Gordon Cain Conference

The Gordon Cain Conference is an annual conference for scholars in the history of science and related fields.

Centered on a topic chosen by the conference organizer, the conference consists of an evening public lecture, a symposium, and a collected volume. It is hosted by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry and supported by a generous gift from Gordon Cain.

Cain Conference 2018

Where to Put It All? Some Thoughts about Collections, Museums, and History
April 18

Past Cain Conferences



Chemistry in the Americas, 1500−1800

My Data, My Self: A Century of Self-Tracking Health Technologies


Life in the Universe: Past and Present

Organized by David DeVorkin, National Air and Space Museum

See photos from the Cain Conference public lecture.


Curators, Popularizers, and Showmen: Science in Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Exhibitions and Museums

Organized by Bernard Lightman, York University

See photos from the Cain Conference public lecture.


Chemical Reactions: Chemistry and Global History

Organized by Lissa Roberts, University of Twente


Sensing Change: Environmental Issues in Art and Science

Organized by Dehlia Hannah, Arizona State University


E pluribus unum: Bringing Biological Parts and Wholes into Philosophical Perspective

Organized by Lynn Nyhart, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Scott Lidgard, Field Museum of Natural History


Chemical Weather and Chemical Climate: Body, Place, Planet in Historical Perspective

Organized by Jim Fleming, Colby College

Read the collected volume.


Personalizing Medicine Here and Now: Empirical Studies of Post-Genomic Medicine

Organized by Alberto Cambrosio, McGill University

See photos from the conference on Flickr.


Technology Transfer and Diffusion in Comparative Perspective

Organized by Bruce Seely, Michigan Technological University


The Dilemma of Dual Use

Organized by Roy McLeod, University of Sydney


New Chemical Bodies

Organized by Jody Roberts, Science History Institute


Towards a History and Philosophy of Expertise

Organized by Christopher Hamlin, University of Notre Dame


Nano before There Was Nano: Historical Perspectives on the Constituent Communities of Nanotechnology

Organized by Cyrus Mody, Cornell University


City, Industry, and Environment in Transatlantic Perspective

Organized by Donna Rilling, State University of New York at Stony Brook


Risk and Safety in Medical Innovation

Organized by Arthur Daemmrich, Cornell University


Industry and Governance: Changing Relations among Science-Based Corporations, Government, and the Public

Organized by Arthur Daemmrich, Cornell University


The Chemical Industry and the Environment

Organized by Christian W. Simon, University of Basel, Switzerland


Pharmaceutical Innovation: Revolutionizing Human Health

Organized by David B. Sicilia, University of Maryland


The Twentieth-Century American Chemical Industry

Organized by Stephen B. Adams, Lucent Technologies