21 de febrero de 2020

Cfp: "Writing the Heavens. Celestial Observation in Literature, 800--1800"

Conference: "Writing the Heavens. Celestial Observation in Literature, 800–1800"
May 20-22, 2021 – Dr Karl Remeis Observatory, Bamberg (Germany)

Organizers: Aura Heydenreich, Florian Klaeger, Klaus Mecke, Dirk Vanderbeke, Jörn Wilms
ELINAS (Center for Literature and Natural Science)

In the Middle Ages and early modernity, celestial observation was frequently a subject for verbal rather than numerical and geometrical recording. Astronomical genres, in the hands of natural philosophers, poets, chroniclers, travellers, geographers, educators and others mediated knowledge of the heavens in textual form. Before the modern academic institutionalization of astronomy, such celestial knowledge extended from the cosmological to the meteorological, with applications and implications that touched upon a wide range of discourses, be they theological, legal, political, medical or agricultural. From Carolingian scholarly commentaries to the lyrical description of the ‘cosmic garden’ in Erasmus Darwin, the formal shape of these representations is intimately connected with the questions raised by astronomy, and the possible answers they might elicit. Such texts could variously function as (mimetic) models of the universe, and simultaneously offer (pragmatic) models for specific types of behaviour. In this, they were deeply enmeshed in their historical, geographical, scholarly, popular, religious, philosophical, and generic environments. For the modern scholar, these records can be difficult to decode, and the question of what they address or seek to explore is obscured by the respective generic traditions, tropics and imagery, and other discursive contexts. However, as tokens of pre- and early modern ‘astroculture’, they allow insight into the changing epistemic place of astronomy throughout the millennium in question. By most accounts, this millennium includes a number of distinct historical periods, and studying the transformation of astronomical knowledge and its representations over the longe durée can shed light on the integrity and utility of such chronological constructs as well as on the transformative processes, the linguistic changes, and the conceptual revaluations that inform them.

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to establish and facilitate a dialogue between literary studies, astronomy (and physics more generally), and the history of science. The convenors invite papers on medieval and early modern ‘literature’ of celestial observation in a broad sense, ranging from what would today be deemed ‘fictional’ to ‘non-fictional’ writings, from scholarly works to popular genres. How, we ask, are textual forms bound up with pre-modern astronomy and its institutions? What kinds of data are represented in these texts and what are the modes in which they are communicated? What interpretational problems arise when present-day disciplines like climatology, meteorology, geophysics, and astronomy, but also literary studies, try to access them, and what solutions might be offered? Which technological and interpretive tools are at our disposal to recover and make sense of astronomical data and references in pre- and early modern texts, and what insights could be gained from an interdisciplinary approach? How were verbal representations of celestial phenomena encoded and self-consciously placed vis-à-vis other systems of representation and knowledge? How were discourses on law, anthropology, aesthetics etc. entangled with astronomical observation and knowledge? How did they realize their own medial, didactic, informational, aesthetic potential? How did they reflect on the forms of knowledge they engaged (especially in terms of the epistemological purchase of ‘observation’ and ‘imagination’)? How was astronomical knowledge used to construct continuities with, or differences from, antiquity and the Judaeo-Christian or Hellenic traditions?  Which spatialized conceptions of human nature were recognizable before and immediately after the (alleged) ‘Copernican disillusionment’? How did individual scholars, texts, and concepts travel between European and non-European cultures, both in space and in time, and which constructions of self and other arise in the process?

Papers of twenty minutes each are invited on topics including but not limited to:

  • the historiography of medieval and early modern astronomical writing
  • the recovery of celestial ‘data’ in medieval and early modern texts for productive use in modern science (including climatology, meteorology, geophysics, and astronomy)
  • methodological approaches to, and desiderata for, interdisciplinary work in the field
  • the institutionalization of genres as ‘forms of knowledge’ (including textual genres such as histories, almanacs, chronicles, or broadsheets and their representational strategies)
  • rhetorical strategies (including metaphors and other tropes) and their legitimizing function in the production of authoritative knowledge in poetic and other discursive contexts, such as law, anthropology, aesthetics
  • the ideological functionalization of ideas of cosmic order and semanticizations of mankind’s cosmic place
  • links between textual and material astroculture in the period
  • transfers of knowledge and networks of knowledge, including the dissemination, reception and transformation of classical texts.

