ESHS – Visual, Material and Sensory Cultures of Science

Event Description

Event Details

Because of the current pandemic it is no longer possible to hold the 9th ESHS Conference (European Society for the History of Science) live in Bologna, the Organizing and Scientific Committees, together with the ESHS Officers and Board Members, have decided to hold the conference on-line. Among the panels:

Tuesday 1 September

9.00 – 11.00

The Changing Relation between Visual Representations and Theoretical Frameworks: Tables, Diagrams, Plots, and Drawings in the History of Physics and Astronomy

Sponsored by Società Italiana di Storia della Fisica e dell’Astronomia – SISFA (Italian Society for the History of Physicis and Astronomy)

Conveners: Roberto Lalli (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany), Salvatore Esposito (INFN Naples, Italy)            

Chair: Salvatore Esposito (INFN Naples, Italy)

  • Stefan Zieme (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany), Visual and material practices in Alfonsine astronomy
  • Flavia Marcacci (Pontifical Lateran University, Italy), Solving the clash among world systems in a glance! Astronomical tables as visual tools, 1610-1687
  • Pasquale Tucci (University of Milan, Italy), What did Leonardo and Galileo see observing the Moon?
  • Anna Jerratsch (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin, Germany), Forms and Practices of Visual Representations in Early Modern Cometary Tracts

13.45 – 15.45

Learning by Doing and Doing to Learn: Skills, Texts and the Materiality of Surgical Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Conveners: Elaine Leong (University College London, UK), Maria Pia Donato (French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS, France)         

Chair: Iolanda Ventura (University of Bologna, Italy)

  • Heidi Hausse (Auburn University, USA) Building a Surgical Armory: Johannes Scultetus in Ulm, c.1631-1645
  • Maria Pia Donato (French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS, France), Books, manuscripts and the material culture of surgery in early modern Italian hospitals
  • Carolin Schmitz (University of Cambridge, UK), Surgical Textbooks Meet Legal Records: Instructing and Witnessing the Practice of Surgery in Early Modern Spain
  • Elaine Leong (University College London, UK), Illustrating Surgery: Print, Images and Vernacular Surgical Manuals in Early Modern England

Secretaries of Knowledge: Scribal Helpers and Social Visibility in the Worlds of Scholarship, 16th-19th Centuries

Conveners: Francesca Antonelli (University of Bologna), José Beltrán (Centre Alexandre-Koyré, France)

Chair: José Beltrán (Centre Alexandre-Koyré, France)

  • Paola Molino (University of Padua, Italy), The Power of a Mistake: Library Scribes, with Too Much Ink and Never Enough Wood
  • Hülya Çelik & Chiara Petrolini (University of Vienna, Austria), Court librarian Sebastian Tengnagel’s “Oriental” Copyists and Their Role in Fostering Knowledge of the Orient in the Seventeenth century
  • José Beltrán (Centre Alexandre-Koyré, France), Secretaries of Nature: Scribes, Scholars, and the Archive of Nature in Eighteenth-Century Paris
  • Francesca Antonelli (University of Bologna, Italy), A Visible Assistant? Marie-Anne Paulze-Lavoisier (1758-1836) as a Secrétaire

16.00 – 18.00

Paper, Metal, Glass: Material Reproduction in Pre-Modern Science

Convener: Katherine M. Reinhart (University of Wisconsin, USA), Megan Piorko (Georgia State University, USA)

Chair: Felicity Henderson (University of Exeter, UK)

  • Agnese Benzonelli (University College London, UK), Texts, experiments and artefacts, a combined approach to the study of black bronze alloys
  • Umberto Veronesi (University College London, UK), Of copying, mixing and recycling: The glass distillation apparatus of a 16th-century alchemical laboratory and its material history
  • Megan Piorko (Georgia State University, USA), Transmutating Alchemical Knowledge on Paper: Using and reusing alchemical texts in the seventeenth-century
  • Katherine M. Reinhart (University of Wisconsin, USA), Science in Circulation: Coins, Copying, and the Materiality of Scientific Imagery

Wednesday 2 September

11.15 – 13.15

I Spy With My Little Eye: Visualizing Science in Early Modern Europe

Conveners: Christoph Sander (Max Planck Institute for Art History Rome Italy), Pamela Mackenzie (Max Planck Institute for Art History Rome, Italy)

Chair: Sietske Fransen (Max Planck Institute for Art History Rome, Italy)

  • Delphine Bellis (Paul Valéry University, France), The Puzzle of the Retinal Picture for Gassendi’s Theory of Vision
  • Oscar Seip (Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome, Italy), How the World Became a Stage: On the Theatricalisation of Scientific Practices
  • Pamela Mackenzie (Max Planck Institute for Art History Rome, Italy), Nehemiah Grew and the comparative methodology and visual epistemology in his Anatomy of Plants
  • Christoph Sander (Max Planck Institute for Art History Rome, Italy), Visible Magnetism. Diagrams and Experiments in Early Modern Natural Philosophy

Views from the Periphery: Visual, Material, and Sensory Cultures of Science in Early Modern Scotland

Conveners: Lewis Ashman (University of Edinburgh, UK), René Winkler (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Chair: Monica Azzolini (University of Bologna, Italy)

  • Lewis Ashman (University of Edinburgh, UK), A sign of the times: Newton’s calculus and the limits of geometry in eighteenth century Scotland
  • David McOmish (University of Edinburgh, UK), Edinburgh’s Supernova: examining the universe anew after the collapse of Aristotelian Cosmology at the University of Edinburgh, 1612-1640
  • René Winkler (University of Edinburgh, UK), Robert Sibbald’s Auctarium Musæi Balfouriani and the role of museums and collecting in the making of natural scientific knowledge during the early Scottish Enlightenment
  • Martha McGill (University of Warwick, UK), Science and the supernatural: bodies, minds and invading spirits in early modern Scotland

