7th ESHS Conference, Prague 2016

In recent decades, the themes of the relationship between science and power, and of science as power, have emerged as important topics, likely to shed interesting light on many aspects of both science and power. The nature of scientific knowledge and the practice of scientific activities have undergone significant changes throughout history. Similarly, the nature of power and its structures, taken broadly, also testify substantial transformations. How were these historical processes related to each other? What types of relationship can we identify between these two ranges of phenomena in different historical contexts, and how has science as power varied accordingly? By inviting historians of science working on different time periods and on different parts of the planet to concentrate on these issues, the conference aims to create the possibility of a first synthesis on these issues.

Contributions on all specific fields ranging from astral sciences, statistics, physics and other branches of “hard science“, through chemical and biological disciplines to social sciences and the humanities are also welcome. These various fields have established ties with power in different ways, and this variety can thus help our reflection on the issues at stake.

Note that the term “power” is most frequently associated with politics, and we expect that this interpretation, narrow as it may be, will play a major role in our reflections. We do not intend, however, to limit the contributions to this interpretation.

The Early Career Invited Lectures were held by Elaine Leong and Massimilano Badino.