While we will be seeking external funding, we cannot commit to covering the speakers’ expenses.

Please submit 200-300 word abstracts until May 31, 2020 to the organizers. 

CfP: Early Career Conference about History of Physical Sciences in Copenhagen

Crossing Borders and Fostering Collaborations

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) Center for the History of Physics and the Niels Bohr Archive are pleased to host the fifth international conference for graduate students and early career scholars, to be held September 3–6, 2020 in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Early Career” includes graduate students and recent PhDs, independent scholars, post-docs, and those in early-stage academic positions.

The goal of this conference is to foster communication and collaboration across national and disciplinary boundaries amongst junior scholars and to provide a forum for exploring and reflecting upon current issues in the historiography of the physical sciences. In addition to sessions with submitted papers, the conference program will feature roundtables, workshops, and other events designed to foster a community of scholars and develop career skills. The conference will also provide an opportunity for junior scholars to interact with invited senior scholars.

We welcome submissions, including works-in-progress, from all time periods and areas of the history of the physical sciences, including the earth sciences, industrial physics, astronomy, chemistry, space sciences, and more. All historiographical perspectives are welcome, from socio-cultural to highly technical. Past subject areas in the history of the physical sciences have included biographies of physical scientists, histories of education, technology, issues of gender and race, intellectual movements, and more. Cross-disciplinary perspectives are welcomed.

Presentations should be 20 minutes in length. Paper proposals should include the following:
  *   Your name
  *   E-mail address
  *   Institutional affiliation
  *   Presentation title and abstract (250 words max. not including title)
  *   A short biography, indicating where you are in your studies and/or career (250 words max.).

**Supplementary travel funds will be available for all participants. **

Paper proposals should be sent as an attachment in a single document (.pdf, .docx, or .doc) to earlycareer.aip@gmail.com or uploaded to the conference website by *May 1st, 2020*. Applicants will be notified by June 1st, 2020. All questions may be directed to the conference committee at earlycareer.aip@gmail.com.

Dr. Robert Matz Hospital Postcard Collection

Url: https://digitalcollections.nyam.org/islandora/object/digital:matz

he Robert Matz Hospital Postcards Collection consists of about 2000 postcards organized into three sub-collections: New York City (NYC), New York state (sans NYC), and United States (sans NY). The postcards range in date from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. Dr. Robert Matz donated the collection to The New York Academy of Medicine Library in several installments between 2015 and 2019.
The postcards were printed using a variety of printing technologies, including photo-reproduction, lithography, chromolithography, etc. Some of the postcards were mailed and include messages. The messages vary from a simple note (Veterans Administration Hospital…) to an elaborate conversation ([New York Hospital]) and can be found written on the front, back, along the sides, and wherever the author found space.
This pilot project represents a small portion of the NYC sub-collection of the Robert Matz Hospital postcards digitized by the New York Academy of Medicine Library. It showcases 118 hospital postcards from New York City. Hospitals from all five boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island) are represented, including public, private, not-for-profit, government, and military hospitals. This initial group of postcards was selected to highlight the wide variety of hospitals that existed in city, to show how hospital and academic medical center buildings changed over time, to demonstrate the cultural value that the postcards can provide to the NYC metropolitan community and the public at large. A cross-section of images from various time periods was selected to enable users to explore these postcards in multiple ways. The collection shows images of hospital buildings, new and old, as well as images of doctors and patients, and of people representing different historical moments. These images allow researchers to gain a better understanding of the hospital, its patients, and staff. For example, “A Typical Ward, U.S. Army Hospital No. 1, Williamsbridge, N.Y.” provides the viewer with an image of what can be considered a typical ward in the Army hospital, including the patients.

