CENTAURUS, vol. 63, issue 2, incl. The Material Culture and Politics of Artifacts in Nuclear Diplomacy

Volume 63, Issue 2


The journal of the European Society for the History of Science


The latest issue of Centaurus is now available online.


Special Issue: The Material Culture and Politics of Artifacts in Nuclear Diplomacy

Guest editors: Maria Rentetzi and Kenji Ito

Objects are considered powerful tokens of complexity in diplomatic encounters and of asymmetry in international relations. Focusing on the nuclear history of the second half of the twentieth century, this special issue stresses the importance of material culture in Diplomatic Studies of Science and Technology, a new research strand in Science and Technology Studies. We collectively theorize the role of objects in diplomatic exchanges and that of diplomacy in constituting the materiality of nuclear things.

– Maria Rentetzi and Kenji Ito, 'The material culture and politics of artifacts in nuclear diplomacy' [Open access]

– Toshihiro Higuchi and Jacques E. C. Hymans, 'Materialized internationalism: How the IAEA made the Vinča Dosimetry Experiment, and how the experiment made the IAEA'

– Matthew Adamson, 'Orphaned atoms: The first Moroccan reactor and the frameworks of nuclear diplomacy'

– Lif Lund Jacobsen, Irina Fedorova, and Julia Lajus, 'The seismograph as a diplomatic object: The Soviet–American exchange of instruments, 1958-1964'

– Kenji Ito, 'The scientific object and material diplomacy: The shipment of radioisotopes from the United States to Japan in 1950'

– Clara Florensa, 'A nuclear monument the size of a football field: The diplomatic construction of soil nuclearity in the Palomares accident (Spain, 1966)'

Book reviews

– Alan C. Bowen and Francesca Rochberg.  Hellenistic astronomy: The science in its contexts  (Leiden: Brill, 2020), review by Victor Gysembergh

– Richard Dunn, Silke Ackermann and Giorgio Strano. Heaven and earth united: Instruments in astrological contexts (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2018), review by Matthieu Husson

– Crippa, Davide. The impossibility of squaring the circle in the 17th century: A debate among Gregory, Huygens and Leibniz (Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 2019), review by Douglas Jesseph

– Ann Blair and Kaspar Greyerz. Physico-theology: Religion and science in Europe, 1650–1750 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), review by John Henry

– Efthymios Nicolaïdis (ed.). Greek alchemy from late antiquity to early modernity (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018), review by Anne-Laurence Caudano

– Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Tiggelen (eds). Women in their element: Selected women's contributions to the periodic system (Singapore, Singapore: World Scientific, 2019), review by Ana Carneiro

– Scerri, Eric. The periodic table: Its story and its significance (2nd ed.) (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2020), review by Geoff Rayner-Canham

– Nieto-Galan, Agustí. The politics of chemistry: Science and power in twentieth-century Spain (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019), review by Santiago Guzmán Gámez

– Pimentel, Juan. Fantasmas de la ciencia española (Madrid, Spain: Marcial Pons Historia/Fundación Jorge Juan, 2020), review by John Slater

– Warwick Anderson, Ricardo Roque, and Ricardo Ventura Santos (eds). Luso-tropicalism and its discontents: The making and unmaking of racial exceptionalism (New York, NY: Berghahn, 2019), review by Luc Berlivet

– Jenkins, Bill. Evolution before Darwin: Theories of the transmutation of species in Edinburgh, 1804–1834 (Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2019), review by José Carlos Sánchez-González

– Jürgen, Renn. The evolution of knowledge: Rethinking science for the Anthropocene (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020), review by Stephen Gaukroger

– Gaukroger, Stephen. Civilization and the culture of science: Science and the shaping of modernity, 1795–1935 (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2020), review by Roger Smith

– Carla Bittel, Elaine Leong, and Christine von Oertzen (eds). Working with paper: Gendered practices in the history of knowledge (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), review by Bonnie G. Smith

– Smith, Roger. The sense of movement: An intellectual history (London, UK: Process Press, 2019), review by Teresa Álvarez

– Mayer, Andreas. The science of walking: Investigations into locomotion in the long nineteenth century (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2020), review by Roger Smith


– Ana Simões and Maria Paula Diogo, 'Mapping the ESHS community: A brief summary'