CFP: The Origin of Life, Second Conference on History and Philosophy of Astrobiology, Höör, Sweden, 8-10 May 2015

[via David Dunér]

Aim of the meeting

It will deal with the transition of non-living to living matter, how chemical processes evolve into biological ones and the onset of biological evolution as well as the tree of life. Scientists and students from humanities and natural sciences will convene to discuss these questions that engaged mankind since centuries.

The conference is co-organised by the Nordic Network of Astrobiology and the EU COST Action ”Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe”. It will also constitute the fourth annual meeting of the Nordic Network of Astrobiology. The conference will be organised by David Dunér (Lund University, Sweden), Wolf Geppert (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Christophe Malaterre (UQAM, Canada).


The conference will take place at Åkersberg Herrgård in Höör, Skåne (Scania) in Southern Sweden. The venue is only a 400m walk from Höör railway station. From Höör station there are direct connections to Copenhagen Airport every hour during daytime and the journey takes only 50 minutes. The event will start on Friday, May 8 in the morning (arrival of participants will be on Thursday, May 7 in the evening) and finish on Sunday, May 10 lunchtime. There will be an optional excursion on Saturday 9th to the beautiful island of Ven, where Tycho Brahe had his observatory. Furthermore, the meeting is held after the summer course Life on Earth and Beyond: The History and Philosophy of the Origin of Life, on Ven Island. This course will be an excellent introduction into the conference. Furthermore, attendees will be able to go on an excursion to Stevns Klint (where the C-T boundary is clearly visible) on the day between the two events.

Scope of the meeting

The meeting is open to interested scientists and students with background in natural, social and political sciences as well as those engaged in humanities from all over the world. However, invitations for visa applications can only be issued to invited speakers and invited poster presenters.

We from the COST Action ”Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe” and the Nordic Network of Astrobiology are looking forward to welcoming you at the conference.

Registration deadline

Deadline for registration, accommodation booking and abstract submission:

31 March 2015

Further information visit the conference website here.

Programme research: Pro-German Networks Among Swedish Scientists During the Third Reich


By Sven Widmalm

Department of History of Science and Ideas

Uppsala University


During the Nazi period a fair number of Swedish academics became involved with ”pro-German” networks and activities. Often these were centred around Swedish organizations, like the Swedish-German clubs that existed in several Swedish towns or the Swedish-German National Association (Riksföreningen Sverige Tyskland), also with several local branches. German ”cultural politics”, organized by a variety of institutions including the German legation in Stockholm, promoted scientific and cultural exchange as a vehicle for propaganda and also to encourage concrete collaboration.

Hans von Euler-Chelpin sitting on the left and also hanging on the wall in the middle.

Hans von Euler-Chelpin sitting on the left and also hanging on the wall in the middle.

In this sub project a central figure in the pro-German network, the chemist and Nobel Prize Laureate Hans von Euler-Chelpin, will be investigated. von Euler (for short) was involved in several of the above-mentioned activities and institutions and was a frequent guest in Germany almost to the last days of the regime (and then again after the war). He was also a leading member of the Royal Academy of Sciences. By choosing him as a point of departure, and to some extent also his close friends Herman Nilsson-Ehle (geneticist and plant breeder of world renown) and Sven Hedin (geographer, writer etc.), an academic fifth column will be mapped and characterized as to political and scientific ideals.

Summer course: ”Life on Earth and Beyond – The History and Philosophy of the Origin of Life”, Island of Ven, 4–6 May 2015

[via David Dunér]

The aim of the course is to give participants a thorough overview of the historical, philosophical and ethical questions arising in this field. It is co-organised by the Nordic Network of Astrobiology and the EU COST Action ”Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe”. The course is open for students and scientists in humanities, natural, social and political sciences. It will, amongst others deal with the following themes:

  • Definition of life in a historical and philosophical context
  • Biochemical evolution
  • The tree of biological evolution
  • Search for life outside Earth
  • Philosophical, ethical and political questions arising with the quest for life on other celestial bodies

A multitude of highly merited researchers have agreed to teach at the course. See the cours website or details. The deadline for application is 15 January 2015 23:59:00 UTC .

Bursaries for students and early career scientists (up to 8 years after their Ph. D.) from countries taking part in the COST Action TD1308 (see website for details) are available.

Please spread information to possibly interested people at your instituition.

For further information, see website or contact the organizers Wolf Geppert ( or David Dunér (

Research Postgraduate Funding in Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at University of Leeds 2015/16

[via Jonathan Topham]

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at the University of Leeds is pleased to inform potential applicants for postgraduate study that it is able to offer up to 18 fully-funded PhD scholarships for UK/EU students for 2015-16 entry, plus further scholarships for international students.

More information about postgraduate study in History & Philosophy of Science and/or Philosophy at Leeds here .

For full, regularly updated information on upcoming awards and deadlines, including application procedures, see the University of Leeds Postgraduate Scholarships site.

