STATUTES AND BYLAWS
OF THE
HISTORY OF SCIENCE SOCIETY
STATUTES
Purpose Membership Offices Administration  
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I. Purpose

  1. This Society is called the History of Science Society, Inc. The Society is established to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations, to provide a forum for discussion, and to promote scholarly research in the history of science. The Society pursues these objectives by the publication of its official journal Isis, by the support and subvention of other forms of scholarly publication, by the organization of annual meetings and other programs, by the award of medals and prizes for outstanding contributions to the history of science, by the encouragement and sponsorship of local and regional sections of the Society, by fostering the career development of its members, and by cooperation with other learned and scientific societies. The Society thus functions as an educational institution in its chosen field by transmitting and disseminating knowledge and by aiding in teaching and research.

II. Membership

  1. Persons of any nationality who are interested in the history of science are eligible for membership in the Society. The payment of annual dues shall constitute formal recognition of membership.
  2. Membership shall consist of five classes: (1) Member (individual or institutional); (2) Student; (3) Retired; (4) Sustaining; (5) Family. Members are those who pay the annual dues. Student members are graduate or undergraduate students who pay the annual dues at the student rate. Retired members are those who have retired from employment and opt to pay the annual dues at the reduced rate set for this class. Sustaining members are those who from time to time contribute major financial support for the furtherance of the Society's work. Two individuals may jointly become family members by opting to pay together the annual dues at the rate set for this class. Each shall receive all benefits of membership, except as noted in Article 5.
  3. Membership privileges include voting in elections and at the Annual Business Meeting, and nominating by petition, except that libraries and other institutions are eligible for membership without vote or nomination privilege.
  4. A subscription to Isis, the official journal of Society, shall be included in the dues or equivalent contribution of each member, though two individuals who share a family membership shall receive only one subscription to Isis.
  5. If any member fails to pay dues within sixty days of the mailing out of the bill, his or her membership privileges shall be suspended until reinstatement.

III. Offices

  1. The officers shall be a President, a Vice-President who is President-elect, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and the Editor of the Society.
  2. There shall be a Council consisting of the officers, the immediate Past-president of the Society (two-year term) and fifteen additional members elected from and by the membership of the Society. The officers constitute the Executive Committee of the Council.
  3. Terms: The Vice-President shall be elected by ballot for two calendar years followed by two calendar years as President; in each year five members of the Council shall be elected for three calendar years; in each year a Nominating Committee for the following year shall be elected.
    Ballots:
    The Nominating Committee, consisting of three members of the Council and two other members of the Society, shall prepare a ballot to be sent to each member of the Society at least two months before the annual meeting. For the Vice-President, the ballot shall contain the names of two candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee together with the names of any other candidates nominated by petitions signed by at least twenty-five members of the Society. For the Council, the ballot shall contain the names of ten candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee together with the names of other candidates nominated by petitions signed by at least fifteen members of the Society.
    The President of the Society shall appoint the chair of the Nominating Committee from among those elected to that Committee.
    Nominating petitions, together with the agreement of the person nominated, must reach the chair of the Nominating Committee within two months after publication of the list of nominees. Each list of candidates on the ballot shall be arranged in alphabetical order without further distinctions, and there shall be blank spaces at the end of each list in which the voter may enter and vote for other names.
    The ballots shall be received by the Secretary and valid ballots shall be tallied by a committee consisting of the Secretary and at least one other person, appointed by the Secretary.
    In the event of a tie vote, the members of the Society present at the annual business meeting shall choose by ballot between the nominees with the highest number of votes.

