Vers les résumés de :

       Emilia Calvo  |  Olga Elina  |  Liliane Hilaire-Pérez  |  Frank A.J.L. James  |

        |  Erika Luciano  |  Toni Malet  |  Erwin Neuenschwander  |  Efthymios Nicolaidis 

        |  Felicitas Seebacher  |  Milada Sekyrková  |  Ida Stamhuis  |

        |  Petr Svobodny  |  Baichun ZHANG  | 


Fabio Bevilacqua   | Department of Physics, University of Pavia

New challenges and old responsibilities in the field of History of Science

In recent decades history of  science from its European nineteenth century meaning has widened its scope and interest towards a more general even if less defined history of knowledge. Non-European cultures have been explored in depth and the two cultures problem has taken new meanings, with the interactions of numerous disciplines. While traditional big science, ever closer to  engineering, shows a worldwide uniformity, history of science-knowledge with its variety and fragmentation offers new perspectives. Old marriages seem to be broken, not only between history and Western science but also between history and philosophy of science, but new attempts at a unified perspective are born, like the historical epistemology practiced in Berlin. In the age of the web being and becoming of disciplines and their interactions offers new challenges and promises, some of which will be outlined.

While this creative destruction takes place old institutional commitments require our attention:  reaching and linking history of science communities in all European countries; interacting with non-European continental and global institutions; contributing to popularize our expertise through Open Access initiatives and cooperation with new media; playing a role in the preparation not only of new researchers in our field, but also of scientists and historians; continuing our efforts towards pre-service and in-service teachers’ education; reinforcing our collaboration with institutions such as Archives, Libraries, Museums.



Emilia Calvo   | University of Barcelona

The evolution of the history of science as an institutional discipline in Spain over the last decades and prospects of future

Ten years ago David King published a paper in Science & Islam reflecting on studies devoted to applied sciences in Islamic societies and on how this discipline had changed in the past 30 years while he was compiling several books on Islamic science and Islamic scientists.
These reflections were in the line of what this meeting addresses about the fragmentation of the history of science and technology, the changing in scope, and the prospects in Europe and will be my point of departure to present a kind of state of the art of this discipline.  
My presentation will give an overview of how this discipline has evolved in Spain in the last decades from my perspective as a member of the Millas Vallicrosa Group of Research on History of Science in Islam, and as a member of the CHOSTIS, for the past 25 years.
I will also present the encouraging results reached by the project, undertaken more than ten years ago, by the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, together with some other Universities, in an attempt to integrate the history of science from different periods and from different approaches into an interdisciplinary master's degree on history of science.

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Olga Elina   | S.I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences

On the Situation in the History of Science and Technology in Russia

In this presentation I will deal with three core issues.
First, I would like to present an overview of the main trends in the development of the history of science and technology (HST) in Russia. In particular, I will focus on the circumstances and reasons of unusually close relationship between HST and sciences in our country. Apparently, this relationship is rooted in the professionalization of the field: no university in Russia has chair (professorship) in HST and/or offers diploma in this field; historians of science are recruited mostly from former scientists (graduates in science). As a result, HST in Russia deals with a wide range of fundamental scientific issues, while it addresses just a few aspects of the science studies and social history of science. There existed also a strong connection between HST and philosophy of science, which reflected the common tradition of the Marxism involvement in academic issues in the USSR. But during 1990s a separation has begun that resulted in total independence of the two fields now.
In the second part of my presentation, I will try to give an account of the challenges for the discipline arising from the current political situation in Russia, as well as from the ongoing reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The main consequences of the new international course of Russia turned out to be the isolation of Russian scientific community (also in HST), ‘nationalization’ of scholarship in Russia; but also a financial barrier for the flow of knowledge. In particular, a dramatic partition with the Ukrainian historians of HST should be mentioned. As to the reform of RAS, the new patron of former RAS institutes, the State Agency, is concentrating its efforts on science, leaving most of the ‘nonproductive’ humanities’ institutes to survive with very little state support.  
Finally, I will focus on the current situation with the national societies for HST and their contacts with international societies/union. The Soviet period destroyed the tradition of voluntary self-organization in the Russian society, including self-organization of scholars in the field of HST. Academy of sciences’ domination rooted in the times of the Russian Empire also contributed to the preference of joining the international academies rather than societies. The only society for HST that exists nowadays in Russia is the National Committee of the IUHST. The future of the discipline is certainly tied to the restructuring of the National Committee, as well as of the other public associations. The cooperation with the ESHS and other European societies will be crucial.

