9th Gewina Meeting of Historians of Science in the Low Countries: Register now!

Contested Expertise: Trust in Science and Technology

Woudschoten Conference Center, Zeist, 17-18 June 2022

Welcome to the conference! We want to thank you for your enthusiastic response to the call for papers and look forward to your presentations. If you have any questions about registration, the programme, or other organisational issues, please mail us at contestedexpertise@gmail.com


Please click here to download the latest Programme of the Conference (updated on 13 June 2022).

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Students Thesis Café

Tuesday 17 May 2022 8pm

We would like to invite students to the Gewina Students thesis café on Tuesday May 17 at 20.00. During this informal meeting students can share best practices on issues like writers block, deadline stress or how best to deal with feedback. Sign up here !

Best wishes,

Claire Morrison & Tim Debroyer

Call for papers: Does Science need Heroes? (Nobel) Prize cultures in the Netherlands

The history of the Nobel Prize, the most prestigious and visible science award in the world, is since the very beginning in 1901 intertwined with Dutch science history. Counting more than twenty Dutch laureates to date, among others Einthoven, van ’t Hoff and Tinbergen, the Netherlands rank among the top ten nations in the statistics of Nobelists per country.

Having said that, our understanding of how awards have been and are used as a symbol for excellence has remained poor. Using the Netherlands as a case-study, this symposium aims at investigating how scientific prizes in general and the Nobel Prize in particular are enacted in different settings (museums, universities, cities) and for various purposes. Drawing on current discussions about ‘heroes’ in science (vs. teamwork), we wish to explore the meanings and motives of scientific accolades in the Netherlands and beyond.

“Call for papers: Does Science need Heroes? (Nobel) Prize cultures in the Netherlands” verder lezen


Phallus. Norm & Vorm

Gent, donderdag 19 mei 2022

Vanaf oktober 2020 zijn we een nieuw museum rijker. Het gloednieuwe Gents Universiteitsmuseum (GUM) is een museum over wetenschap, onderzoek en kritisch denken, waar bezoekers kunnen ontdekken dat wetenschap het resultaat is van vallen en opstaan, twijfel en verbeelding.

Op donderdag 19 mei organiseert Gewina in samenwerking met het GUM onze lentevergadering. We hopen natuurlijk dat jij er ook bij bent!

“Lentebijeenkomst” verder lezen

CALL FOR PAPERS: 9th Gewina Woudschoten Conference

Karikatuur op de koepokken inenting

Contested Expertise: Trust in Science and Technology

Zeist, 17–18 June 2022
Deadline for proposals: 18 March 2022

On 17-18 June 2022 Gewina, the Belgian-Dutch Society for the History of Science and Universities, will hold its 9th biannual meeting in the Woudschoten Hotel & Conference Centre (Zeist). This two-day conference brings together historians of science, humanities, medicine, universities and technology; and all those from other fields with an interest in the history of knowledge. The theme of this year’s conference is Contested Expertise: Trust in Science and Technology.

Thematic scope of the Woudschoten conference

If there is anything that the Covid-19 pandemic shows, it is that social trust in science and technology is not self-evident. Expert claims about the severity of the disease and the dynamics of infection are met with skepticism and sometimes outright dismissal. This distrust is a sign of a broader development since the late twentieth century, in which expert knowledge seems to be losing ground in society. Knowledge institutions, such as universities, expert agencies and other professional mediators are under pressure as part of a more general sentiment to question foundations of ‘modern’ Western science and technology. At the same time, the humanities and social sciences face crises of trust in the form of the decolonization debate and the replication crisis. An overall crisis of trust in scientific knowledge (broadly conceived!) looms large. However, trust in these institutions and their knowledge practices has never been natural. Modern knowledge institutions rose to prominence in the early modern period and did so at the expense of other institutions such as guilds, churches, and the republic of letters. Scientific knowledge acquired social and cultural status at the expense of artisanal knowledge; disciplinary experts marginalized the polymath scholar. Trust had to be gained, and it has had to be continually maintained. The current crisis puts new pressure on the status of science and technology and the question what the response will be.

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