The Robert Matz Hospital postcards offer an opportunity to create a digital collection that can help researchers, local communities, and the public to better understand the evolution of hospitals from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries, how they relate to current hospitals, the role of postcards in advertising, the conversations that one shares on a private, yet public medium, the printing process, and many more topics related to this collection. The pilot project only scratches the surface and the hope is to continue to add to this digital collection. 

20 de febrero de 2020

CfP: Scientific and technical cooperation in Africa in the era of decolonisation: processes and legacies"

Communication submission in the Conference website: https://ciea11.pt/index.php/en/

33 - Scientific and technical cooperation in Africa in the era of decolonisation: processes and legacies
Cláudia Castelo
Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra
Author Email
In the post-war, Africa knowledge was seen as crucial from the point of view of several international actors and become a very disputed field. This panel intends to discuss the processes and legacies of the scientific and technical cooperation in Africa, between the post-war and the African independences (circa 1945-1980).
The contributors to the panel should submit papers that analyse the role, features and effective action of scientific and technical cooperation organisations or agents, of inter-imperial, regional or international scope, addressing or taking place in Africa, such as the Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara (CCTA), the Scientific Council for Africa (CSA), the Scientific, Technical and Research Commission of the African Unit Organisation (STRC-AUO), United Nations agencies (FAO, UNESCO, WHO), USA governmental or non-governmental bodies, universities and foundations, or the European Economic Commission. The proposals can also focus the bilateral cooperation promoted by China, Cuba, Eastern Bloc and Western European countries, through the cold war lens. Beyond the politics of scientific and technical cooperation in Africa, it is important to identify and understand the dynamics of competition, emulation and collaboration between the cooperation actors, but also internal tensions and evolutions. In turn, it is worth enquiring how local elites perceived scientific and technical cooperation and its impact in the life of local populations. The submissions may contribute to a comparative appraisal of how science and technology were envisioned and applied to solve African problems, or in otherwords, the concepts and practices of African development that scientific and technical cooperation conveyed and materialised. Finally, how do those ideas and experiences resonate in Africa today?

CfP: 9th ESHS Conference:"Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science"

Url: https://sites.google.com/view/eshsbologna2020/home 

The 9th International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS), hosted by the Centre for the History of Universities and Science at the University of Bologna (CIS) and by the Italian Society for the History of Science (SISS), will take place in Bologna, from the 31st of August to the 3rd of September 2020.
Bologna is one of the major centers for the study of the history of science in Italy, and this distinguished tradition goes back a long time. Since the later Middle Ages Bologna has been at the core of significant developments in European medicine, natural philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and a wide spectrum of other emerging scientific disciplines. Over the centuries, the city and its university have collected and preserved a vast amount of documentation that traces the practice and evolution of these disciplines within a variety of institutional and civic contexts. As a result, Bologna can praise itself for hosting some of the richest archives for the history of science and medicine in Europe. The anatomical teaching of Mondino de’ Liuzzi in the 14th century, the birth of one of the first proper scientific museums through the legacy of Ulisse Aldrovandi, and the development of mechanical philosophy around Marcello Malpighi are only three of the many scientific achievements associated with the city and its university that have attracted international scholars. By the late 19th century, Bologna hosted the first chairs in the history of medicine and mathematics, and immediately after the process of Italian unification it became one of the leading universities where different traditions in the historiography of science first developed in Italy. These traditions, now open to global influences, have continued to flourish to this day.

