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[Athena] colloque sur les instruments

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  • From: Gérard Emptoz <emptoz.g AT>
  • To: ATHENA <athena AT>
  • Subject: [Athena] colloque sur les instruments
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 18:39:21 +0100


SIC2008 - XXVII Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission
16-21 September 2008
Museum of Science
University of Lisbon
sic2008 AT

Papers submitted to the XXVII Symposium of the Scientific Instrument
Commission - SIC 2008 should 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, encouraging contributions
addressing the following two themes.


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.


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.

See Submission details and more information at:
sic2008 AT

SIC website:

Samuel Gessner
Centro de História das Ciências - Universidade de Lisboa
Faculdade de Ciências, Univ. Lisboa
Campo Grande, Edifício C8, Piso 6
1749-016 LISBOA

  • [Athena] colloque sur les instruments, Gérard Emptoz, 01/16/2008

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