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Liliane Hilaire-Pérez   | Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 et EHESS

La technologie, science humaine: Considering technology as a human science: from social history to the history of technology

In 1998, the journal Les Annales. HSS  published two issues devoted to the history of technology. One was a dossier edited by Yves Cohen and Dominique Pestre, under the title« Des ‘social studies of science’ à l’histoire des techniques », and the other was a book edited by Roger Guesnerie and François Hartog, published as Des sciences et des techniques : un débat in the Cahier des Annales series. Whereas the contributors came from diverse backgrounds, one major idea was to emphasize the part played by the sociology of science and technology in the renewal of history of technology. The American trend currently called SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) was praised as having helped historians of technology – in Europe – to get rid with internalist, deterministic and teleological approaches. Social studies of science were presented as having opened the way to history of technology, as Cohen and Pestre’s dossier suggested. This probably was effective, especially for historians working on contemporary objects, because of the proximity with sociology but not only for this reason. Cohen and Pestre showed that this approach also extended to earlier periods, and they insisted on Steve Shapin and Simon Schaffer’s demonstration of the intricacy between science, technology, and politics in 17th century-England as an application of social sciences’ constructivism (Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life, 1985).
Without denying the part played by social sciences in renewing history of technology in the 1990s, one is struck by the sort of amnesia of other heritages in the history of technology. While not totally absent in these publications, social history as it had stemmed from Les Annales in the 1930s was not presented as having shaped history of technology. Not only this past seemed forgotten, even if Bertrand Gille, of course, was quoted, but the whole trend of studies that had burgeoned from the history of material culture and the social history of knowledge and its institutions, for instance in the seminar held by Daniel Roche, was blurred. More generally speaking, the numerous researches in antique, medieval and early modern history of technology in the 1980s and 1990s was quite absent. For instance, archeology of techniques, like the collective work directed by Paul Benoît on monastic metallurgy and hydraulics in the Middle Ages, was not mentioned, whereas making iron, using water-wheels and draining lands were considered by these researchers as part of strategies for power.
It seems that nowadays, taking account of this heritage, and of the part played by social history in the making of history of technology, is much needed to fully understand the making of this discipline. It is also a way to think about the actual situation of the discipline, and about its new paths. One major issue is to reconnect the history of technology with a broad movement, to which Les Annales were related, and which put forward another meaning of « technology », as « techno-logy », hence as the science of technique. This trend, that derived from the science of the arts formalized since the Renaissance, and that was brought to the fore by Johann Beckmann  in his Entwurf der Allgemeinen Technologie (1806), was gradually forgotten in the 19th and in the 20th centuries, as technology was more and more considered as applied science, and as the word « technology » itself came to replace the word « technique », and no longer meant the science of techniques. But whereas the ambition of a general technology has declined among scientists, engineers and technologists in the 19th century, it survived in several milieus, like social scientists, such as Marcel Mauss, and in Les Annales. In the 1930s, intellectuals from different backgrounds tried to think the connection between mankind and techniques by developing a science of human activity, called « technologie ». This humanistic meaning of technology was patent when André Leroi-Gourhan took part to the Encyclopédie française, and afterwards, when Lucien Febvre joined Joseph Needham in the UNESCO project. They understood tasks and fabrications as based upon the adaptation of basic technical principles, common to mankind, to multiple variations according to contexts. That could provide a ground for a theory and classification of techniques, hence to « technologie » as a human science, as Haudricourt termed it (La technologie, science humaine, 1987).
These approaches are fundamental for present-day history of technology. They help historians to reconsider the production of technical knowledge and the meaning of techniques for people in the past. On the one hand, huge work has been carried out in the last ten years on technical literature, hence on the efforts made for describing and theorizing practices into « arts » and techno-logy since the Renaissance. On the other hand, historians also question how practitioners, in their daily work, developed technological reasoning, fostering transfers across crafts, for instance. The « French school of technology », as François Sigaut termed it, a school to which Les Annales belonged, is nowadays reinvigorated, and it is bringing crucial tools for developing history of technological thought. This movement is in tune with the rediscovery of philosophers of technology like Jacques Guillerme and Gilbert Simondon, who advised to distinguish technique from labor and to focus of the technicity of tasks and motions.

