‘Research sharing’ using social media: online conferencing and the experience of #BSHSGlobalHist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Jemma Houghton
  • Alexander Longworth-Dunbar
  • Nicola Sugden


In February 2020, the British Society for the History of Science hosted its first entirely digital conference via Twitter, with the dual goals of improving outreach and engagement with international historians of science, and exploring methods of reducing the carbon footprint of academic activities. In this article we discuss how we planned and organized this conference, and provide a summary of our experience of the conference itself. We also describe in greater detail the motivations behind its organization, and explore the good and bad dimensions of this relatively new kind of conferencing. As the climate crisis becomes more acute and, in turn, the pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of academic activities increases, we argue that digital conferences of this style will necessarily become more central to how academia operates. By sharing our own experiences of running such a conference, we seek to contribute to a rapidly growing body of knowledge on the subject that might be drawn on to improve our practices going forward. We also share some of our own ideas about how best to approach digital conference organization which helped us to make the most of this particular event.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555
Number of pages573
JournalBritish Journal for the History of Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020