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.

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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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Call for Papers: ‘Van luis in de pels tot corporate glossy’

Congres ‘De ontwikkeling van de periodieke pers aan de Nederlandse en Belgische universiteiten sinds 1800’

Datum congres: 25 november 2022. Deadline abstracts: 1 juli 2022

Iedere Nederlandse en Belgische universiteit heeft er één: het universiteitsbrede blad dat zich richt op alle geledingen van de universiteit: studenten, wetenschappelijk en niet-wetenschappelijk personeel, en overige belangstellenden. Ze vormen een zichtbaar en bindend element in de complexe organisatie van de moderne universiteit.

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Call for Papers

We invite contributions to the Journal for the History of Knowledge which will be launched early 2020.


JHoKis devoted to the history of knowledge in its broadest sense. This includes the study of indigenous, artisanal, and other types of knowledge, often seen as ‘weaker’ than science, as well as the history of academic knowledge developed in the humanities and social sciences. Special attention is devoted to interactions and processes of demarcation of science and knowledge. Contributions can deal with the history of concepts of knowledge, the study of practices of knowledge, and institutions and sites of knowledge production and legitimation (including universities). Contributions which highlight the relevance of the history of knowledge to current policy concerns (for example, by historicizing and problematizing concepts such as the knowledge society) are particularly welcome.

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Gewina-Descartes-Huygens Scriptieprijs voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteitsgeschiedenis

Oproep voor inzendingen Gewina-Descartes-Huygens Scriptieprijs voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteitsgeschiedenis:

In 2013 riep Gewina de Gewina-Descartes-Huygens Scriptieprijs voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteitsgeschiedenis in het leven. Tijdens de achtste Gewina Woudschoten Conferentie op 21 en 22 juni 2019 te Zeist zal deze prijs voor de derde keer uitgereikt worden. 

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