Call for Papers – Science Diplomacy: Searching for a Deeper Past (ESHS 2024 Symposium)

11th ESHS Conference, 4–7 Sept 2024, Barcelona (Spain), Theme: Science, Technology, Humanity, and the Earth
Call for Abstracts – Symposium
Title: Science Diplomacy: Searching for a Deeper Past
Organizers: Daniel Gamito-Marques (NOVA School of Science and Technology), Lif Lund Jacobsen (Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen)
Session Description
This symposium organized by the STAND Commission calls for papers promoting a historical and historiographical deepening of reflections on the role of science and technology in international relations. International negotiations on the environment, global health crises, geopolitical power politics, and intelligence gathering are neither recent concerns nor unconnected to other crucial areas of global politics and scholarly interest. This symposium intends to encourage the investigation of science diplomacy through an analysis of its deeper and more complex past, extending the temporal horizon under investigation, seeking out new histories that broaden disciplinary boundaries and critically assessing recent historiographical trends. In particular, we invite contributors to problematize the current characterization of science diplomacy as a post-WW2 phenomenon to suggest innovative connections between histories of different periods.
Contributions may analyze contexts including, but not limited to, the themes of:
Deepening history of exploration, geography, and earth science diplomacy: International coordination of the geographic and earth sciences is hardly new: ‘races’ to explore parts of the Earth’s surface, International Polar Years, and expeditions to the far reaches of the globe have marked history of science for many decades and even centuries before the mid-twentieth century. We invite submissions that consider these historical activities with the frames of reference often brought to the study of history of science diplomacy.
Coordinated scientific and diplomatic responses to transnational threats: Coordination of scientific experts and diplomats from different states in areas like public health, environmental protection, resource management, and military and security threats has a long history. How do past international efforts to contain the spread of epidemic diseases help frame current discussions? How have the politics and scientific administration of natural resources been addressed and narrated over time? How have scientists contributed as historical actors in histories of the regulation of armaments and the conduct of war?
International collaborations: We call for papers discussing collaborations among scientific experts from different states and nationalities for goals such as the organization of international scientific associations, scientific standardization, the coordination of large-scale transnational projects, or the exchange of scientific objects as diplomatic gifts. What role have scientific academies played in different historical eras? How were scientific units, nomenclature, methods, and practices negotiated in different places and times? What cities, observatories, and experimental stations featured as science diplomacy spaces and how did they change across time and space? In what contexts were scientific objects proposed as diplomatic gifts, what were the meanings attached to them, and what experts were involved in their collection or construction?
Scientific exploration, colonialism, and imperial relations: Political uses of science regarding indigenous people, displays of diplomatic power, and implantation of scientific institutions has recently received significant attention. How does this historical literature speak to the history of science diplomacy? How have institutional scientific enterprises in foreign territories influenced relations with local populations? Have they defined power asymmetries, further materialized in treaties of sovereignty transfer? How did the technoscientific background of historical actors influence these interactions? How was scientific knowledge used in colonial and imperial disputes? Likewise, how was diplomatic status actively procured or invoked to support scientific activities? How can the study of science diplomacy better account for indigenous knowledges?
Submission Guidelines
Please submit your abstract (200–300 words) with a brief biography (150 words) to dgm (at) fct (dot) unl (dot) pt and allj (at) snm (dot) ku (dot) dk not later than Wednesday 15 November 2023.
Proposals that foster gender-equality and diversity, including researchers with various institutional affiliations, at diverse stages of their professional careers, with different geographical origins, and from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.

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