Statutes of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST) / Division of History of Science and Technology (DHST)

Statutes as approved in 1989 and amended in 2005 and 2009 by the General Assembly


Article 1. The aims of the IUHPST/DHST are:

a) to establish and promote co-operation between historians of science and technology either individually or as members of institutions and societies dedicated to History of Science and Technology and related disciplines;

b) to collect documents useful for the development of the History of Science and Technology, the History of Mathematics, the History of Medicine and related disciplines;

c) to promote the development, the diffusion and the organization of studies bearing on teaching and research in the History of Science and Technology and related disciplines;

d) to organize International Congresses of History of Science and Technology and international colloquia, and to sponsor or support other approved meetings of a similar character;

e) to contribute to the maintenance of the unity of science in general and the establishment of links between the different branches of human knowledge.

Article 2. The official seat of the Division of History of Science and Technology (DHST) of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST) is the place where the Secretary General normally resides. This Division is related, through the IUHPST, to the International Council for Science (ICSU) for the purpose of achieving the scientific and scholarly aims and to promote the international understanding which characterizes all of ICSU’s endeavours.


Article 3. An Ordinary Member shall be an academy of sciences, a scientific society, a national committee or any other scientific institution or association of such institutions recognized by the General Assembly of the Division. Institutions and committees representing scientific activities in a definite territory or country may be accepted as Ordinary Members subject to article 5 below.

Article 4. In addition to the Ordinary Members (Art. 3), the Division also comprises:
a) Scientific Sections;
b) Historical Commissions;

c) A Joint Commission (JC) with the sister Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology (DLMPST);
d) Inter-Union Commissions with other members of ICSU;
e) Associate Members.

Article 5. No country may be represented by more than one Ordinary Member except when the General Assembly decides otherwise. Subject to prior approval being obtained from the Council, other history of science and technology societies and federations of such societies may be granted the status of Associate Members. Such members participate in the General Assemblies but do not have voting rights.

Article 6. Scientific Sections are administratively autonomous and financially independent bodies. Each is free to levy its own annual subscriptions, appoint its own officers, formulate its own Statutes and apply its own rules of procedure, provided that these do not conflict with those of the Division.
In the interest of coordinating the work of the Sections and the Division, each Section may send an Observer to meetings of the Division’s Council (article 19). Likewise, the Council may send one of its members as an Observer to meetings of the Sections. The operation of the Division shall however be independent from the activities of the Sections.

Article 7. Any international association which desires to be recognized as a Scientific Section shall make a request to the Secretary General of the Division. The Council is empowered to make a provisional decision to admit, but the confirmatory decision rests with the General Assembly.

Article 8. Historical Commissions are international associations financially dependent upon the Division. They are required to report annually to the Secretary General, and to submit reports on their activities to the General Assembly whenever the question of their continuation is individually put to the vote. For the creation or continuation of an Historical Commission, a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly is required.

Article 9. The Joint Commission is an international association financially dependent upon both Divisions (DHST and DLMPST). It may be dissolved by a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly of either Division. Its function is to encourage liaison between historians and philosophers of science and technology, principally through the organization of joint meetings of the two Divisions.

Article 10. Inter-Union Commissions are established on the same basis as described in Article 8 above, subject to approval being given by the other ICSU Unions concerned.

Article 11. Ordinary Members are entitled to submit proposals for the creation or dissolution of Commissions in accordance with Articles 8 and 10.

Article 12. Each of the Commissions defined in Articles 8 to 10 above shall conduct its business in accordance with the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the Division. The President is appointed by the General Assembly. Each Commission appoints its Officers.


Article 13. The administrative authority of the Division is exercised by:

a) the General Assembly;

b) the Council;

c) the Executive Committee of the Council.

Article 14. The General Assembly consists of the Ordinary Members, the elected representatives of the Scientific Sections, the Historical Commissions, the Joint Commission and the Inter-Union Commissions, as well as the members of the Council.

Article 15. The General Assembly is validly constituted only if at least half the total number of Ordinary Members are present. Any Ordinary Member, Scientific Section, or Commission may be represented by proxy, provided that due notification of this intention and the name of the delegate are communicated in writing to the Secretary General before the General Assembly.

Article 16. Each Ordinary Member, each Scientific Section, and each member of the Council may generally exercise one vote. However, for any question having a financial implication, each Ordinary Member may exercise 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 votes depending of whether it belongs to category A, B, C, D or E as defined in Article 26 below; each member of the Council may similarly exercise one vote. Delegates of the Scientific Sections do not vote on financial matters.

Except where specified otherwise in the Statutes, the decisions of the General Assembly are taken by a majority of the votes recorded. If the number of votes cast for and against a proposal are equal, the President may use a casting vote in addition to his own personal vote.

Article 17. The General Assembly meets in ordinary sessions every four years, normally on the occasion of an International Congress of the History of Science and Technology. If, however, a third or more of the Ordinary Members call for an Extraordinary General Assembly with a precise agenda relating to questions which, in their opinion, demand immediate consideration, the President shall convene such an Assembly within six months of receiving formal notification of this call.

The date and venue of every General Assembly, with the full agenda, shall be communicated by the Secretary General of the Division to all Ordinary Members and all components mentioned in Article 4 at least three months before the date of the session.

