information about session or paper submission, deadlines and practical arrangements can soon be found on:

Contact information for practical questions:


News from the German Chemical Society

The History Group of the German Chemical Society is proud to announce that its journal “Mitteilungen” is now online and openly accessible. The content of all back issues from 1 (1988) to 24 (2014) is available from the Group’s homepage. Permanent electronic versions of the journal are hosted by the German National Library and linked in the Electronic Journals Library.

In this way the GDCh History of Chemistry Group hopes to improve its service, and to strenghten its ties, to the international community of historians of chemistry. The majority of articles in the “Mitteilungen” is of course in German, but it goes without saying that contributions submitted in English will also be considered for publication.

Christoph Meinel
Managing Editor

Obituary Masanori Kaji (1956-2016)

In July 2016, Prof. Masanori Kaji, a treasured member of our community, passed away – at the age of 60. Kaji and his contributions to the historical scholarship of chemistry shall long be remembered by scholars worldwide.

Personal account by his colleague and friend Gabor Pallo.