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Frank A.J.L. James   | Royal Institution/University College London

 The second International Congress for the History of Science, London, 1931

The second International Congress for the History of Science, held in London from 29 June to 4 July 1931, has gone down in the mythology of our discipline as the place where a delegation of savants from the Soviet Union put forward a Marxist interpretation of the historical progression of science. Their views, so the story goes, exerted a profound effect on the development of the history of science in the following decades. This talk will concentrate on the arrangements for the Congress which provided the platform for the Soviet delegates and at least pose the question of whether only they provided a legacy from the meeting.

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Erika Luciano   | Department of Mathematics, University of Turin

 History of Science and Technology and History of Mathematics in Italy: Cooperation and Fragmentation of Scholarly Communities in Changing Institutional Settings

We will reflect onthe relationships between History of Science and Technology and History of Mathematics in Italy, in the recent past and nowadays. We will aim at showing in what measure the current (re-)configuration of these fields, the status of their practitioners and the network of their partnerships depend on long-lasting cultural traditions, which are specific of the Italian context, and how much indeed they reflect some recent important changes in the Italian institutional settings.

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Toni Malet   | Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Some reflections on fragmentation and integration in history of science through a review of recent literature about science in Francoist Spain

Recent historiography on Science and Francoism (1939-1975) makes a sustained, multifaceted effort to integrate the institutions and practice of science in the political and cultural context of Francoist Spain—the longest dictatorial regime in Europe (bar the communist ones), inspired and backed up by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Taking some of that literature as a case study, I would argue that "fragmentation" (in itself a notion  in need of deconstruction) is often the result of the redrawing of the shifting boundary lines that shape the actual practices of historians of science. That is to say, fragmentations are often the inevitable companion of new integrations, as the questions and methods of historians evolve. On this assumption I would advocate, first, the need for identifying and reinforcing among scholars new networks of collaboration that answer to the new maps of research topics and methods. Secondly, the urgent need for finding a general, basic consensus on common guidelines for Europe-wise postgraduate education in history of science and technology.

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Erwin Neuenschwander   | University of Zurich

History of Science and Technology: Past, Present, Future

In past centuries, research in the history of science and technology was mainly done by scientists who were active researchers in their respective fields. One of the first natural scientists in Switzerland who was also influential as a historian of science was the astronomer Rudolf Wolf (1816-1893). He is amongst other things the author of the four-volume Biographien zur Kulturgeschichte der Schweiz(1858-1862), of a history of astronomy (1877), and a volume dealing with the history of national surveying in Switzerland (1879). Wolf had many followers, among them the Bernese mathematician Johann Heinrich Graf (1852-1913), and the German-born, Swiss-resident mathematician Ferdinand Rudio (1856-1929), the founder and first general editor of Euler's Opera omnia.
Immediately after the foundation of the University of Zurich (1833) and the ETH (1854) one also finds lecture courses on the history of several scientific disciplines. In chemistry the full professor Georg Städeler (1821-1871) gave in 1858 probably the first one hour course in the history of chemistry in Zurich. These lectures were continued by Johannes Wislicenus (1835-1902) who offered from 1860 to 1863 five courses on the history of chemistry, which were later taken up by several private lecturers. At the same time one also finds in Zurich lecture courses in the history of mathematics, physics, biology, and geography. At the University of Bern such courses were less frequent. Here it was perhaps again the above mentioned Rudolf Wolf who inaugurated them together with the geologist Bernhard Studer (1794-1887). The latter wrote a general history of science and technology in Switzerland of about seven hundred pages entitled Geschichte der Physischen Geographie der Schweiz bis 1815 (1863).