IV. Administration

  1. The Council is the responsible agent of the Society and has general charge of the affairs of the Society. Vacancies in unexpired terms on the Council shall be filled by those candidates who received the highest number of votes after those elected to regular three-year terms in the immediately preceding election.
  2. The Council shall elect a Treasurer and Secretary, each for a two-year, renewable term. In case of a vacancy in the office of President, the Vice-President shall immediately become Acting President, and shall become President for a regular two-year term at the next convenient date. In case of a vacancy in the office of Vice-President, the office shall be filled by ballot for the remainder of the regular two-year term, as soon as possible, in accordance with the procedures of Article 9, Paragraph 2. In case of a vacancy in any other office, the Council shall elect a member of the Society to complete the unexpired portion of the term.
  3. The annual meeting of the Society, which shall include a business meeting, shall ordinarily be held in the last quarter of each calendar year, the time and place to be determined by the Committee on Meetings and Programs.
  4. Council shall meet at the time of the annual meeting of the Society. It may meet at other times, at the President's discretion or upon request made in writing to the Secretary by three or more members of the Council. A quorum of the Council shall consist of seven members. Absent members may vote by mail. The President of the Society may conduct a mail poll of Council members on matters that require Council action before the next scheduled meeting. Issues submitted to a mail poll shall be considered approved if supported by the majority of the responses received by the President within thirty (30) days of the mailing of the ballot.
  5. Council shall have power to approve the formation and dissolution of local and regional sections of the Society.
  6. The officers shall perform the customary duties of their offices except as otherwise stated. In the absence of the President and the Vice-President, the Secretary shall preside at any meeting of the Council or the Society. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be responsible to the Council for administration of their offices. All reports of officers and committees shall be acted upon formally during the Council session at which they are presented, or at the next session.
  7. The Executive Committee of the Council shall act ad interim on matters that do not call for immediate submission to the Council, propose an annual budget and other matters to the Council, and carry out policy established by the Council. All such actions shall be reported to the Council at its next session. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of three members. The Executive Committee shall serve as a committee on committees to assist the President and the Council.
  8. The Council shall appoint the Society's delegates to the American Council of Learned Societies, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to the International Congresses of the History of Science, and to other organizations and societies.
  9. A Committee on Finances shall comprise the Treasurer (as chair) and at least three other members of the Society, appointed by the Executive Committee for two-year, renewable terms. It shall oversee the financial affairs of the Society in consultation with the Executive Committee and shall review on an advisory basis the budget proposal prepared by the Executive Committee prior to its submission to the Council at its annual meeting. The Executive Committee shall submit the proposed budget, together with the Treasurer's Annual Report, to the members of the Council at least thirty (30) days before the annual meeting of the Council. The financial accounts of the Society shall be audited by a certified public accountant once a year. The Treasurer and Executive Director shall be bonded.
  10. (a) A Committee on Publications shall consist of five members appointed by the Executive Committee of the Council, to serve staggered terms of five years. Each of these members shall serve as chair during his or her fifth year. The Vice-President shall be an ex officio member of the Committee on Publications.
    (b) The Committee on Publications shall prepare a recommendation to Council for the appointment of the Editor of the Society. The Editor shall be elected by Council for a five-year term, which may be extended for a period of one to five years by mutual agreement of the Council and Editor.
  11. There shall be a Program Chair, appointed by the Executive Committee, for each annual meeting of the Society. The Program Chair shall ordinarily be an ex officio member of the Committee on Meetings and Programs. The Program Chair shall make at least two nominations to the Executive Committee for nominees to give the annual History of Science Society Distinguished Lecture.
  12. Amendments to these statutes must be proposed to members of Council at least thirty days prior to any meeting of the Council by the Executive Committee or by petitions signed by at least twenty-five members of the Society. At this meeting the amendments shall be submitted to vote, a favorable vote of three-fourths of those present, including all mail votes, being necessary for approval by the Council. Amendments approved by the Council shall be submitted to the members of the Society at the first business meeting of the Society following the Council meeting. Ratification shall require a favorable vote of three-fourths of the members present.

 

BYLAWS
Executive Committee Standing Committees Membership on Committees Appointment to Committees
Ad Hoc Committees Caucuses Interest Groups Executive Director Review

I.The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall meet at the Society's annual meeting and at least once during the interval between annual meetings, in order to:

  1. approve an annual budget recommendation, which it shall submit subsequently to the Committee on Finances for review and to the Council for final action at the annual meeting of the Council;
  2. choose the Sarton medalist and the Sarton lecturer from nominations made by the Committee on Honors and Prizes and members at large;
  3. choose the speaker for the History of Science Society Distinguished Lecture;
  4. receive reports from standing and other committees of the Society and draw up appropriate recommendations pertaining thereto for consideration by the Council;
  5. consider matters for long-range planning and policy for the Society; and
  6. take whatever interim actions it deems necessary in the interest of the Society.

The Executive Committee may from time to time establish ad hoc committees--for example on Membership, on Long-Range Planning--and may direct any of the standing committees below to form subcommittees to deal ad hoc with particular concerns falling within their general domain. The establishment of additional committees or standing subcommittees or deletion of any of the named standing committees or standing subcommittees requires the approval of the Council.

II. Standing Committees

Standing committees of the Society are responsible to the Council. The chair of each of these committees is required to prepare a written Annual Report to the Society. This report should be sent to the Secretary not later than thirty (30) days before the Council meets, and submitted by the Secretary to the Council not later than twenty-one (21) days before the Council meets. Additional interim reports from committees may also be requested by the Executive Committee of the Council. Each Committee may form its own subcommittees ad hoc as appropriate. The list of standing committees is as follows.

