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Virtual: Nineteenth Century Science Goes Global Seminar

November 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Join the North Carolina German Studies and Workshop Series for a discussion on an international perspective of 19th century science.

During the latter half of the 19th century, international scientific collaborations of unprecedented scale, expense, and degree of organization were initiated in both the human and natural sciences. This is also the moment when the first international scientific congresses were organized and European colonial powers extended their transportation and communication networks as well as their political and economic domination to large parts of the globe, both essential preconditions for the international scientific co-operations. Despite two devastating World Wars and innumerable regional conflicts, the model of international governance of science has largely survived and indeed expanded. The contrast with the failure of other projects of international governance is striking, especially since science and scholarship remain fiercely competitive and are largely financed at the national level. How did scientific international governance emerge and remain relatively durable, despite the shocks of war, national rivalries, and scientific polemics?

The guest speaker is Lorraine Daston, director emerita at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and regular visiting professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She has published widely on topics in the history of early modern and modern science, including probability and statistics, wonders, objectivity, observation, and scientific archives. Her most recent books include: Histories of Scientific Observation (with Elizabeth Lunbeck, 2011); and Against Nature (2019).

Moderation: Stefani Engelstein, Duke University, Department of German Studies

Co-Conveners: Duke University, Department of History and Department of German Studies, and UNC-Chapel Hill, Department of History

The Zoom URL for each NCGS seminar will be communicated two weeks before the event via the NCGS listserv.

If you are not on this listserv please contact the NCGS  organizers Max H. Lazar, ( and Michael Skalski, (mskalski@live.unc.eduand ask them to be added this listserv or request the URL for the specific event.


November 13, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
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