ESHS in-between conference, Athens, 2021

History of Science and the Humanities

23-24 September 2021


Hosted by the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The conference will take place online via Zoom.

Participation at the meeting is free, but please consider joining the ESHS to support the Society and its activities. Information on how to join the ESHS is available at


Since the very first stages of its professionalization the history of science has been seen as a bridge between the “two cultures”, the natural sciences and the humanities. Over the years, one part of this triadic complex, the relations between the history of science and the natural sciences, has been extensively discussed. The relations between the history of science and the humanities, however, have been less commented upon. The aim of this workshop is to further elaborate these latter relations: First, by discussing how history of science fits within the rich landscape of the humanities, which have themselves been facing various challenges and opportunities. Second, by reflecting on how history of science, and the humanities more generally, can be brought to bear on wider and socially relevant issues, such as the digital condition, the rise of fake news, post-truth, and science denialism.


Maria Paula Diogo (NOVA University of Lisbon) & Ana Simões (University of Lisbon),

Sven Dupré (Utrecht University),

Kostas Gavroglu (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens),

Michael Gordin (Princeton University),

Matthieu Husson (CNRS, Paris Observatory)

Dana Jalobeanu (University of Bucharest),

Erwin Neuenschwander (University of Zurich)

Chris Newfield (Independent Social Research Foundation),

Koen Vermeir (CNRS, Univ. Paris-Diderot),

PROGRAM: (Eastern European Summer Time / UTC + 3)


16:00 – 16:15, Theodore Arabatzis — Welcome,

16:15 – 17:00, Maria Paula Diogo and Ana Simões — History of Science and Technology, Humanities and Contemporaneity: Some Reflections

17:00 – 17:45, Dana Jalobeanu — Emblems as Epistemic Tools and Heuristic Devices: An Exercise on Perspectival Contextualism

17:45 – 18:00, BREAK

18:00 – 18:45, Kostas Gavroglu — A Nightmare Come True: The Humanities as Applied Mathematics

18:45 – 19:30, Michael Gordin — Fringe Theories Stack: The History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Pseudoscience


16:00 – 16:45, Sven Dupré — History of Knowledge: A Future

16:45 – 17:30, Erwin Neuenschwander — A Key to Riemann’s Breakthroughs in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy: Studying the Göttingen University Library Borrowing Registers

17:30 – 18:15, Matthieu Husson — Bridging History of Astronomy, Digital Humanities and Artificial Intelligence: A Field Report

18:15– 18:30, BREAK

18:30– 19:15, Koen Vermeir — Open Science and the Humanities: Past and Future

19:15– 20:00, Chris Newfield — What is Literary Knowledge? Describing Humanities Research in an Ongoing ’Two Cultures’ World