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22nd International Congress of History of Science, Beijing
July 24-30, 2005
International Union of History and Philosophy of Science – Division History of Science

International Networks, Exchange and Circulation of Knowledge in Life Sciences, 18th to 20th Centuries

Goal of the Symposium
The symposium aims at presenting case studies related to the history of life sciences that would investigate the various paths of knowledge-transmission, the structures and stakeholders of international networks, their role in circulating knowledge between countries, institutions and different cultures, and trace the ways ideas and knowledge have been spreading and appropriating across borders and cultures. The role of different media of transmission from the informal Republic of letters to the proliferation of journals and the establishment of scientific congresses may be analyzed. The symposium should discuss the contribution of international networks to the development of doctrines, genesis of discoveries, or invention of methods, and obstacles that had stood in their way. Furthermore, the possibilities of a better understanding between diverse civilizations and cultures with the help of exchange of natural objects and contribution to knowledge of biological phenomena may be investigated. By this way the symposium will contribute to the general theme of the Congress Globalization and Diversity. The proposed time frame is 18th to 20th centuries.

Tentative topics of the symposium
1) Different types of communication networks and infrastructures: regional and international, personal and institutional, informal or officially organized (including scientific schools, scientific meetings, scientific societies, etc.).
2) Institutional bases of transnational networks – nonscientific or scientific ones (e. g. research institutes or scientific organizations, research foundations, trade companies or overseas state institutions during colonialism, international projects).
3) Evolution of doctrines, discoveries and research programs or invention of methods as results of international cooperation.
4) Different purposes of transnational networks: exploration of regions and lands, exploration of wide variety of special fields (e. g. seawater plants and animals, tropical diseases, biotechnologies, etc.)
5) Correspondences as means of networking and scientific exchange.
6) Circulation and transfer of knowledge with regard to language (e. g. the role of translations), historical and social context.
7) Study sojourns in foreign countries, faculty and students exchange as means of transferring scientific methods and knowledge.
8) Circulation of empirical knowledge about natural objects and phenomena as well as medical practices, experimental methods and the like, from one cultural context to another.
9) Issues of appropriation, acceptance, adaptation or refusing of „exported“ and/or „imported“ knowledge including reception of European scientific theories in non-European countries (e. g. of the evolution theory).


The length of each paper: 20 minutes plus10 minutes discussion.

Congress languages: English and French.

The potential speakers interested in participating in the Symposium are requested to send the organizers a one-page preliminary abstract (via e-mail, telefax or regular mail) and his/her correct postal and e-mail-addresses, and telefax-number. Please feel free to disseminate the Call for Papers to other prospective participants. Each participant at the Congress can give only one paper!

Deadline for the preliminary application of a paper to the organizers: 31th August 2004.
Those colleagues who will send the organizers their abstract will be notified about the acceptance of their paper by November 1, 2004.

For registration, please, contact:
Congress Website:
fax: +86.10.6401.7637


Dr. Brigitte Hoppe
Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Museumsinsel 1
D-80538 Muenchen, Germany
fax: +49.89.2180.3162

Dr. Sona Strabnova
Research Center for History of Sciences and Humanities
Legerova 61
15521 Prague, Czech Republic
fax: +42.02.2494.3057

Dr. Nicolas Robin
11a, Loeherstrasse
D-63739 Aschaffenburg, Germany

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