Statutes valid from September 10, 2022
Article I. Name and Seat
1. The name of the organisation shall be the “European Society for the History of Science” (hereafter designated as Society).
2. The constitution of the Society shall be in accordance with the requirements of the national law of the country of its seat.
3. The first seat of the Society shall be the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Section des Sciences Historiques et Philologiques) (Paris, France). In 2018, the seat shall be transferred to the École Normale Supérieure de la rue d’Ulm (Centre d’archives en Philosophie, Histoire et Edition des Sciences –CAPHES) (Paris, France). Accordingly, the Society shall be a non-profitmaking organisation governed by the French Law of July 1st, 1901 and the Decree of August 16, 1901.
Article II. Purpose of the society
The purpose of the Society shall be to promote European cooperation in the field of the History of Science understood in the broadest sense. In particular, the Society shall, in the European context, aim at:
1. Providing a high-level interdisciplinary European forum for research in the History of Science;
2. Promoting cooperation between its members;
3. Promoting the preservation of and access to scientific heritage;
4. Promoting, assisting, and advising on the teaching of the History of Science;
5. Advancing the education of the general public in the historical, cultural, and social aspects of science.
Article III. Membership
1. The Society shall consist of individual members, institutional members, and supporting members.
2. Individual members: The Society shall be open to all individuals who share the purposes of the Society. Residence or work in Europe shall not be a precondition for membership.
3. Institutional members: Corporate bodies may join the Society by application to the Council (q.v.). In particular, societies of history of science or related academic disciplines in natural or human sciences shall be eligible for institutional membership, as well as academies and other academic institutions.
4. Supporting Members: All natural or juridical persons wishing to support the purposes of the Society and justifiably expressing this intent by personal application to the Council shall be eligible to be admitted as supporting members. They shall have no voting rights, but may attend and be consulted in the meetings of the General Assembly.
5. Individuals wishing to be admitted as members should submit their application to the Secretary. The same procedure shall apply to applicants for institutional and supporting members. Applications shall be approved by the Council.
6. Individual Members shall pay annual dues of an amount to be determined by the Council. This decision shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval. Institutional and Supporting Members shall pay, at least, a minimum due to be determined by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Council.
7. Membership may be terminated by written communication to the Secretary, or in case of death. Members who fail to pay dues for two years will have membership terminated with notice in writing.
8. A member may be expelled for good cause from the Society following the vote of three-quarters of those present and voting at the meeting of the General Assembly.
9. Members who fall behind in payment of dues shall, until such dues are paid, forfeit their right to vote and to receive the Society’s communications, including the journal.
10. Membership dues provide essential support to the publication of our online open access journal Centaurus, which represents the main vehicle for the dissemination of our scholarly community’s research and hence its growth. Members may opt additionally for a subscription at a discounted price of the paper issues of the Society’s official journal.
Article IV. Officers
1. The officers of the Society shall be: The President, the Vice President (Past President), the President-elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Chief Editor of the Society’s official journal, the Web Editor and Communications Officer, the Public Relations (PR) officer, the Archivist, the Webmaster, and the Representative of the Early Career Network. Holders of these offices must be individual members.
2. The President: the President shall be the executive head and legal representative of the Society and shall act as the Chairperson of the Council and of the General Assembly. The President shall be responsible for the next regular scientific congress, in cooperation with local organizers. The President shall be elected to serve until the next General Assembly and shall not be eligible for re-election. The President shall then serve on the Council for one period as Vice-President (Past President). Should the President be prevented from completing the term of office, the President-elect (q.v.) shall act as deputy until the next meeting of the General Assembly.
3. The President-elect: the President-elect shall be chosen from a different country from that of the President, and gender balance shall be taken into consideration. The President-elect shall serve until the next General Assembly concurrently with the President, and shall succeed the President in office.
4. The Secretary: the Secretary shall conduct the day-to-day affairs of the Society. The Secretary may be re-elected once.
5. The Treasurer: the Treasurer shall assume the customary duties and responsibilities of this office. The Treasurer may be re-elected on an unlimited number of occasions.
6. The Editor in Chief of the Society’s official journal, ex officio.
7. The Web Editor and Communications Officer: the Web Editor and Communications Officer shall assume the duty of collecting information and preparing it to be distributed among the Society’s members, and editing the internal and external communication of the Society. The Web Editor and Communications Officer may be re-elected once.
8. The PR officer: the PR officer shall assume the duties and responsibilities of this office to promote the public projection of the Society and strengthen collaboration between the Society and other learned societies and networks. The PR officer may be re-elected once.
9. The Webmaster: the Webmaster shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the Society’s official website. The Webmaster may be reelected twice.
10. The Archivist: the Archivist shall be responsible for keeping the archives of the ESHS in good order, and will fulfil this task in relation to all members of the Scientific Board; the Archivist may be re-elected once.
11. The Early Career Network Representative: the ECN Representative will be responsible for mediating the relations between the ECN and the ESHS and for promoting joint initiatives. The ECN Representative may be re-elected once.
12. A Nomination Committee of five members of the Society shall be appointed by the Scientific Board. The Nomination Committee receives nominations of candidates for officers (except the Editor in Chief of the Society’s journal) from ESHS members. The Nomination Committee will submit the names of candidates for election at the General Assembly, according to the rules established in the By-laws.
