CfP SISS Conference of Early Career Scholars in History of Science

Natura incognita
Places, methods and representations in the study of nature
SISS Conference of Early Career Scholars in History of Science
II edition
September 7-8, 2023
Anton Dohrn Zoological Station (Naples)

Following the first edition of the SISS Conference of Early Career Scholars, held online in October 2020, the Italian Society for the History of Science and the SISS Committee of early career scholars are pleased to present the second edition of Storie di Scienza. The Committee has the main goal of enhancing exchanges between doctoral students, post-doctoral and research fellows at the beginning of their careers and from different backgrounds, in order to promote their greater involvement in the activities of the Society and provide a space for collaboration, discussion, and presentation of research.

The unifying theme of this second edition is Natura incognita. The inspiration for the theme comes from the place that will host the event: the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples. A little more than 12 miles from the headquarters of the Zoological Station, researchers recently discovered the existence of the Dohrn Canyon, an enormous (and unsuspected until a few years ago) submarine canyon – more than 1000 m deep in some points – teeming with life and responsible of most of the
hydrological features of the entire gulf. An unknown that becomes known and which, with the richness of its deep ecosystem, forces us to rethink many of the theories on life in the abyss.
Yet, the unknown does not only lie at the bottom of the sea but can also hide in a microscope slide, in the chemistry of the elements, in the forces that make the earth tremble and the stars rotate, or in the labyrinths of the human mind. Metaphorically, for the history of science, the unknown is also a matter of methodology. Its traces lurk in the laboratory notebooks, in the principles that inform the construction of scientific instruments, in the collections of natural objects which bear witness to the scientific practices of the past.

Natura incognita is therefore a strongly interdisciplinary theme, insofar as nature can be conceived both literally, in the typical sense of natural sciences, and broadly, leaving room for the study of animal and human nature or for mathematical and physical representations of the natural world. The conference thus aims to analyze how the introduction of different methodologies, tools, places of production of scientific knowledge, and, last but not least, theoretical perspectives, has made it
possible to cross the frontiers of the unknown in the study of nature.

The interdisciplinary vocation of the conference goes hand by hand with a far-reaching historical perspective, from antiquity to the contemporary era, showing how the paths of the study of nature unfolded in various scientific disciplines and in different temporal and geographical contexts.

All proposals variously articulated around these themes will be taken into consideration.

The conference is open to scholars who are pursuing their doctorate or have completed it no more than 6 years ago.

It will be possible to participate both through panel proposals (from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 speakers, among which it is necessary to indicate a person in charge) and individual contributions.

The language of the interventions will preferably be Italian, but proposals in English will also be accepted.

Proposals must necessarily be provided with title and abstract (max 400 words); in the case of panels, it is necessary to submit both a general abstract (max 600 words) and the abstracts of individual interventions (max 400 words). A brief biographical profile of the participants of max 50 words is also required, including institutional affiliation and email.

A condition for participation in the conference is registration with the SISS for 2023.

We will be happy to receive your proposals at the email address:

Deadline for submitting proposals: 28 April 2023

Notification of acceptance of proposals: May 22, 2023

Organizing Committee: Claudia Addabbo, Alessandra Passariello, Valentina Vignieri, Denise Vincenti
Scientific Committee: Elena Canadelli, Mauro Antonelli, Marco Beretta, Benedetta Campanile, Luigi Ingaliso, Sandra Linguerri, Erika Luciano, Flavia Marcacci, Matteo Martelli, Paolo Mazzarello, Carmela Morabito, Laura Ronzon, Ezio Vaccari

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