Funding opportunities for full-time or part-time PhD study include the following:

UK/EU Students

* Up to two School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science Scholarships – UK/EU Fees + £14,000 Maintenance (Awards may be made on a rolling basis after 2 FEBRUARY 2015)
* Up to six White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities AHRC Studentships (Deadline 2 FEBRUARY 2015)
* Up to five University of Leeds 110th Anniversary Research Scholarships (Deadline: 18 FEBRUARY 2015)
* Up to two University of Leeds Research Scholarships (Deadline: 13 MARCH 2015)
* University of Leeds Endowed Research Scholarships (Deadline: 1 JUNE 2015)
* Two studentships on the AHRC-funded project ”Scientific Realism and the Quantum”, starting 1 March 2015, and working with Dr Juha Saatsi and Prof. Steven French (Deadline: 1 DECEMBER 2014)

Correspondence regarding the application procedure may be directed to

Those interested in applying are advised to contact potential supervisors at an early stage. You should contact them by email, either directly or through the relevant postgraduate research tutor:

* Prof. Pekka Vayrynen for Philosophy (
* Dr Juha Saatsi for History and Philosophy of Science (
* Dr Jamie Dow for Applied Ethics (
* Dr Sean McLoughlin for Theology and Religious Studies (

You are invited to consider visiting Leeds, by arrangement, to meet potential supervisors and current students, attend seminars, and explore the university’s excellent resources. Modest travel bursaries are available for such purposes.

You are also strongly encouraged to attend (in most cases following application) the university’s Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 6 February 2015, 11am-4pm, when you will have opportunity to meet potential supervisors, current postgraduates, and the postgraduate team.

Call for paper: The 7th Tensions of Europe Conference, Stockholm, 3‐6 September 2015

[via Nina Worms]

The 7th Tensions of Europe Conference

Organizers: Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology together with the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory.

Conference theme: Technology and Environment

Tensions of Europe Conference will have as its main theme the interaction between technology and the environment. One way of understanding the environment is to think of it as nature appropriated by humankind through technological, scientific and representational means. From farming to space travel, we use technologies and natural resources to sustain our lives. Our use of technologies leaves traces behind in the form of altered environments. Changes at global historical and geological scales are accumulated as heritage and geophysical strata respectively. The intersection of technology and the environment can also be understood culturally or socially. We use technology in our understanding and appreciation of nature (religious, poetic or physical), in monitoring it, assessing it representing it. Further, technology can be a lens and a tool in shaping our relation to the environment. Technologies not only assist in shaping and transforming nature, they also assist us to perceive, observe, record and communicate natures and environments, including imaginative representations of techno‐natures in art, literature and film.

The conference also invites scholarship in the general themes of the Tensions of Europe network, such as trans‐border flows, common resources, conflicting interests, hidden integration and cultural practices.

We not only invite traditional panel‐sessions with a number of papers and a commentator, but also strongly encourage different formats and new ideas. As long as quality can be demonstrated, the programme committee will not prioritize between formats. By quality we mean suggestions that promise constructive, stimulating and engaging discussion.

We invite scholars from all relevant fields to submit proposals to:


by 15 February 2015. All proposals should include a title, a short abstract, the academic title and affiliation of the applicant(s) and a short bio.  Please name your file with your surname.

Abstracts for individual papers and posters should be no more than 300 words. For panels, we ask for a description of the theme of the panel (max 300 words) together with shorter abstracts (max 150 words) of the individual papers. If you wish to suggest a presentation of a different format, please use these word limits as guidelines.

We will inform applicants by 1 April 2015 whether their contribution has been accepted.

A second call for papers, with information about keynote speakers and the  conference website, will be distributed before the end of 2014.

Welcome to Stockholm in September 2015!

Nina Wormbs
Head of Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment
KTH Royal Institute of technology

Utlysning: Anställning i teknikfilosofi och/eller vetenskapsstudier, Roskilde Universitet

Institutionen för kultur och identitet vid Roskilde universitet utlyser en treårig tidsbegränsad anställning som adjunkt i teknikfilosofi och/eller teknik- och vetenskapsstudier. Anställningen ska tillträdas den 1 februari 2015.

Deadline: den 24 november 2014.

Mer information om tjänsten och om ansökningsförfarandet finns här (klicka på ”Adjunktur i teknologifilosofi).

CFP: Teknik- och vetenskapshistoriska dagar 2015

[via TVHD]

Den 15–17 april 2015 anordnas den nationella konferensen Teknik- och vetenskapshistoriska dagar i Lund. Konferensen anordnas vartannat år och riktar sig till forskare och doktorander inom teknik- och vetenskapshistoria och angränsande forskningsfält samt till personer verksamma inom museisektorn. Arrangör för 2015 års konferens är avdelningen för idé- och lärdomshistoria vid Lunds universitet i samarbete med Svenska Nationalkommittén för teknik- och vetenskapshistoria.

