Journal of the History of Biology Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
VA USA E-mail: 0
MARSHA RICHMOND 0
0 Wayne State University Detroit , MI USA
Beginning with volume 51, the Journal of the History of Biology will be
under our joint co-editorship, a commitment that extends for the next
five years. New print issues, with articles already accepted under
Michael Dietrich’s leadership, will continue to appear through the next
year as we move into our new roles. We are grateful for Michael’s
implementation of Editorial Manager and a new system of editorial
transition open to all with a genuine interest in taking on the work, and
especially for his guidance. Now is the ‘‘natural’’ moment to reflect on
the vision we have for continuing the strong tradition of scholarship
promoted by past editors, while also making new interdisciplinary links
that position this journal well in the changing world of academe and
Journal of the History of Biology, to us, has always first and foremost
been a place to find and explore a community of ideas. Dating from its
founding fifty years ago, the journal engaged new scholars in (what was
then) a new field, with the aim of creating a conversation around the
historiographical interests particular to those researching the diverse
past life sciences. We believe this journal continues to play a vital role in
shaping and nurturing the intellectual and practical aspirations for the
history of biology – now a mature and expanding field. In turn, we are
developing some initiatives that honor this history while also striving to
enrich the journal’s visibility and scope in the profession.
KAREN RADER AND MARSHA RICHMOND
We believe that JHB would be well served by the kind of continued
globalization of the field represented by the International Society for the
History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB). We
especially want to reach out to the many historians of biology doing
innovative and rigorous transnational scholarship on Asia, Latin
America, and other parts of the world. We also seek to re-engage
scholars in fields complementary to the history of biology, such as
history of ecology, environment, and animal studies, as well as
philosophers working in the history of biology, and those in STS
engaged in studies of the life sciences. From its beginning, JHB has been a
recognized forum for scholarship on Darwin; we plan to continue this
tradition, but we will focus on pieces that connect Darwinism with
broader social and intellectual issues in the life sciences.
That said, JHB has been a distinguished repository for some ‘‘classic
articles’’ in the history of biology and the history of science proper, and
we hope to highlight those past contributions too. Watch future issues
and listservs for our requests to nominate your favorites – those articles
that have stood the test of time and continue to influence your work
today, or those articles that made a mark distinctive to their time. We
plan to publish individual and collective reflections on JHB classic
articles, which Springer will make temporarily open access, and then
open these reflections to further feedback on the publisher’s
(SpringerNature’s) blog and the journal’s social media feeds (Twitter
While we will continue to accept and solicit special issue proposals,
we will do fewer of these and instead plan to develop several ‘‘themes’’
on which we will invite ongoing submissions. Articles addressing these
themes will be tagged (via key words) in online publication. We see this
‘theme-tag’ strategy primarily as a means of inviting sustained
consideration of particular historiographical areas of biology studies. That
scholarly conversation, we think, journals can better stimulate and
capture by acknowledging how current readers and researchers access
their content – not by browsing issues, but via search engines that
connect them to individual articles. ‘Theme-tags’ further take advantage
of the Continuous Article Publication (CAP) feature of Springer
journals, while also avoiding some of the timing delays or datedness of
single special issues. Some examples of themes under consideration are:
Regional Biologies: The Life Sciences in Asia/South America/Africa.
Biology and Technology Reframed.
Human-Animal Boundaries – Biological and Social Connections.
Wilderness and Environment in Biological Sciences.
Social History of Laboratories and Field Practices.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Biology.
We encourage your feedback on this initiative, including suggestions of
Book reviews represent an underappreciated scholarly forum, and
they perform a dual service: to scholars whose books are published and
to those who may wish to read them or assign them to students. In turn,
we plan to expand the number of books in many areas of history of the
life sciences regularly reviewed, and we have invited Dr. Lijing Jiang
(currently at the Chemical Heritage Foundation) to develop and
steward our enhanced book review section.
This issue also reflects a new editorial board, whose members have
agreed to assume enhanced responsibility for contributing to the article
and book review process, and for recruiting potential authors to submit
their manuscripts – especially encouraging those who present
outstanding papers at conferences as well as advanced graduate students,
recent Ph.D.s, and junior faculty members.
Having benefitted from the scholarship in JHB throughout our
respective careers, we consider assuming the editorship of the journal to
be both a great honor and a serious responsibility. This commitment we
welcome, with excitement and anticipation for the work ahead.