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Announcement and Call for Papers: ARTEFACTS XXIV, Edinburgh, 20–22 October 2019

Dear colleagues

With great pleasure the National Museums Scotland Science & Technology Department and Surgeons Hall announce that the next meeting of ARTEFACTS will be held in Edinburgh, 20–22 October 2019.

ARTEFACTS is an association of historians of science and technology, mostly in museums and academic institutions, who share the goal of promoting the use of objects in historical studies. See

The theme of the 2019 meeting (the 24th since the first in 1996) is DIVERSITY, and we encourage 20-minute papers or short presentations concerning both philosophical and concrete examples of how an explicit attention to diversity can enrich both our understanding and our practice in museums. We characterize ‘diversity’ broadly, encompassing both objects and people; but all proposals should have an explicit focus on the material culture of science, technology and/or medicine.

Examples might include, but are not limited to:

  • Diversity of makers, scientists and users of artefacts.
  • Materiality and diversity
  • ‘Hidden’ (or deleted) histories within material culture.
  • Excluded artefacts: missing objects, objects not collected, deaccessioned objects.
  • Diversity of scientific, technological and medical collections; and of objects and materials within collections.
  • Diverse (or not) audiences for artefacts.


Abstracts for 20-minute papers should be 100–200 words; abstracts for short presentations should be 50–100 words. They should be accompanied by a 50-word author biography and sent to by 3 June 2019.

The meeting will open at Surgeons Hall, the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and carry on at the National Museum of Scotland. Registration will open formally when the programme is announced in June, but in the meantime  informal queries and intentions to attend should be directed to Molly Osborn (; +44 131 247 4274).


Yours faithfully

Sam Alberti, Molly Osborn, Tacye Phillipson and Alison Taubman at National Museums Scotland; with Chris Henry at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
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