Lissa Roberts, professor of long-term development of science and technology in the Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies, University of Twente, the Netherlands, is appointed as Cain Conference Fellow 2014 at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF). CHF is the premier meeting place in the US for professional chemists, representatives of industry and historians of science. This is reflected by the fact that the foundation receives most of its funding from industry.

The annual Cain Conference, hosted by the foundation's Beckman Center for Research, brought together scholars from the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America, whose work focuses on global history and the history of science.

Shaping the research agenda
Roberts' appointment is a recognition of her agenda-setting research and vision. Roberts: “This fellowship is an opportunity to shape the research agenda for the field of history of chemistry for the coming years. I have thus spent the past year coordinating the research of an international team (30 scholars from 4 continents) in the context of our conference theme "chemistry and global history". The result will be a detailed roadmap for how to proceed with developing an understanding of chemistry as a central vehicle for global historical developments.”

Robert gave the opening address at the conference, intended to frame the three days of presentations and discussion that followed. The goal of the talk was to highlight the history of chemistry – both its institutional development and its importance for a virtually endless field of practical application ranging from medicine and industry to daily patterns of consumption – as crucially central to social, political and economic developments since the eighteenth century on a global scale.

The Conference took place in Philadelphia, USA, April 10 – 12, 2014.