13. If continuity is required, the Council may grant an additional term to no more than one of the officers.
Article V. The Council
1. The Council shall comprise the officers of the Society. The Council may invite a representative of the seat of the Society to be present at its meeting. The Council shall be convened at least once a year by the President. Chairpersons of sub-committees (q.v.) and persons deemed important for the Society’s business may be invited by the President to attend the meetings of the Council, without having the right to vote. The Council shall be, so far as possible, composed of members from different countries, and gender balance will be taken into consideration. For a meeting to be quorate, at least five members of the Council must be present, including the President, or, in his/her absence, the Vice-President.
2. The Council shall be the executive body of the Society. It shall conduct the administrative and scientific business of the Society in accordance with Article II. In particular, any contract with third parties that involves the Society should be made public and put under the scrutiny of the Council.
3. The Council shall be responsible for submitting to the General Assembly nominations for the Scientific Board, including nominations for the officers prepared by the Nomination Committee, at least two weeks before the General Assembly meets. Nominations may also be submitted by any member of the General Assembly until four days before the General Assembly meets. In each case, the nominations must contain a résumé of the nominee and a statement.
Article VI. The Scientific Board
1. The Scientific Board shall comprise the members of the Council ex officio, plus eight members, including at most four institutional members. The President or his/her delegated representative shall act as Chairperson of the Scientific Board. The individual and institutional members shall be elected by the General Assembly, to serve until the next General Assembly, and shall be eligible once for re-election. The Scientific Board shall be composed, so far as possible, of members from different countries, and gender balance will be taken into consideration. The President shall convene the meeting of the Scientific Board once a year. Five members, including the chairperson or his/her nominated representative, must be present. A member of the Scientific Board is allowed to be ‘present’ by video link or a telephone link, in exceptional circumstances.
2. The Scientific Board shall be responsible for: a. serving on the program committee of the scientific congresses, normally every two years; b. such research initiatives as the society may decide to promote; c. the promotion of other activities furthering the purposes of the society.
3. Sub-committees may be established by the Scientific Board.
4. The President and the Vice-President shall be ex officio members of allsub-committees.
Article VII. The General Assembly
1. The President shall call the members of the Society to meet in General Assembly during each regular scientific congress. The members present at a meeting of the General Assembly shall constitute a quorum.
2. The General Assembly shall have the following functions:
a. to receive a report of the President and the officers, at the latest two days before the General Assembly meets;
b. to determine the date, place and topic of the next scientific congress;
c. to elect the President-elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Web editor and Communications officer, the PR officer, the Archivist and the Webmaster;
d. to elect the eight individual and institutional members for the Scientific Board (see Article VI, 1);
e. to elect three members as auditors (see By-laws) and three members as assessors, to check the overall process of the elections of officers. Elections will be carried out on the basis of members nominated by the Nomination Committee, and by the members at the latest four working days before the General Assembly meets. Members nominating auditors should have no relationship with the finances of the Society, and members nominating assessors cannot run for election;
f. to approve the Treasurer’s report;
g. to deal with any other items of business proposed by the Council or by members. The items must be submitted, in writing, in advance of the meeting of the General Assembly.
Article VIII. Dues
Individual members, institutional members, and supporting members shall pay membership fees at levels to be determined by the Council, the decision being submitted to the General Assembly for approval. The fees paid by the Individual members shall be partly used to support the publication of the society’s official journal as an open access journal. Individual members may opt for the subscription to the Society’s official journal paper issues at a discounted price. Payment of such membership fees and subscriptions to the society’s official journal entitles members to receive the society’s communications and to purchase the proceedings of the scientific congresses at a reduced price.
Article IX. Amendments to the Constitution and By-laws
1. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by the Council or by one tenth of the members. Such amendments shall be submitted to all members at least three months before the meeting of the General Assembly at which they are to be considered, and shall require the votes of two-thirds of those present and voting at a meeting of the General Assembly for approval. Members may send amendments as a written statement to the members of the Council twenty working days before the General Assembly. All these amendments will be put to a vote during the General Assembly. Members who are not attending the General Assembly may send to the secretary a proxy, designating the name of a member to vote on his or her behalf, to the General Assembly by five working days before the General Assembly meets. An individual member also has the right to vote as the representative of an institutional member. The right to vote may be exercised only by members attending the meeting of the General Assembly.
2. Amendments to the By-laws may be considered at any meeting of the General Assembly, and shall require for approval the votes of two-thirds of members attending the meeting of the General Assembly.
Article X. Dissolution of the Society
1. In the event that the General Assembly, on the proposal of the Council or of one tenth of the members, shall decide by the votes of three quarters of those present and voting that the Society is unable to fulfill its purposes as specified in Article II, it shall be dissolved.
2. Upon dissolution of the Society, its assets remaining after payment or provision for payment of all debts and liabilities of the Society, shall be distributed to an international non profit-making fund or foundation, preferably concerned with the history of science.
Article XI. By-Laws
1. Quorum and Decisions: the quora of the Council, the Scientific Board, and General Assembly are fixed in Articles V (1), VI (1), VII (1) respectively. Provided these are reached and unless otherwise specified, decisions shall be made by a majority of those present and voting. In the event of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
2. Should a vacancy occur among the officers of the Society or members of its committees, each body shall have the power to coopt until the next General Assembly, unless otherwise specified.
3. The business year of the Society shall be the calendar year.
4. Dues. There shall initially be an annual subscription of twenty Euro for individual members, of one hundred Euro for institutional members, and a minimum of two hundred Euro for supporting members. These sums may be altered by a decision of the Council.
5. Audit of Accounts. The Council shall submit the Society’s financial report for audit to the regular General Assembly. The audit shall be the responsibility of three members appointed by the General Assembly taking into account that the members nominating auditors should have no relationship with the finances of the Society, and their names will be mentioned in the minutes of the meetings for reference. These members shall be eligible for re-election.