WHSO Project

The World History of Science Online (WHSO) is a relatively recent project with a goal of creating an open-internet Web site where researchers can access primary and secondary source bibliographical information, as well as archival locator data, related to history of science around the world (see www.dhs-whso.org). It is a project of the Division of History of Science and Technology of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS/DHST). Initiated by the Secretary-General, Juan José Saldaña, after the Mexico City international history of science congress, WHSO was taken forward at a meeting of experts in Paris in 2003. It received statements of support from the Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines (CIPSH) and International Social Science Council, and some financial support from the International Council of Sciences (ICSU), CIPSH, and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris. The 2005 Beijing meeting of IUHPS featured a symposium on WHSO that included presenters involved in archival or bibliographical projects from around the world.

The current Governing Board consists of the following members:

  • Stephen Weldon (USA), chair; term: 2007-2011
  • Silvia Waisse (Brazil), term: 2009-2013
  • Michel Blay (France), term: 2007-2011
  • Birute Railiene (Lithuania), term: 2009-2011
  • Irfan Habib (India), term: 2009-2013
  • Yasu Furukawa (Japan), term: 2009-2013
  • Roberto Martins (Brazil), serving as president of CBD; term: 2009-2013 

Advisory Board members include Kerry Magruder (Curator, History of Science Collections) and JoAnn Palmeri (Librarian, History of Science Collections).

The Governing Board develops, supervises, and integrates the various projects of the WHSO, which are produced by separate commissions. Project commissions pertaining to primary sources include surveys of books and pamphlets; periodicals and scientific papers; cartography; iconography; scientific instruments; scientific archives (personal and institutional archives, mostly modern, including electronic, oral and film resources); manuscript items (such as medieval manuscript books) with individual description; and scientific collections (such as herbaria and geological museums). Other commissions that will supplement this work include projects focused on bibliography (secondary sources); biography; and scientific institutions.  For additional information about the project, see www.dhst-whso.org/whso.htm