  1. Committee on Education. This committee shall concern itself with the role of the history of science in education at all levels, from elementary school to graduate and postdoctoral training in the field; with textbooks and other materials for teaching the subject; and with the public understanding of science.
  2. Committee on Research and the Profession. This committee shall concern itself with the state of the profession, including employment patterns and opportunities with special attention given to issues of gender and diversity in the employment practices of the profession; research support in the field; various forms of support for independent scholars; relationships to neighboring disciplines and professional societies; and the status of groups underrepresented in the Society. Three standing subcommittees of this committee shall be the Committee on Women, the Committee on Diversity, and the Committee on Independent Scholars. Their chairs will be voting members of the Committee on Research and the Profession. There shall also be a Washington Representative, who will be a voting member of the Committee on Research and the Profession.
  3. Committee on Meetings and Programs. This committee shall establish, subject to Council approval, general policies for the format, content, and location of annual meetings of the Society and for other meetings at which the Society may be represented. This committee will nominate from the Society membership a Program Chair and a Local Arrangements Chair for approval by the Executive Committee. The Program Chair will organize the program of the annual meeting and the Local Arrangements Chair will organize local functions of the annual meeting. Both chairs will coordinate their activities through the Executive Office. The Program Chair and the Local Arrangements Chair may each constitute a committee from the membership of the Society to assist in carrying out his or her functions. The Program Chair and the Local Arrangements Chair, or one member of a shared chairship, will become ex officio members of the Committee on Meetings and Programs for three years: that in which the annual meeting they are responsible for takes place, and both the preceding and the following years.
  4. Committee on Honors and Prizes. This committee shall send to the Executive Committee each year at a time to be fixed by the Secretary three or more nominations for the Sarton Medalist. The committee shall also advise the Secretary when policy questions arise regarding the operation of the Standing Subcommittees appointed to select winners of the various prizes established by the society. From time to time the Committee on Honors and Prizes may also recommend to the Executive Committee the honoring of a member of the Society for outstanding service to the discipline in domains not covered by the regularly established awards, prizes, and medals. Such service might include, but should not be limited to the mentoring of young scholars, promotion of the discipline through non-print media, unusual service as an editor, the establishment of an outstanding museum, etc. Nominations for such honors may come to the Committee on Honors and Prizes from any member or committee of the Society. The Standing Subcommittees shall include those established to select winners of the Pfizer Prize, Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize, Schuman Prize, History of Women in Science Prize, Derek Price Award, and such other regular prizes as may be established. Each Standing Subcommittee of the Committee on Honors and Prizes shall have one ex officio, non-voting member chosen by the Committee on Honors and Prizes from among its current membership.
  5. The Committee on Publications is charged with overseeing all publications of the Society and acts as an advisory body to the Executive Committee and the Council. The Committee (a) reviews and makes recommendations on editorial policy and on the appointments of the Editor of the Society and, in consultation with the Society’s Editor, the Editor of the Current Bibliography; (b) approves proposals for the editors of the Society’s occasional publications; (c) annually consults with the Editor of the Society on the selection of members of editorial boards and reviews all appointments to editorial boards; and (d) reviews publications operations and budgets. The Committee meets at least once per year at the time and venue of the Society’s annual meeting. When necessary, an additional meeting is held in the spring at a venue determined by the Chair. Normally the Committee’s business will be conducted at one of its convened meetings, although matters may be dealt with in the interim through consultation by mail, telephone, or e-mail at the discretion of the Chair. The Editor of Isis is the Editor of the Society. The Editor of the Society will be responsible for Osiris. He or she may appoint, in consultation with the Committee on Publications and with Council approval, an Associate Editor responsible for Osiris. The Editor of the Society (or the responsible Associate Editor) may appoint (with the approval of the Osiris Editorial Board) guest Editors for the individual Osiris volumes.
  6. Committee on Finances. This committee shall advise the treasurer of the Society on all matters pertaining to the finances of the Society. It shall review, on an advisory basis, the annual budget proposed by the Executive Committee prior to the submission of the budget to the Council. The committee shall concern itself with the management of the funds of the Society and with means for the financial support of the Society.
  7. Nominating Committee. As described in Section III of the Statutes.
  8. When necessary, a Special Nominating Committee composed of the President (as chair), Vice-President, and the members of the elected Nominating Committee shall recommend one or more candidates for Secretary, to be elected by the Council.

