History of HaPoC

The idea of having a HaPoC commission finds its origins with the HaPoC steering committee. This committee was assembled just after the International Conference on the History and Philosophy of Computing. This conference showed that there exists a real need amongst a wide diversity of people (historians, philosophers, mathematicians, logicians, artists, professionals, etc) interested in HaPoC-related topics, to have a platform for discussion and collaborations. As such, the idea originated that HaPoC might be turned into an interdisciplinary bi-annual conference series and plans were made to have a second conference in Paris. The steering committee consisted of: Gerard Alberts, Liesbeth De Mol, Helena Durnova, Benedikt Loewe, Giuseppe Primiero and Ray Turner. Several other HaPoC-related events were planned and the idea of creating a HaPoC interdivisionary commission between DLMPS and DHST DHST emerged.

DHST (Division for History of Science and Technology) and DLMPS (Division for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science) are the two main divisions of the
International Union for History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS) which was created in 1956. Before that time these two divisions were seperate unions of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) which is under the patronage of UNESCO since 1945. Both DHST and DLMPS hold quadrennial conferences. The last DHST conference (ICHSTM) was held in 2013 in Manchester and the last DLMPS conference (CLMPS) was held in 2011 in Nancy.

DHST and DLMPS each group and support several different commissions specialized in topics relevant for the respective divisions. Besides the regular commissions there are also interdivisonary commissions, viz. commissions that focus on topics relevant to both divisions.

To become a DHST or DLMPS commission, a proposal can be made before the General Assembly held during their respective conferences. This is exactly what we did for HaPoC: during the DHST General Assembly, Liesbeth De Mol, one of the HaPoC steering committee members proposed to have HaPoC commissioned as a DHST commission but with the aim of becoming an interdivisionary commission. The proposal was accepted so we are now officially a DHST commission. In order to become an interdivisonary commission, we will make the same proposal before the General Assembly of DLMPS to be held during the next CLMPS conference in Helsinki in 2015. We will keep you updated on further progress!