Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Science Communication in 20th Century Europe

Workshop (pre-HSS satellite symposium)

directly preceeding the History of Science Society Annual Meeting


Towards a Cultural History of Modern Physics


at the

UUDescartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities


Utrecht, Netherlands, 22-23 July 2019


Oragnized jointly by

Arne Schirrmacher, Humboldt University Berlin

Guido Bacciagaluppi, Utrecht University


Co-sponsored by the Department of History of Humboldt University and the Descartes Centre of Utrecht University, a two-day workshop explores perspectives on the history of physics in the 20th century which aim at opening a broader cultural scope of the historical development and impact of modern physics. Particular approaches comprise the questions about the where, who, for whom, how, or even why in physics and look at worldviews and controversies as well as representations of physics within culture. This workshop carries on a discussion that started at a previous symposium in San Sebastián in 2018, and a number of the speakers are working on a joint volume on this topic. Additional contributions and perspectives that help elucidate the power of cultural-historical approaches on modern physics will be very welcome.


Time Table

Monday, 22 July

12:00-13:00 Welcome

13:00-19:00 Sessions

Tuesday, 23 July

09:00-13:00 Sessions

13:00-14:00 Lunch


Drift 21, Utrecht – room 1.05 (Descartes Centre)


Speakers include Joanna Behrman (Johns Hopkins), Karl Hall (Budapest), Joseph D. Martin (Cambridge), Richard Staley (Cambridge), Xavier Roqué (Barcelona), Arne Schirrmacher (Berlin), Nasser Zakariya (Berkeley, TBC).


To register for participation or to propose a contribution, please contact one of the organisers at the latest by 30 June 2019:

Arne Schirrmacher, Humboldt University Berlin (

Guido Bacciagaluppi, Utrecht University (