International History of Science Congress in Budapest

BudapestIt has been announced that the XXIIIrd Congress of History of Science and Technology will be held July 26-31, 2009 in Budapest, Hungary. The theme of the conference will be “Ideas and Instruments in Social Context.” The website for the conference can be found here. The full announcement from the Congress Secretariat can be found below.

Dear Colleagues,The International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science/Division of History of Science and Technology (IUHPS/DHST) is organizing its XXIIIrd Congress of History of Science and Technology from July 26-31, 2009 in Budapest, Hungary.

Congress Secretariat
c/o SCOPE Ltd.
Kende u. 13-17.
phone: +36-1-209-6001
fax: +36-1-386-9378

The main topic of the Congress is: “Ideas and Instruments in Social Context.” This slogan, conjuring images of both scientific theory and practice, is meant to suggest a broad agenda, not a restrictive one. The organizers welcome a wide range of proposals for papers and sessions, covering any period from antiquity to the present and any place on the face of the globe.

Although all presentations should relate to the history of science or technology, they may focus on institutions as well as beliefs, inventions as well as applications, the popular as well as the abstruse. They may explore the historical relations of science and technology with such topics as politics, medicine, religion, gender, education, and the arts-or look at the intersection of the history of science and technology with philosophy and sociology. Ideas mean, in this respect, all kinds of scientific, technical, philosophical, religious, political and social ideas that influenced,in a given period and in a given area, the development of science and technology. Topics that show the mutual influence of philosophical, religious, political and social ideas and scientific and technical development are highly appreciated. The analysis of ideas that brought into being or changed an instrument or an institution forms also part of the topic.

All kinds of scientific and technical instruments as preserved in museums, descriptions, memories and in art belong to the topic of the congress. The influence of the instruments on the culture of the laboratories and on everyday life in the different periods is also a highly appreciated topic of the congress. The history of all kinds of “instruments” that helped or hindered the development of science and technology like legislation,
international, state or local influence, and institutions are incorporated into the second part of the topic.
For much of the history of our discipline, two separate and sometimes antagonistic approaches to the history of science have focused on the study of ideas, and on the study of instruments. However, in the past few decades, more and more scholars have striven to integrate both aspects, showing that instruments not only constitute the material culture of science, but also shape and even embody ideas. They are also central in understanding how science operates within societies, is shaped by the milieus as well as the material conditions in which it is produced, and in return contributes to the construction of these societies. The advent of “Big Science” in the twentieth century, closely dependent on highly sophisticated and costly
instruments, has forcefully brought forward the importance of their study by historians of science.

Moreover, the Budapest Congress will be the first to be held after our DivisionĀ“s change of name from “Division of History of Science” to “Division of History of Science and Technology” in 2005. In order
to explicitly bring out the ways in which science and technology have been interrelated in history and how studies of both fields are complementary, a series of plenary lectures, symposia and special sessions will be devoted to “Science and ideas in social context”, with the aim of bringing together historians of science and
historians of technology, and to enhance common discussion on objects that are traditionally regarded as pertaining exclusively to one or the other.

The most important dates are:

Deadline for symposia proposals 30 June 2008
Second Circular 30 September 2008
Deadline for determination of the final symposia programs 15 December 2008
Deadline for grant applications 15 January 2009
Confirmation of grant applications 15 February 2009
Deadline for submission of paper abstract 15 March 2009
Deadline for notification of working meeting by DHS Commission 15 March 2009
Deadline for acceptance of abstracts 15 April 2009
Deadline for early registration 30 April 2009
Deadline for hotel reservations 30 April 2009
Third Circular 31 May 2009
Opening of the Congress 26 July 2009

For all other information please visit the Congress homepage:
To receive further information please register using the “Intention to participate form” on the website.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Budapest in July 2009.

On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).

Dr. Peter Szegedi
Member of the LOC
Peter Szegedi
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Lorand Eotvos University, Budapest
Pazmany Peter setany 1/C Tel: +36-1-372-2990
Mail: H-1518 Budapest Pf. 32 Ans/Fax:-1-372-2924

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.