Call for Individual Papers deadline : 29 February 2020

CfP: Research Topic: Public Research and Private Knowledge – Science in Times of Diverse Research Funding

The production and distribution of knowledge is a key process in scientific and scholarly inquiry. However, this process is not and has never been limited to universities and public research institutes alone, but extends to agents as diverse as the Research & Development Departments of companies, citizen scientists, and private non-profit research institutes. In recent years, these agents have shown an increased interest in basic ˗ as opposed to applied ˗ science, for example in fields of rising social significance such as AI or biomedical technology. These specific research interests in turn direct attention to the sources of funding, and, as a consequence, to the direction of inquiry and the accessibility of results. The main problem that arises from this development can be expressed in two questions: First, does the influence of private funding change the selection of research topics in an epistemically or otherwise (un-) desirable direction? And second, does it lead to a privatization of knowledge, and if so, what are the consequences of this privatization?

Some key questions in this area of investigation are:
• Where do new sources of research funding come from, and how important a role do they play? Which agents foster the development, which methods do they use, and what are their primary motivations?
• What are the epistemic consequences, and who is affected by them? What is the impact of business interests on epistemic norms and ideals, and are there any (additional) sources of bias to be expected?
• Have there been any (changes of) institutional structures in the last decades that have stimulated or hindered these tendencies? Which historical idea of science is at stake? Which factors affected the practices of organizing the production and distribution of scientific knowledge during the second half of the 20th century?
• Is academic freedom threatened by these developments, and if so, to what extent? How could it be maintained? What are the epistemic effects of endowment chairs and industry-sponsored PhD projects?

Contributions may approach these and related questions from various disciplinary perspectives such as philosophy of science, history of science, science and technology studies, social epistemology, and formal epistemology.

Contributions must be original and may not be under review elsewhere. Extended abstracts should be no longer than 1000 words and describe the topic, structure, and argument of the paper. We will invite the submission of full manuscripts, based on the quality of the extended abstract. All manuscripts will be subject to single-blind peer-review.

Abstracts: 29 March 2020
Manuscripts: 31 July 2020

public research, private research, research funding, private knowledge, research grants, business interests, scientific knowledge, academic freedom, epistemology

Important Note:
All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.


Following the successful three International Conferences on Science and Literature which took place in Athens, Poellau and Paris, this Conference is the fourth to be organized under the aegis of the Commission on Science and Literature DHST/IUHPST. The fourth International Conference will be organized by the Càtedra Dr. Bofill de Ciències I Humanitats (Dr Bofill Chair on Science and the Humanities) integrated at the University of Girona (UdG) with the technical support of the Commission on Science and Literature. The conference includes communications with public lectures (we are glad to announce that our list of keynote speakers includes the prestigious scholar, Simon J. Schaffer, from the University of Cambridge).
As it was the case with the first three Conferences, the fourth one does not have a specific theme, as its intent continues to be the creation of an open forum for all scholars interested in Science and Literature. Nevertheless, the Conference will be organized along thematic sessions. Those proposed by the Organizing Committee are:
·         Science in Western Art
·         Literature and Medicine
·         Science and Religion
·         Poetry and Science
·         Scientific Genres in Science Fiction
·         Mathematics, Physics and Literature
·         Women in the History of Science, Philosophy and Literature
Other themes, according to the papers accepted by the Scientific Committee, can be organized.
Proposals for individual papers or panels of three or four papers should be submitted until March 15th, 2020, with an extension deadline from previous CfP. They must include the title of the paper (or the theme of the panel), name and affiliation of the author(s), an abstract of no more than 350 words and a short CV. An international scientific committee will review the submissions and notice of acceptance will be sent at mid-March 2020. Participants will have the opportunity to submit their paper to be considered for publication in a special issue of Interdisciplinary Science Reviews.
Juan Ortega will be the chair of the Local Organizing Committee.
Registration: March 15th to May 30th, 2020
Registration fees (include coffee, tea, refreshments and Conference material): 100 Euros
Fees for students and early career scholars: 50 Euros
Participants are asked to make their own arrangements concerning their accommodation in Girona, but the Conference organizers have published useful information and interesting offers (discounts on bookings are available until May 31st). There is also a 35% discount for those travelling to Girona with RENFE (the Spanish national railway company).

This information and the preliminary program with the keynote speakers can be consulted at: www.icscienceandliterature.com.