At the University of Basel, re-opened after the canton's division into two half-cantons, there prevailed an extremely favorable climate for historical research in the period of 1835-1914. From the beginning of that period there were courses in history of literature, philosophy, music, economics, arts etc. Courses in the history of the natural sciences and technology followed only later after 1865. Some of these courses dealing with the then current issues of wide interest attracted an extraordinary great audience being among the best-attended courses of that semester. For example Rudolf Burckhardt's (1866-1908) course on the history and criticism of Darwinism in 1893 attracted 52 students, and Eduard Hagenbach-Bischoff's (1833-1910) course on the history of electricity in 1895/96 as many as 136 students.
The two most important factors for the furthering of the history of science in Switzerland in the 19th century came from the Naturforschende Gesellschaften (natural science societies), and a favorable general attitude towards historical studies towards the turn of the century (historicism). The Naturforschende Gesellschaften occasionally issued historical reports at annual meetings and at special anniversary celebrations, and edited collected works of important Swiss scientists. Looking up the opening lectures at the annual meetings of the Schweizerische Naturforschende Gesellschaft (today’s Swiss Academy of Sciences) from 1815 up to the present yields a list of some forty such historical overviews.
These developments led in the 20th century in Switzerland to the foundation of four institutes in the history of medicine and a few chairs in history of science. At the same time regular lecture series in the history of science and technology were created. In Zurich the Wissenschaftshistorisches Kolloquium of the University and the ETH organized each semester from 1975 to 2011 a series of lectures for the general public. Among the founding members were Heinz Balmer (history of medicine and natural sciences), Jean-François Bergier (history of economics and social sciences), Markus Fierz (physics), Klaus Hepp (physics), Gerhard Huber (philosophy), Peter J. Huber (mathematics), Karl A. Hünermann (paleontology), Huldrych M. Koelbing (history of medicine), Emil Kuhn-Schnyder (paleontology), Erwin Neuenschwander (history of mathematics), and Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (mathematics, history of science). Joining them, shortly after on the organizing committee were, amongst others: Erwin Engeler (mathematics), Helmut Holzhey (philosophy), Günther Rasche (physics), Herbert Sprenger (history of technology), Rudolf Trümpy (geology), Günter Scharf (physics), Ambros Speiser (history of technology), Vincent Ziswiler (zoology) etc.
In 1997 the Collegium Helveticum was founded at the ETH as a laboratory for transdisciplinary research. Its central purpose and vision is to promote knowledge exchange between the natural sciences, the humanities, art, technology, and medicine. It frequently hosts international symposia, lectures and workshops where decision-makers in the scientific, economic, political and cultural spheres meet with students and a public audience in an attempt to strengthen the engagement with present and future societal challenges. In the same year the ETH also founded a chair for the history of technology. The chair David Gugerli came from the Research Center for Social and Economic History. The latter was founded in 1971 by Rudolf Braun (1930-2012), Hans Conrad Peyer (1922-1994) and Hansjörg Siegenthaler (1933-). The majority of the current professors and lecturers in history of science and science and technology studies in German-speaking Switzerland are ultimately descendants from the Braun School. This school has also recently founded the center Geschichte des Wissens (history of knowledge) in Zurich which encompasses nearly all activities in the field.
On the other hand the interest of natural scientists themselves in history of science has diminished sharply over the years. This was one of the main reasons why in 2011 we had to finally terminate the lecture series of the already mentioned Wissenschaftshistorisches Kolloquium in Zurich. A second indication of the same trend is that research projects in history of science are no longer treated at the Division of Mathematics, Natural and Engineering Sciences of the Swiss National Science Foundation but must nowadays be presented to the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences which has somewhat different evaluation criteria. The same situation seems to prevail in many places in Germany (such as Hamburg, Munich etc.) where chairs in history of science that were connected with scientific institutions were either closed down or transferred to historical departments. It is of course not possible to give in this short talk an overview of the situation in the whole of Europe. In this regard I would like to refer to the general reports of each country which were given every four years at the General Assembly of the DHST at the International Congresses of History of Science.
Furthermore, an excellent analysis of the situation of the history of science in Europe around the year 2000 can be found in the published report of the Allea-Conference, which took place in Strasbourg on 25-26 June 1998. From my personal notes from this conference I have the following information about the situation of history of science in the different countries in Western Europe. Belgium: Courses on history of science in all universities, 8 centers with about 40 scientists; Denmark: about 20 lecturers and professors; larger centers in Aarhus, Roskilde, Copenhagen etc.; France: 299 scientists in teaching and research (technology 61, mathematics 61, astronomy 11, physics 61, chemistry 14, biology and medicine 50, philosophy of science 24, anthropology 2, social sciences 18); Germany: according to the report of the national committee for 1993-1996 there were about 800 scientists working in the field: history of science 147 researchers (48 chairs), history of technology 77 researcher (25 chairs), history of medicine and pharmacology 108 researchers (24 chairs); Great Britain: 24 institutions and over 100 researchers; Italy: 94 chairs (about 20 directly in history of science), The Netherlands: 4 institutes (Groningen, Nijmegen, Twente, Utrecht) with about 30 researchers (6 chairs), courses in nearly all Dutch universities, Russia: over 1000 researchers, Spain: in total 63 lecturers (17 in history of science and 46 in history of medicine); Sweden: about 40 scientists, a great number of students in history of science (1200 undergraduates, 140 doctorates); Switzerland: 5 institutes in the history of medicine Zurich (1951), Basel (1965), Berne (1977), Geneva (1987), Lausanne (1987); 1 chair in the history and philosophy of science in Geneva (1987) and a chair in the history of technology at the ETH Zürich (1997), a research center for social and economic history at the university of Zurich (1971).
In summary, it can be said that the history of science and technology has always been a multidisciplinary field. It is therefore not surprising that there exists a certain degree of fragmentation. What seems more problematic to me, is that there are quite different approaches to the field, a growing number of schools, sub-communities hardly communicating with each other, and not really appreciating the approaches of others.

