CfP: Science Communication and the Dissemination of Knowledge in Cold War Greece

Two-stage workshop (Germany, Greece).  IKYDA project (no. 57628081)

Organizers: Maria Rentetzi, Professor, Chair of Science Technology and Gender Studies, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, German; George N. Vlahakis, Associate Professor, Hellenic Open University, Greece

This workshop explores the communication of science within the politically turbulent Cold War context in Greece. After the Second World War science, and especially nuclear physics and space exploration became contested battlefields between the Cold War superpowers and their allies. In contrast to the horrors of war, new technologies that emerged from the above scientific fields promised a better and more peaceful life not only to the superpowers like the USA and the Soviet Union but to the whole world. How were all these scientific developments communicated in the politically tense Cold War Greece?

We aim to “decentralize” the Cold War history of science by focusing on the case of Greece. The Greek civil war – the beginning of which coincided with the end of the Second World War –transformed Greece from a regional political actor to a point of global political and diplomatic interest. Many historians have extensively studied the Cold War in Greece, bringing front and centre its importance to the transnational political history of the period. However, they left untouched the political and diplomatic importance of this period’s science and technology. Our aim is to unfold this large historiographical gap and offer novel perspectives from history of science. Our IKYDA project focuses especially on nuclear and space history and the ways advancements in these areas were communicated during the Cold War in Greece. However, in our effort to revise the country’s traditional political history, the focus of this workshop is broader and includes any scientific development that was communicated during the Cold War period.

We seek to bring together scholars working on the history of science and technology studies as well as historians, political scientists, scholars of international relations and media studies. We are interested in papers employing historical methods and methodological tools such as science communication and cultural/science diplomacy to:

  • Explore which scientific achievements and how they were communicated in post-war Greece,
  • Critically analyse key actors in this process such as scientific and research institutions, diplomatic institutions, royal actors, and international organizations,
  • Understand the ways in which science communication and the dissemination of knowledge were reflected in the public sphere, creating certain apprehensions or expectations about science.
This workshop is part of an IKYDA project that focuses on the communication of science in Cold War Greece (funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), IKY State Scholarship Foundation (Greece)).


Our plan is to publish a collective peer-reviewed special journal issue based on the final submissions of the workshop’s participants. We envision the two-stage workshop as, first of all, a hybrid event taking place in Erlangen, Germany in February 2023 and, consequently, as an in-presence event taking place in Athens, Greece. Participants are expected to submit a very first draft of their papers before the convening of the first stage of the workshop. We will pre-circulate those in order to facilitate our preliminary discussions. A second final submission is expected before the second stage of the workshop. Total length of final papers 7.000 words plus footnotes.

Important note:

Although very welcomed to contribute, unfortunately, we cannot fund the participation of any scholars besides those already involved in the IKYDA project. We are currently looking for additional externalfunding to support early career scholars who would be interested to join our two-stage workshop in presence.

Important dates:

  • submission of abstracts (250 words): November 15, 2022
  • information on acceptance: November 30, 2022
  • submission of the very first draft: January 15, 2023
  • first stage of the Workshop (hybrid event): Erlangen, February 6-7, 2023
  • submission of revised final papers: June 15, 2023
  • second stage of the Workshop: Athens, July 10-12, 2023

Abstract submission

Please send your abstracts (250 words) plus a short cv (500 words) by 15 November 2022 to Loukas Freris