CfP: Geometrical Analysis in Ancient Greek Mathematics

The goal of this thematic issue is to outline the state of research on the significance and the extent of the analytical method as practiced in ancient Greek geometry. The importance of this type of reasoning for pre-modern mathematics has been recognized since the first historical research on ancient mathematics (Montucla 1758). Numerous attempts have also been made to explain the nature and meaning of this method, from Descartes, Newton and Leibniz to the contemporary epistemological and logical research (among others Polya 1945, Hintikka and Remes 1974, Lakatos 1978). However, despite this long critical tradition, today it is not yet possible to establish a commonly agreed interpretation of ancient geometric analysis: what is the aim of the analytical procedure in comparison with other methods such as the method of exhaustion or reductio, which are also used in ancient Greek geometry? Is the analytical method heuristic or apodictic? What is the relationship between the ancient form of analysis and its modern outcome (its use by Lagrange, for example, in the 18th century)?
This thematic issue is intended to take stock of the current state of the question, at a time when new studies and new proposals have emerged (Netz 2000, Menn 2002, Fournarakis and Christianidis 2006, Acerbi 2007 and 2011, Sidoli 2018) and when the need to bring together the different disciplines involved in these questions is increasingly felt.
We welcome papers on any of the following topics:

History of philosophy: ancient interpretations of Greek geometric analysis (Plato, Aristotle, the Aristotelian tradition, Proclus), the Arabic tradition, the Modern interpretations (Descartes, Newton, Leibniz);

Logic and philosophy of mathematics: exploration of the links between geometric analysis and heuristics, diagrammatic reasoning, formal logic (sequent calculus, intuitionistic type theory);

History of ancient mathematics: formulaic language and givens’ terminology in the extant examples of ancient geometrical analysis, continuity and rupture in the evolution of the method of analysis from Archimedes to Diophantus.

CfP: History of Mathematics and Flight

he British Society for the History of Mathematics invites proposals for its meeting on the History of Mathematics and Flight.

When: 12 September, 2020
Where: Concorde Centre, Manchester Airport, UK

Proposals should be for presentations of up to 30 minutes. Flight will be broadly conceived to cover the flight of man-made objects (planes, missiles, arrows, rockets etc), animals, and even fugitives; flight formation, navigation and control. If you would like to present, please email an abstract to Isobel Falconer by 30 April

Proposal deadline: 30 April 2020

19 de febrero de 2020

Research Fellowships at the Edward Worth Library, Dublin

The Edward Worth Library, Dublin, is offering tworesearch fellowships (duration on month) to be held in 2020, to encourage research relevant to its collections. The Worth Library is a collection of 4,300 books, left to Dr Steevens’ Hospital by Edward Worth (1676-1733), an early eighteenth-century Dublin physician. The collection is particularly strong in three areas: early modern medicine, early modern history of science and, given that Worth was a connoisseur book collector interested in fine bindings and rare printing, the History of the Book. Research does not, however, have to be restricted to these three key areas. Further information about the collection and our catalogues may be found on our website: www.edwardworthlibrary.ie

The stipend is to the value of €2000 per month, during a period preferably between June and November. Please note that the Worth Library is usually closed during the month of August.

Fellows will be expected to reside in Dublin and to attend the Library during opening hours. Fellows are required to publish within a reasonable timescale (for example, 18 months to 2 years) their findings at the Worth Library either in the form of an article or a book, or part of a book; if appropriate the fellow may be asked to give a seminar or lecture on his or her chosen topic.

 Applications to include:

– CV of the applicant.
_ References from two referees.
– Summary of proposed research (approx. 250–300 words)
– Preferred dates
In addition applicants must specify whether they are salaried or in receipt of any scholarship or stipend. They must also specify whether they have applied for any other travel or research scholarship to work in Irish libraries or archives.  Fellowships are non-renewable.

Applications to be sent via e-mail, with a formal covering letter, to Dr Elizabethanne Boran,