E. Neuenschwander, Zur Historiographie der Mathematik in der Schweiz, Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences 49 (1999), 169-399, esp. 377 ff.;
C. Debru (ed.), History of science and technology in education and training in Europe, A conference organized by the Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, and the Division of History of Science of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (DHS-IUHPS), on behalf of ALLEA (All European Academies), Strasbourg, 25 to 26 June 1998, 1999.

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Efthymios Nicolaidis   | National Hellenic Research Foundation

History of Science in Southeastern Europe: trying to integrate the dominant trends.

During the four last decades, the field of history of science has been strongly developed in the countries of Southeastern Europe. Contrary to what happened in the European countries where this field has been established since the beginnings of the 20th c. by studying the birth and the development of the scientific ideas, historians of the European periphery concentrated on the diffusion of science to a region that has not participated in its making. Indeed, most of the publications of this community of historians of science deal with the mechanisms of the reception of ideas born elsewhere. This kind of research does not deal with the content of science itself but with the diffusion of this content and with the context of this diffusion. When, why and by whom the new European scientific ideas have been taught, why certain communities received and diffused them and why other resisted to this diffusion? Why certain communities have been receptive to the scientific and technological modernization while other resisted to it?

This kind of research has established a new field of history of science, which at a first glance could be characterized as local.  This field does not seem to address the main questions that deal with the making of the new scientific ideas and in consequence with the development of science itself. Nevertheless, science as an important activity of mankind cannot be seen only as an activity of certain regions of the world. The globalization of scientific ideas since the 18th century is an important process that implies the globalization of a certain culture based on science and technology. The study of the local reception is then a new and very promising field.

