‘Artefacts’ is a network of academic and museum-based historians of science, technology and medicine who are interested in promoting the use of objects in scholarly work. The network started in 1997 and recent meetings have dealt with ‘Exploration’ (Oslo 2007; see also here), ‘Constructing and Deconstructing Icons of Achievement in Science and Technology’ (Stockholm 2006), ‘Globalization’ (Washington 2005), and ‘Scientific Instruments as Artefacts’ (Utrecht,2004). Six proceedings volumes have been published so far.

The 2008 meeting will be held in Washington DC, October 5-7. The subject for this year’s meeting is the relationship between art and science/technology, broadly understood (not medicine? I thought we agreed on that in Oslo last year?). Possible themes include:

  • How aesthetic considerations have influenced scientific instruments.
  • How design concepts have affected invention.
  • The ways in which scientific and technical developments have entered into the practice and works of artists.
  • How views on the art-science/technology relation have influenced museum practices of collecting and exhibition.

The ‘Artefacts’ meetings are informal and pleasurable gatherings without keynotes, formal receptions or other kinds of unnecessities. Each accepted contributor gets his/her 20 minutes talk + 10 minutes discussion slot. For further info and paper proposals, write to one or several of the organisers: Barney Finn (), Robert Bud () Helmuth Trischler (), and Martin Collins (). They want suggestions before the end of May; accepted abstracts (to be circulated before the meeting) are then due by September 7. And don’t forget that Washington is beautiful in October!

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