Gardens-Laboratories in Early Modern Botany, Chemistry, and Physiology

Convener: Fabrizio Baldassarri (University of Bucharest, Romania/Italy)

Chair: Iolanda Ventura (University of Bologna, Italy)

  • María M. Carrión (Emory University, USA), Nature Gazing in the European 16th-Century Dried Gardens
  • Matteo Fornasier (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy), The Botanical Philosophy behind the Jardin des Plantes
  • Fabrizio Baldassarri (University of Bucharest, Romania/Italy), The Ascent of Water in Malpighi’s, Grew’s and Ray’s Physiology of Plants-Laboratories
  • Julie Davies (University of Muenster, Germany), Early Modern Women and Their Garden Laboratories

13.50 – 15.10

Galileian Studies

Chair: Helge Kragh (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • Filip A. A. Buyse (Domus Comeliana, Italy), Galileo and the Transformation of Sensory Qualities: from Intrinsic Properties to Extrinsic Qualities
  • Hannah Tomczyk (University of Cambridge, UK), Making the mathematization of velocity useful
  • Cesare Pastorino (Technical University Berlin, Germany), Collecting Material Evidence from Mathematical Instruments: The Case of Johannes Kepler’s use of Galileo Galilei’s Compasso Geometrico e Militare as a Source of Experimental Data

15.25 – 16.45

Learning by Doing and Doing to Learn: Skills, Texts and the Materiality of Surgical Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Conveners: Elaine Leong (University College London, UK), Maria Pia Donato (French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS, France)         

Chair: Paolo Savoia (University of Bologna, Italy)

  • Peter Murray Jones (King’s College, Cambridge UK), Show and Tell: A Medieval Operation for Early Modern Surgeons
  • Annemarie Kinzelbach (German Museum for the History of Medicine, UK), Transforming Skills: Two Early Modern Manuscripts and Surgery of Hernia in Early Modern Imperial cities
  • Silvia De Renzi (Open University, UK), Teaching surgery in seventeenth-century Rome: Books, bodies and Guglielmo Riva’s printed pictures

Thursday 3 September

13.45 – 15.45

Renaissance and Early Modern Medicine

Sponsored by SISUMed – Società Italiana di Scienze Umane in Medicina (Italian Society of Humanities in Medicine)

Chair: Valentina Gazzaniga (Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy)

  • Viktoria von Hoffmann (University of Liège, Belgium), Vidi et Tetigi. Touch, Sight, and Anatomical Experience of the Body in Renaissance Italy
  • Ariella Minden (Kunsthistorisches Institut Florence, Italy), Creating the Scientific Image: The Case of Berengario da Carpi’s Isagoge Breves (1523)
  • Joana Balsa de Pinho (University of Lisbon, Portugal), Renaissance hospitals in Portugal: from visual to material culture of science
  • Barbara Di Gennaro (Yale University, USA), The Materiality of Theriac in Seventeenth-Century Bologna Standardizing Compounds through Sensory Evaluation

Sensory Experience in Early-Modern Scientific Writing

Convener: Felicity Henderson (University of Exeter, UK)         

Chair: Katherine M. Reinhart (University of Wisconsin, USA)

  • Ivana Bičak (University of Exeter, UK), Versifying Experience: Early Modern Poetry Collections of Danish Anatomists
  • Giulia Rovelli (University of Insubria, Italy), Medical Case Histories and the Role of Personal Experience in the Popularization of Learned Medicine
  • Lucia Berti (University of Milan, Italy), Sir Thomas Dereham: A scientific intermediary between Italy and the Royal Society
  • Felicity Henderson (University of Exeter, UK), Silenced witnesses: everyday experience in scientific narrative

The Practice of Geometry in Medieval Alfonsine Astronomy

Conveners: Samuel Gessner (Paris Observatory, France), Richard L. Kremer (Dartmouth College, USA)

Chair: Matthieu Husson (Paris Observatory, France)

  • Nicolas A. Jacobson (Paris Observatory, France), The justificatory role of diagrams in an anonymous set of fourteenth-century canons for the Alfonsine tables (Erfurt Q366 ff. 70v-73v)
  • Laure Miolo (EPHE – PSL, France), Figuring and calculating eclipses at the end of the 15th century: Lewis of Caerleon and his geometrical canons
  • Angela Axworthy (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin, Germany), Geometrical models of the universe in the fifteenth century: the case of Prosdocimo de’ Beldomandi
  • Samuel Gessner (Paris Observatory, France), The transposition of numerical data from tables onto the scales of instruments: Teorice novelle (15th c.)
  • Richard L. Kremer (Dartmouth College, USA), commentator

Color Charts as Trading Zones between Science and Art, 1500-1800

Convener: Giulia Simonini (Technical University Berlin, Germany)     

Chair: Sarah Lowengard (The Cooper Union, USA)

  • Truusje Goedings (Indipendent Scholar, Netherlands), A 17th Century Dutch Attempt at Making a Full Colour System with over 1,700 Different Hues
  • Erma Hermens (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), ‘Through the eye and through text’. A unique 17th-century Dutch Colour Chart for Painters: Identification and Interpretation
  • Giulia Simonini (Technical University Berlin, Germany), Lambert’s Color Pyramid: Practical Applications for Artists’ Techniques and Materials
  • André Karliczek (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany), Materialization of Vision – Color Standards in the Early Sciences
  • Friedrich Steinle (Technical University Berlin, Germany), commentator


Monday 31 August – Thursday 3 September 2020


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