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Felicitas Seebacher   |Austrian Academy of Sciences, Commission for the History and Philosophy of Science, Working Group for the History of Medicine

Analysing “viennese medicine”. Reflections on the history of medicine at the university of vienna and perspectives for the future

History is about the past, but its interpretations are driven by the present. Therefore history of medicine always was influenced by the contemporary scientific culture. Until the 18th century, history of medicine was the knowledge about the different options of diagnosis and therapy, represented by the old authorities such as Hippocrates. It was a precondition for the physician´s practice, when medical studies focused mostly on books. With the Enlightenment, the scientification of history of medicine began, but not before the second half of the 19th century did it become an independent discipline. Closed to medicine, physicians were thought to be privileged to write the history of medicine, including the history of their own medical disciplines. Considering it essential for building up professional identity for students at medical faculties, lectures have been offered at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna since 1809.
In 1914, the Institute for the History of Medicine at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna was founded by the neurologist Max Neuburger, who realized the relevancy of the institutionalization of history of medicine. Not before 1965, did the first historian, Erna Lesky, and a physician too, become head of the institute. In an uncritical style, she faded out everything that could question the image of the famous 'Viennese Medical School' in her publications. Even though social history of medicine became important in medical historical research internationally in the 1970s, it was still neglected by Lesky.  Nevertheless, history of medicine is not only about the knowledge of medical achievements, but it is also about power: the power of physicians and institutions, of politics, economy and society. Historians of medicine from the USA or from England were much more critical in analysing 'Viennese Medicine' than those from Austria. History of medicine had to emancipate from the one-sided view on the glorious past.
The influences of culture or social developments gained importance. Internationally, history of medicine has become an interdisciplinary discipline, where science and the humanities meet in flowing transition. It is no longer an isolated subject, written mostly by physicians and for physicians. In many European countries it is integrated into history of science now, written by historians, sociologists, philosophers and cultural scientists as well. Historical examples will show that life sciences and technical based medicine can have more benefits from history of medicine when it is integrated into history of science and technology.
This paper focuses on the historical developments of history of medicine at the University of Vienna and its future perspectives at Medical Universities in Austria and the Austrian Academy of Sciences.  It needs to examine, how the different communities, working on the field of history of science, medicine and technology, communicate and collaborate or do they act like stand-alone communities in competition. The question arises, what consequences the founding of a Commission for History and Philosophy of Science at the Austrian Academy of Sciences will have on the current state of the field and if it can manage to raise the public awareness for the reputation of history of science, medicine and technology.  

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Milada Sekyrková   | Charles University, Prague

Challenge for the Czech History of Science after 1989: Leaving East? Going West?

After 1989, the new situation in Czechoslovakia ­– since 1993 the Czech Republic – radically transformed opportunities for international collaboration. This included the new options now opened to research in the history of science and technology. Existing cautious contacts with Western colleagues could now finally openly develop and the actual contribution of state-supported contacts with colleagues from countries of the Eastern Bloc was re-evaluated and the relations de-politicised.
In my contribution, I examine post-1989 orientation of Czech historians of science, their participation in scientific networks in a European context, and continuity or new directions in research in this field using the example of their participation in the work of the European Society for the History of Science since its foundation in 2003. Using a brief case study of the historian of mathematics Jaroslav Folta (1933 – 2011), I investigate the complicated, and sometimes even controversial, personal approach to efforts to maintain the continuity of research, including existing subjects, institutions, and publications, in conditions of confrontation with a radically changed political situation, research opportunities, and possibilities of international collaboration.

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Ida Stamhuis   | Universiteit Amsterdam

The Stevin Centre: one of the Dutch university centers  in the history of science and humanities: an international trend?

