CfP: Virtual workshop: Observing, sensing, detecting: Toward a multi-layered picture of the Universe from historical and epistemological perspectives

 During the 20th century and up to the recent outbreak of gravitational astronomy, the art of observing the cosmos has deeply changed both in terms of the concept of 'telescope' itself and in the variety of cosmic probes involved – in sensing light, for example, or in detecting cosmic particles or gravitational waves. The interface between novel research questions and the development of cutting-edge technologies has disclosed new windows on the visible and the invisible, the dark and bright side of the Universe, leading to multi-wave and ultimately to multi-messenger astronomy, and returning an increasingly composite and multifaceted picture of cosmic space.

The workshop aims at bringing together a broad range of topics related to the history and epistemology of the new astronomies, as the evolution of experiments and research tools, the transition to Big science, the emergence of new research fields and of new forms of scientific collaboration, and the impact of these processes on shaping new imageries and new multi-layered narratives of the cosmos.

The workshop is aimed at building a special issue proposal to be submitted at the next call for special issue proposals of the journal Centaurus

The workshop will be held on-line. In case of possible difficulties in attending the workshop, pre-recorded talks will be also admitted. 

The Italian Society for the History of Physics and Astronomy invites abstracts of papers on the subject. Please send abstracts (no more than 250 words) in docx or or otd format to Roberto Lalli by December 18, 2020. Please, include also your institutional affiliation and a short bio (no longer than 150 words).

Topics might include (but are not limited to):

How research traditions reinvented themselves in developing new astronomies

Evolution of the concept and of the material culture of ‘observatory’ 

Blurring the lines between the sibling sciences of astronomy and astrophysics 

Interaction of astronomy with other branches of physics and other sciences 

The formation of new communities of astronomers and astrophysicists

 The rise of international and multilateral collaborations

The transformation of cosmology from a largely speculative science into an observational science, using telescopes and detectors to study the structure, evolution, and origin of the Universe

The development of new epistemological questions

Mutual influence of new scientific questions and development of cutting-edge technologies

Social and geo-political frameworks

The role of computer science

Linguistic reconfigurations in astrophysics and astronomy