16-21 September 2008
Museum of Science
University of Lisbon, Portugal
 
         
 

THANKS FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION

 

More photos: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6 (new!)

The Museum of Science of the University of Lisbon is glad to have hosted the 27th edition of the Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission. The Conference received anyone interested in the history, preservation, documentation and use of scientific instruments. It took place between 16 and 21 September 2008 and included visits to the most important collections of scientific instruments in Portugal.

More photos: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6

DEADLINES

Submission of Abstracts: Closed
Registration for the SIC Symposium 2008 is now closed (September 11, 2008)

Themes

The papers submitted to the XXVII Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission - SIC 2008 address issues related to recent research on the history of scientific instruments, preservation and documentation of collections of instruments, as well as their use within the wider discipline of the history of science.

SIC2008 will be particularly, but not exclusively, addressing the following two themes.

1. INSTRUMENTS AND SPACES

Why is space important for scientific instruments? SIC2008 intends to bring together the most recent developments in this debate. Do spaces in buildings condition instruments and vice versa?

Throughout history, spaces were designed to house, use, make, store, and display instruments in contexts as diverse as teaching, research, private collecting, and public exhibitions. The relationships between instruments and spaces underwent changes-from megalithic monuments to mural quadrants in India, Persia, and China; from meridians in European churches to astronomical observatories from Tycho Brahe onward; from taverns and lecture halls to great exhibitions and burgeoning museums of science; from bench tops to cyclotrons and modern interdisciplinary laboratory complexes. As original sites (laboratories, observatories, amphitheatres, old museums) are threatened and uses are rapidly reassigned, many feel that documenting and preserving the architecture and organisation of the spaces of science are important to understanding instrumentation and its uses.

2. INSTRUMENTS, HERITAGE AND SOCIETY

Why should we continue caring about the preservation of scientific instruments, and how can this be done? The SIC2008 Symposium will offer a platform to discuss and debate recent strategies, initiatives, and best practices for increasing standards of preservation and documentation of scientific instruments and for promoting access to them.

Why are some instrument exhibitions so dull? What does a 19th century vacuum pump tell a sixteen year old today? How can we engage wider audiences with scientific instruments, particularly children and the youth? Can this be actually done or is it an 'impossible' challenge? Is it desirable at all? Can we (and should we) communicate contemporary science through or with historical instruments? Can we mediate the importance and fascination of history of science through interpretative exhibitions of historical instrumentation? SIC2008 welcomes papers presenting innovative approaches that make instruments more meaningful to general audiences.

 
 

 

 

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of the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS)



Centre for the History of Science, University of Lisbon

Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, New
University of Lisbon

 

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