3rd ESHS Conference, Vienna 2008

Styles of Thinking in Science and Technology

In 1994 the late Alistair Crombie published his monumental work “Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition”. He distinguished between six “styles of inquiry, demonstration and explanation diversified by their subject-matters, by their general conceptions of nature, and by scientific experience” (publisher’s prospectus): postulation, the experimental argument, hypothetical modelling, taxonomy, probabilistic and statistical analysis, historical derivation. Fourteen years later it is time to reconsider this fascinating topical subject, in order to broaden earlier, Eurocentric approaches. Which philosophical, cultural, religious, political, economic influences can be identified that led to certain styles of thinking in science and technology all over the world and that influenced their further development? Cross-cultural influences and interrelations are of special interest. How are such traditions of thinking transmitted to later generations, to other cultures? How are they modified in the course of history? The Third Conference of the European Society for the History of Science would like to give a platform to all historians and philosophers of science and technology who are interested in these questions. Vienna with its scientific and cultural institutions that played a crucial role in the history of science is an ideal city for such an event.

Eberhard Knobloch, President of the ESHS

Vienna, September 10 – 12, 2008 Hosted by the Austrian Academy of Sciences

The Third Conference of the European Society for the History of Science is devoted to the topic

Styles of Thinking in Science and Technology


Scholars and doctoral students interested in the theme of the conference are invited to take part. The conference is not restricted to ESHS members or to Europeans and residents of Europe. Giving a lecture or paper is not a necessary condition to be a participant.

Call for Papers

This is a first Call for Papers. Please send an abstract (of not more than one page, in electronic form) of the paper you intend to present. Please indicate by one or two sentences what is new in your paper. Do not submit papers which were presented already at other occasions, or papers which will be presented in identical form later.

The Conference language is English.

Proposals for sessions or groups of papers are requested until 15 November 2007. The organizers will try to arrange the conference schedule so that papers on related topics will be presented together.


Proposals for sessions and symposia: Until 15 November 2007.

Abstracts of papers: 1 January to 15 March 2008.

Notification of acceptance of papers will be given until 15 April 2008.

Registration: 1 January to 1 June 2008

(conference fee 99 euros, after 1 June 2008, 140 euros)


c/o Kommission für die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Mathematik und Medizin

Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2

A-1010 Wien

Fax: +43 1 51581 2459