March 2014 at my university the Stevin Centre was established with the following mission statement (shortened):
The VU University has traditionally attached great importance to courses in the history of academic knowledge as a contribution to the balanced education of its students. University-wide courses can clearly demonstrate the interaction between academic disciplines and of academia with society. The Stevin Centre for History of Science and Humanities will offer such courses. In addition it has formulated a common research theme entitled “Knowledge Practices and Normativity within their Historical Context”. The Stevin Centre aims at making its results available to the wider community.
In my talk I will sketch the background of this establishment and its nowadays situation. I will raise the question if this belongs to an international movement and if yes, what that means for the future of ESHS. See stevincentre.com, and for the opening http://stevincentre.com/opening.html

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Petr Svobodny   | Université Karlova, Prague

History of Medicine in the Czech Republic: Institutions, Networks, Challenges

In the Czech Republic, the history of medicine is a long-established area of study, one seen from an institutional (institutes, societies, journals) and methodological point of view but also regarding its subject as part of the history of science and technology. Approximately until the end of the 1980s, activity in this field (publications, conferences, teaching) was mostly ‘traditional’, that is, emphasising ‘great discoveries’, ‘progress’, etc., with research focusing mainly on the production of biographies or histories of institutions and particular areas. Since the 1970s, however, we had also witnessed – in parallel with development in other European countries, especially Great Britain and Germany, but in conditions of minimal contact with ‘Western’ research – the development of the social history of medicine and healthcare.
After 1989, political and social changes in the Czech Republic had a far-reaching impact among other things on historical sciences, including the history of sciences and technologies and the history of medicine. We had experienced a radical transformation of not only the institutional background and international orientation of these fields but also major changes in their theoretical and methodological approach, and in the subjects studied. At first, in the 1990s, the main aim was to ‘catch up’ with developments in the Western countries. Later, there came a rapid absorption of current, sometimes fashionable, trends. In the history of medicine, the earlier stage was characterised by for instance a wave of interest in the notions of biopower and medicalisation, which recently led to a number of outstanding original studies. In the first decade of the 21st century, much research was devoted to other novel concepts, such as history of the body, history of otherness, or the history of death. Currently, the new and exciting ideas include, for instance, the notion of a spatial turn.
The assimilation of new concepts, theories, methods, and subjects is linked to another aspect of transformation of the history of medicine in the Czech Republic, namely its evolution from ‘classical’ to ‘post-modern’: Until the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ‘landscape’ of this field (and its publications and conferences) was dominated by researchers linked to a handful of institutes at medical faculties, usually doctors of medicine, only seldom historians. To a lesser extent, the history of medicine was also influenced by scholars who in some way participated in the activities of the Society for the History of Science and Technology, including its journal History of Science and Technology. The current situation is different and research in the history of medicine, healthcare, and health – as one could more aptly call this discipline – is far more varied. The goal of my contribution is to map several aspects of this ‘landscape’: traditional versus new institutions and researchers working in the history of medicine, history of science, history of education, history of natural sciences, philosophy and sociology of science, medicine, etc., and historical anthropology. By institutions, we mean not only institutes and departments with their research and teaching programmes (including doctoral studies) but also work groups, societies, journals, series of publications, conferences, and the like. I also place the local, Czech situation in a wider, international context and say a few works about the generational and regional representation of researchers in this field.

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 Baichun ZHANG   | Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Trend in Chinese Scholars' Research on History of Science and Technology: From Unitary Model to Methodological Diversity

Chinese scholars started to study the history of science and technology in the first half of the 20th century. Since 1950s, the P. R. China’s government has been encouraging scholars to research the heritage of science and technology. Therefore, Chinese historians focused upon studies in scientific discoveries and technical inventions in ancient China, and the model of “verifying and describing achievements in history” became almost the unitary research model. In 1978, Chinese historians of science and technology started to make studies of modern science and technology in the West. In 1990s, on the one hand, A part of historians were very interested in research on modern science and technology in Chinese society, including the transmission of S & T into China; on the other hand, a part of historians, especially young scholars, tried to research the traditional Chinese science and technology from the perspectives of cultural anthropology, folklore, sociology, and so on. Under these circumstances, historical research on S & T has undergone a transformation of models from the “verifying and describing achievements” to Methodological Diversity. Chinese historians are thinking which issues all the historians of science or technology should focus on how to balance knowledge history, social history and cultural history of S & T?

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