Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of the History of Science

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  • Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of the History of ScienceAuthor(s): Brooke Hindle and Henry GuerlacSource: Isis, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Winter, 1965), pp. 453-454Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The History of Science SocietyStable URL: .Accessed: 08/05/2014 22:07

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    To the Editor of Isis: I write as a member of the History

    of Science Society and a participant in the Tenth International Congress of the History of Science to protest the recently issued proceedings of that con- gress.

    This work, in two volumes, is identi- fied on the title pages as Ithaca/ 26 VIII 1962-2 IX 1962 / Actes du Dixieeme Congres International d' / Histoire des Sciences/ Proceedings of the Tenth In- ternational Congress of the / History of Science / President / Henry Guerlac / Cornell University.

    Unlike the Actes of the ninth con- gress, held in 1959, these volumes con- tain no chronology of meetings, no list of supporting institutions, no list of participants, and no list of officers. The only names I find are those of the presi- dent of the congress, the president of Cornell University, and the speakers and commentators whose remarks are printed, and when they are not, the names of their authors are wiped out too.

    Still worse, nowhere in either volume is there any indication that a portion of the congress was held in Philadelphia. The opening ceremonies at Ithaca are fully presented but similar remarks made in Philadelphia are altogether suppressed. No one, depending upon these volumes alone for his informa- tion, could assume anything but that the entire congress was held at Ithaca.

    It will be exceedingly unfortunate if the permanent record of so successful a congress is left in the deceptive - al- beit handsome - form of these two vol- umes. I therefore suggest that par- ticipants who preserved the ephemeral Program of the congress donate that pamphlet to their university or insti- tutional library where it can be placed beside Ithaca to supply some of the missing and miscast information.

    As it stands, this official record, im- portant to the history of science, pre- sents on its face a picture in conflict with the truth.

    BROOKE HINDLE New York University February 14, 1965

    To the Editor of Isis: It is clear from Professor Hindle's

    letter that some clarification is in order; and though I was not the editor of the Actes - indeed no member of the Plan- ning Committee was in a position to assume this responsibility at the close of the Congress - I can perhaps throw some light on the matters that trouble him.

    Though the possibility of printing the Actes in this country, under the supervision of an American editor, was considered at one time, the Planning Committee was persuaded to adhere to previous practice and to select the firm of Hermann in Paris as our publisher. This firm willingly assumed the edi- torial duties for which its wide experi- ence qualified it. The Secretary of the Congress generously agreed to devote extra time to assembling the papers that had been presented at the aca- demic sessions and putting them in ap- propriate order. These papers were conveyed in person, by the Secretary and the President of the Congress, to the offices of Hermann,- together with copies of the printed program and other material for their guidance.

    One decision that particularly offends Professor Hindle was assented to on this occasion when the general char- acter of the publication was discussed. The publisher was reluctant to add to the bulk and cost of the work by in- cluding as front matter the table of organization of the Congress, the pro- gram of events, the credit lines, etc. As Professor Hindle notes, these were printed in the Program. This decision seemed desirable on practical grounds, and quite reasonable, since the pur- pose of the Actes was to make generally available the scholarly results of the Congress.

    Professor Hindle complains that while the names of some of the in- evitable participants in the formal opening session at Ithaca appear in the early pages of the Actes, there is no rec- ord of those who took part in the con- cluding days at Philadelphia. I assume he is referring to the final banquet.


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    This omission is regrettable, but there is a simple explanation. The opening session at Ithaca was taped and a tran- script prepared. This was deemed worthy of inclusion as front matter because the greater part of the tran- script was devoted to the important ad- dress by Dr. Roger Revell, our Gov- ernment's official representative at the Congress. If those in charge of the activities at Philadelphia had found it

    possible to supply a tape, or a running account, of the final session, it would surely have improved the balance of the volumes. Moreover it would not have led the publisher to appear to overlook the role of the Philadelphians.


    President, Xth International Congress of the History of Science

    June 7, 1965


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    Article Contentsp.453p.454

    Issue Table of ContentsIsis, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Winter, 1965), pp. 401-670Volume Information [pp.658-665]Front Matter [pp.488-489]The Origin of the Volcanological Concept Nuee ardente [pp.401-407]A Root of van Helmont's Tree [pp.408-419]Pliny and Roman Botany [pp.420-425]Documents and TranslationsAl-Kindi's Epistle on the Finitude of the Universe [pp.426-433]

    Eloge: Israel Edward Drabkin (7 February 1905-27 March 1965) [pp.434-437]Notes & CorrespondenceNotes on picatrix [pp.438-451]A Note on the Identity of Ascanio Piccolomini, Galileo's Host at Siena [p.452]Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of the History of Science [pp.453-454]

    News [pp.455-457]Book ReviewsLynn White on Black Bile, and Other Comments [pp.458-459]

    Bibliographiesuntitled [p.459]

    Philosophy of Scienceuntitled [pp.459-461]

    Biological Sciencesuntitled [pp.461-465]untitled [p.465]untitled [pp.465-466]

    Sciences of Manuntitled [pp.466-467]

    Medicineuntitled [pp.467-469]

    Technologyuntitled [pp.469-470]untitled [pp.470-471]

    Classical Antiquityuntitled [pp.471-473]untitled [pp.473-474]untitled [p.474]

    Middle Agesuntitled [pp.474-475]

    Seventeenth & Eighteenth Centuriesuntitled [pp.476-478]untitled [pp.478-479]untitled [pp.479-480]

    Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuriesuntitled [pp.480-481]untitled [pp.481-482]untitled [p.482]untitled [pp.483-484]untitled [pp.484-485]

    Contemporary Sciencesuntitled [pp.485-486]untitled [p.487]

    Ninetieth Critical Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (To 1 January 1965) [pp.490-657]Back Matter [pp.666-669]