III. Membership on Committees

  1. The Committee on Education, the Committee on Research and the Profession, the Committee on Meetings and Programs, and the Committee on Honors and Prizes shall each consist of at least five members, including at least one member of the council and at least two members from the Society at large. Each member shall be appointed by the Executive Committee for a three year term. Council members shall have staggered terms. Members of the Council will normally be appointed to a committee when they are first elected to the Council and will begin service on 1 January immediately following their election. The chair for each committee shall be designated by the Executive Committee.
  2. If and when a member-at-large is elected to the Council while serving a term on a committee, he or she may be appointed to a new three-year term, or he or she may be reassigned to another committee and another member-at-large appointed to fill out the unexpired term on that committee.

IV. Appointment to Committees

Members of the Standing Committees and their Standing Subcommittees shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. Standing Committees are invited to propose to the Executive Committee, for its consideration, the names of nominees for appointment to the Standing Subcommittees.

V. Ad Hoc Committees

The Executive Committee may establish ad hoc committees from time to time and may direct any of the above standing committees to form a subcommittee to deal with a particular concern falling within its general domain. The establishment of additional standing committees or deletion of any of the above standing committees requires the approval of the Council.

VI. Caucuses

  1. The Women’s Caucus of the History of Science Society is affiliated with the Committee on Research and the Profession. Its primary focus is the role and status of women in the profession. The Caucus also serves as a forum for those interested in the history of women as well as the wider role of gender in science, medicine, and technology. The co-chairs of the Caucus act as a resource for the History of Science Society on questions pertinent to the role and status of women in the profession and in the Society. The Caucus reports to HSS Council on its activities as well as to the Committee on Research and the Profession.
    The annual business meeting of the Caucus is scheduled each year at the annual meeting of the History of Science Society. Caucus meetings are open to all members of the Society and the Caucus encourages the participation of all society members concerned with issues appropriate to the Caucus. The business of the Caucus is decided at the annual meeting by the members present and voting. Throughout the year, the business of the Caucus is conducted by the two co-chairs. Co-chairs serve two-year terms, with a new co-chair elected at each annual business meeting by the members present and voting for a two-year term to commence the following January.
    The business of the Caucus includes, but is not limited to, conducting employment and pre-employment surveys of the profession broadly defined; establishing and maintaining communication networks among members of the Caucus and other persons interested in the work of the Caucus (these may include a directory of scholars and a WEB page, among other formats); organizing paper sessions for the History of Science Society meetings and other pertinent professional organizations as appropriate; and other relevant activities described and voted for by the membership.
    The Caucus raises no dues directly. Each year the co-chairs develop a budget that is submitted to the History of Science Society for its approval and funding.

VII. Interest Groups

  1. Scholars with a common interest in a particular area of the history of science, technology, or medicine may petition the Council for recognition as an interest group. The petition shall include the name of the proposed interest group, a statement of purpose, the particular area to be stimulated and developed, bylaws or some other statement of organization (including provisions for the selection of officers), and a statement of how formation of this interest group will benefit the HSS and the profession.
  2. Interest groups will determine their own criteria for membership, which need not be restricted to members of the History of Science Society.
  3. An interest group may assess dues for its own activities and may have the entire management and control of said funds. Any other fund-raising activity must be coordinated with the HSS Executive Committee and expenditures must be audited annually.
  4. If requested by an interest group, the Society will provide at cost the following services: collecting dues, maintaining membership lists, publishing and distributing newsletters and other communications, and managing funds. The Society may provide such other administrative services as authorized by the Executive Committee or by special appropriations authorized by Council.
  5. Upon request to the Program Committee, provision shall be made for a business meeting of each interest group at the Society's annual meeting.
  6. The existence of an interest group shall not be construed to restrict the right of Society members as individuals to apply for the services that the Society aims to provide its members, such as those listed in items (D) and (E) above.
  7. The Council may withdraw recognition from an interest group for good and sufficient reasons.

VIII. Executive Director

The administrative functions of the society will be the responsibility of the Executive Director. S/he will be appointed, with the approval of Council, to a salaried position by the Society’s Executive Committee, which shall also be responsible for evaluation, retention, and promotion of the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall be an ex officio non-voting member of Council and Executive Committee.

IX. Review

These bylaws will be in effect for three years from date of adoption by Council, and will then be reviewed.

Changes adopted and approved by HSS Council (7Nov. 1996) and attendees at HSS Business Meeting (10 Nov. 1996) in Atlanta, GA. Recorded by Keith R. Benson, HSS Executive Secretary. Changes to bylaws adopted and approved by HSS Council on 22 October 1998. Recorded by Keith R. Benson, HSS Executive Secretary. Changes in statutory language regarding switch from Executive Secretary to Secretary approved by HSS Council on 22 October 1998 and confirmed in HSS Business Meeting 7 November 1999. Recorded by Keith R. Benson, HSS Secretary.

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