Controversies vs. collaboration in the scientific revolution: societies, experiments and the “common language” of science across seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe

Hamburg Institute of Advanced Studies, Hamburg (Germany)

14-20 July 2024

Organised by: Dana Jalobeanu (University of Bucharest, HIAS Alumna), Daniel Garber (Princeton University), Matthias Schemmel (University of Hamburg), Rodolfo Garau (University of Hamburg).

Invited speakers: Sophie Roux (ENS), Roger Ariew (University of South Florida), Scott Mandelbrote (University of Cambridge)

This intensive summer school will bring together students, early career researchers and established researchers, providing a unique international, interdisciplinary and interactive learning environment. Lectures and informal reading groups, panel discussions and presentations will focus on some of the well-known episodes of scientific and philosophical collaborations that shaped the early modern world. We will investigate collaborative practices of reading, writing, and doing experimental research. We will see how some of the famous philosophers – such as Descartes, Leibniz, and Newton – fared as collaborators. We will show that some of the early modern controversies – such as the vacuum controversies or the metaphysical debates over the nature of space and the place of God in the universe – emerged from what was initially a collaborative project. More generally, our purpose is to prove that collaborative stages of experimentation, concept formation and instrumental language building are essential prerequisites to defining the terms of a controversy. We also want to encourage a more general reflection (and self-reflection) on the nature, purpose, and features of scientific collaboration in our integrated world of research.

The format of the summer school: lectures (in the morning and evening), reading groups, presentations and panel discussions for the rest of the day. Students will give short presentations and will work together in small reading groups. The summer school activities will take place on the premises of the Hamburg Institute of Advanced Studies (HIAS). Students and professors will be hosted together in the same hotel nearby HIAS.

There is no participation fee, and a substantial part of the costs of accommodation in Hamburg and travel will be covered by the organizers. To apply, send a short CV, 500 words letter of intention and 500 words abstract of your current project to Deadline January 15, 2024