Any matter which does not appear on this agenda may be considered only if a two-thirds majority of assenting votes are cast; or, in the case of a proposal to modify the Statutes of the Division, only if a three-quarters majority of assenting votes are cast.

Article 18. The ordinary General Assembly of the Division is concerned with:

a) electing the members of the Council and representatives of the Division on other international organizations;

b) accepting into the Division new Ordinary Members or bodies seeking Associate Membership (Article 5);

c) appointing, renewing, or dissolving Scientific Sections and Commissions;

d) approving the accounts of the Division and its components mentioned in Article 4 other than the Scientific Sections;

e) establishing plans for the budget of the Division and fixing the level of subscriptions for the years to follow until the next General Assembly;

f) considering the reports submitted by Ordinary Members, Scientific Sections, and Commissions, and establishing the programme of activities of the Division for the four years following the General Assembly;

g) enacting and amending the Statutes and such Rules of Procedure as are appropriate pertaining to the election and rotation of members of the Council and the conduct of Division’s business;

h) fixing the date and venue of the next session.

Article 19. The Council consists of a President, a President Elect, a First Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, a Secretary General, an Assistant Secretary General, a Treasurer, two or more Assessors; all of whom, except the President, who takes office after serving as President Elect for a four-year term, are elected at a General Assembly and serve from the beginning of the following calendar year for a period of four years.

The President and Vice-Presidents are not eligible for re-election to the same office. The Secretary General, Assistant Secretary General, Treasurer and Assessors may not hold the same office for more than eight successive years but, like the Vice-Presidents, remain eligible for re-election to the Council in a different office.

In the event of the President of the Division being unable to exercise his/her functions, he/she is automatically replaced by the First Vice-President; in which case, the Second Vice-President acquires the Status of First Vice-President. In the event of the Secretary General or the Treasurer being unable to exercise his/her functions, the President shall nominate a person to replace him/her in his/her functions and as a member of the Council and its Executive Committee. This nomination requires the approval of a majority of the Council.

Article 20. The Council is responsible for drawing up Rules of Procedure in conformity with these Statutes, and for ensuring the continuity of the Division’s policies and the activities in the four-year interval between successive ordinary meetings of the General Assembly. It convenes at least once every four years, normally on the occasion of an International Congress prior to the General Assembly meetings. A majority of its members constitutes a quorum, and at least a two-thirds majority vote by those present is required before decisions with financial implications are considered valid.

Article 21. At least two years before a General Assembly, the Council appoints a Nominations Committee for the purpose of drawing up a list of recommendations for the individual composition of the next Council. The Chairman of the Nominations Committee shall invite all Ordinary Members to submit nominations at least nine months before the General Assembly. Other nominations may nevertheless be submitted to the Secretary General by any Ordinary Member before the meeting of the General Assembly. Election is by secret ballot.

Article 22. The Executive Committee of the Council consists of the President, the First Vice-President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer. They are charged with the administration of the Division’s business and finance, and the implementation of resolutions taken by the General Assembly and policies of the Council. Three of these individuals constitute a quorum. Notification of a meeting of the Executive Committee, with an agenda, shall be sent by the Secretary General to each member of the Council at least two months before it is scheduled to take place.


Article 23. The revenues of the Division are made up from:

a) subscriptions by Ordinary Members;

b) subsidies from ICSU;

c) other subsidies, gifts and legacies, recognized by law and accepted by the Council;

d) the sale of publications.

Article 24. The Treasurer presents to the Executive Committee of the Council each year a report on the state of the finances. The Council examines the report and, if it approves the terms, discharges the Treasurer from responsibility for the previous year.

Article 25. The General Assembly designates two members whom it charges with verifying the accounts and the financial records for the four years since the last General Assembly. If their report is deemed satisfactory, the General Assembly formally discharges the Council from responsibility for the financial management of its business affairs.

Article 26. Each Ordinary Member pays the division an annual subscription calculated according to the 5 categories: A, B, C, D, E. Depending on the category to which it has elected to belong, an Ordinary Member shall pay an annual subscription of 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 subscription units. The monetary value of the unit of subscription is fixed by the General Assembly; at which time, each Ordinary Member shall notify the Treasurer or Secretary General to which category it proposes to belong. The Council has the authority to reject any such proposal if a two-thirds majority of its members considers that the specified category is manifestly inadequate.

Article 27. Each Ordinary Member is responsible for the payment of the required subscription. If it has not done so for three years preceding the year of the General Assembly, it shall not be permitted to vote at that General Assembly. If it has neither paid its subscriptions for four consecutive years nor justified its non-payment, it is considered to have resigned from the Division.


Article 28. The present Statutes may be modified by a General Assembly only if the total number of votes in favour of the modification proposed is equal to at least two-thirds of the number of votes cast.

Article 29. Proposals formulated by an Ordinary Member for a modification of the Statutes of the Union or of this Division shall reach the Secretary General at least six months before the date of the General Assembly during which they are to be considered. The Secretary General shall communicate to the members of Council and to all Ordinary Members all proposals to this effect at least three months before the General Assembly.

In the event of dissolution the assets of the Division shall be transferred to an international organization having similar activities.

Artic1e 30. Any Ordinary Member or Scientific Section that leaves the Division shall forfeit all its rights and privileges in the Division.

Article 31. The English and French texts of these Statutes are valid for the interpretation of their provisions.