Inbjuden key-noteföreläsare är Kristin Asdal, Senter for teknologi, innovasjon og kultur (TIK) vid Oslo universitet.

Historiska studier av vetenskap och teknik bedrivs inom en rad discipliner och områden, alltifrån teknik- och vetenskapshistoria, idéhistoria, medicinhistoria, miljöhistoria, ekonomisk historia och teknik- och vetenskapsstudier till etnologi, sociologi och kulturstudier och vi vill uppmuntra doktorander och forskare från samtliga dessa discipliner att delta.

Vi välkomnar deltagare med följande typer av bidrag:

– Individuella papers eller presentationer på valfritt tema

– Förslag på sessioner på valfritt tema

– Individuella bidrag som anknyter till konferensens tema/teman

Inom ramen för konferensen planeras ett antal teman varav ett är ”Universitetshistoria – vägar till vitalisering och reflexion”. Universitetshistoria som genre har varit påfallande traditionell och främst producerats av enskilda lärosäten i samband med olika jubileer. Det universitetshistoriska temat vill därför inbjuda till en bred diskussion om hur denna genre kan förnyas men också göras mer allmängiltig och relevant. Inte minst mot bakgrund av universitetets snabba förändring under senare tid är det angeläget att utveckla en historieskrivning som kan ge nya perspektiv på universitetet som central kunskapsinstitution i samhället. Det inbegriper även kunskapsproduktionens villkor inom andra akademiska institutioner och miljöer samt hur denna kunskap tillämpas inom olika delar av samhället.

På fredag eftermiddag kommer det att finnas möjlighet för konferensens deltagare att besöka kärnkraftverket i Barsebäck för en guidad tur. Noteras bör att antalet platser på denna rundtur är begränsat. Konferensens språk är svenska, övriga skandinaviska språk samt engelska. Sista dag för anmälan av individuella abstracts (250 ord) och förslag på sessioner är 15 januari 2015. Anmälan sker på konferensens hemsida, där även praktisk information om boende, konferensavgift etc. kommer fortlöpande att uppdateras.

Eventuella övriga frågor skickas till:

English summary: 
A national conference on the History of Science and Technology will be held in Lund, April 15–17, 2015. The conference is held every two years and is aimed at graduate students and researchers in the history of technology and science and adjacent research fields and to people working in the museum sector. Organizer for the 2015 conference is the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Lund University in cooperation with the the Swedish National Committee of the History of Technology and Science. The main topic of the conference 
is ”University History—ways to revitalization and reflection.” For further information, please send a message to: or visit our website.

Programme Research: Ecological Economics – Development of an Interdisciplinary Research Field


By Anna Tunlid

Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences

Lund University


Ecological economics emerged in the late 1980s as a new interdisciplinary research field. Contributions to the new field were diverse but included among others perspectives from systems ecology, different strands of economics, energy studies and general system theory. A common view among the different initiators were that –the human economy and the ecological systems were deeply intertwined, and hence that ecology and other natural sciences had to cooperate with the social sciences, including economics, in order to deal with the environmental problems.

The Beijer Institute at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Sweden has played a central role for the establishment and development of ecological economics. The institute initially had a focus on energy and human ecology, but was in the early 1990s transformed to the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. Driving actors in this process were among others the systems ecologists Bengt-Owe Jansson and AnnMari Jansson, and the economist Karl-Göran Mäler. The Beijer institute has since then become one of the main institutes within the international community of ecological economics.


Image: Wikipedia commons

The aim of this project is to examine the development of ecological economics at the Beijer Institute, including both conceptual, institutional, and policy perspectives. The study takes an historical approach and will have a particular focus on two interrelated aspects, firstly how nature and society are incorporated into the models and concepts of systems ecology and later ecological economics, and secondly the process of interdisciplinarity within ecological economics. The project will hence have two different but linked subprojects.

The first one is the development of systems ecology at the Askö laboratory in the Stockholm archipelago in the 1970s-1980s. This part will focus on AnnMari Jansson’s study of the island Gotland as an integrated ecological-economic system, which was strongly influenced by the American systems ecologist Howard T. Odum. The objective here is to analyze how knowledge, values and views of nature and society were integrated in the models of Gotland’s ecosystems.

The second subproject focuses on the emergence of ecological economics in the 1980s and the following institutionalization of the research field at the Beijer Institute in the 1990s. This part of the project will concentrate on the collaboration between ecologists and economists and on the driving forces as well as the challenges that are associated with this kind of interdisciplinary research. It will also examine the relation between the Beijer Institute and the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, not least with respect to the institutionalization process.

The intention with the project is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the collaboration between ecologists and economists at the Beijer Institute, and how core concepts and underlying assumptions about nature and society have been – or have not been – integrated within ecological economics.