Events from 2008-2018

Events from 2008-2018

'Picturing Science' reading group, led by Silvia Cassini

Speakers included: Tim Boon

Re-Engineer, in collaboration with the National Museums Scotland, held at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.


February 6 (onwards), "Space and Matter in Early Modern Philosophy Reading Goup". The first meeting of this groups will take place on Thursday 6 February at 10.30 in Old Brewery Common Room. Our first reading is going to be Galileo's Two New Sciences (Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating Two New Sciences). We will follow a chronological order as we are planning to discuss readings of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Newton, and (maybe) Hume. For further details contact Peter Hartl:

17-27 February, CHPSTM was loosely involved in co-hosting the Gifford Lecture Series. ‘Dealing with Darwin: Place, Politics and Rhetoric in Religious Engagements with Evolution’, David Livingstone (Belfast). 

February, CHPSTM was in collaboration with Hazel Hutchison (English) on ‘Women, Science and the Novel’ group (later funded by Royal Society of Edinburgh)

15 May 2014, Deep Time and the Platypus: Geology and Literature in Nineteenth-Century France and England A double-bill hosted by the Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine in association with the School of Language and Literature. Speakers:

Dr Manon Mathias, Dept. of French, University of Aberdeen 'Sand, Flaubert, Cuvier: Writing Time and Nature'  and Professor Mary Orr, Dept. of French, University of Southampton 'Between Rocks and Hard Places: The Remarkable Showcase of Scientific Endeavours by Sarah Bowdich (Lee), 1791-1856'

20 May 2014, 4-6 pm, in 50-52 College Bounds, CB009. Charlotte Werndl (LSE), "Climate Science, Evidence and Double-Counting"

Abstract: I argue that concerns about double-counting - using the same evidence both to calibrate or tune climate models and also to confirm that the

models are adequate - deserve more careful scrutiny in climate modelling circles. It is widely held that double-counting is bad and
that separate data must be used for calibration and confirmation. I show that this is not true, and that climate scientists may be
confusing their targets. My analysis turns on a Bayesian/relative-likelihood approach to incremental confirmation. According to this approach, double-counting is entirely proper. I go on to discuss plausible difficulties with calibrating climate models, and I distinguish more and less ambitious notions of confirmation. Strong claims of confirmation may not, in many cases, be warranted, but it would be a mistake to regard double-counting as the culprit.

July 2014: CHPSTM supported a workshop on the University’s scientific instrument collection (co-organised by Neil Curtis)

  • 19 February, 3-6pm, CB009 (CHPSTM / Philosophy Colloquium) 'Is the extended mind hypothesis nonsensical?', Mark Sprevak (Edinburgh)
  • 20 February, 5.15pm (CHPSTM / History Research Seminar) Medieval armour, Ralph Moffat
  • 11-12 April, Sir Duncan Rice Library, 8th Annual UK Integrated History and Philosophy of Science (IHPS) Workshop: 'Convincing the Sceptics' Organisers: Guido Bacciagaluppi, Elise Crull, Ben Marsden (Aberdeen)
  • 19 April, 4pm, KCF22 (CHPSTM / Hispanic Studies)
  • May, Sir Duncan Rice Library,'Medical Knowledge between Polymathy and Disciplinarity: Duncan Liddell (1561-1613) in Context, in association with the Centre for Early Modern Studies (Aberdeen), part-funded by the Wellcome Trust (Karin Friedrich, organiser).
  • July, Association for Medical Humanities Annual conference: 'Global Medical Humanities' Organiser: Catherine Jones (Aberdeen)
  • CHPSTM supported the large (c. £40K) grant application associated with the successful ‘Recognition’ project for the University’s Natural Philosophy Collection

  • Monday 13 February, 9.00am - 6.00pm, Conference Room 2 (University Office), with video link in RG17 (limited spaces)
    Workshop: ‘Natural Information ‘
    Convenor: Dr Ulrich Stegmann (Aberdeen)
  • Tuesday 13 March, 3.00-5.00pm, Seminar Room 224, University Library (second floor)
    ‘On Psychiatric Metaphor: Exploring the Use of Clinical Concepts in Cultural Theory’
    Dr Angela Woods (Durham)
    (Co-sponsored by the Centre for Medical Humanities)
  • Tuesday 20 March, 12.00pm - 4.00pm, Linklater Rooms
    Mini-workshop: 'Towards a Sustainable Future: Opportunities for Collaborations Between the Humanities and the Sciences'
    Professor Joni Adamson (Arizona): ‘Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture: Imagination’
    Dr Laura Colucci-Gray (Aberdeen): ‘A Language for Sustainability’
    (Co-sponsored by the Centre for Cultural History; the Centre for Sustainable International Development; and the Institute for Environmental History, University of St Andrews)
  • Saturday 5 - Sunday 6 May, Divinity Library
    Workshop: ‘Grete Hermann: Between Physics and Philosophy’ Free registration, but spaces are limited (email
    Speakers: Thomas Filk (Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, Freiburg), Mélanie Frappier (University of King's College, Halifax), Martin Jähnert (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin), Dieter Krohn (Philosophisch-Politische Akademie), Fernando Leal Carretero (University of Guadalajara), Giulia Paparo (University of Utrecht), Rene Saran (Society for Furtherance of Critical Philosophy), Gregor Schiemann (University of Wuppertal), Michiel Seevinck (University of Nijmegen), Patricia Shipley (Birkbeck College, London), Léna Soler (Archives Henri Poincaré, Nancy)
    Convenors: Dr Guido Bacciagaluppi and Dr Elise Crull (Aberdeen)
  • Monday 7 May, 4-6pm, Humanity Manse Ground Floor Seminar Room
    'The Hunt of Pan: Francis Bacon's art of experimentation and the invention of science'
    Dr. Dana Jalobeanu (Foundations of Early Modern Thought, Bucharest)
  • Tuesday 8 May, 5pm, MacRobert 302 (note change of time)
    Mini-workshop: ‘Representing Cancer’
    Dr Claire McKechnie (Edinburgh): 'Cancer in the Victorian Literary Imagination'
    Dr Áine Larkin (Aberdeen): ‘L’Usage de la photo: Cancer, Care, and Collaboration’
  • Wednesday 9 - Thursday 10 May, 9:30am - 5:30pm, University Library Meeting Room 1 
    Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy III. 
    Keynote speakers: Stephen Gaukroger (Aberdeen/Sydney) and Yitzhak Melamed (John Hopkins). 
    Speakers: Ruth Boeker (St. Andrews), Dietmar Heidemann (Luxembourg), Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero (Ca' Foscari, Venice), Larry Jorgensen (Skidmore College), Markku Roinila (Edinburgh/Helsinki), Jon Miller (Queen's), Michael Olson (Villanova), Gabriel Alban-Zapata (ENS de Lyon), Martine Pecharman (CNRS), Dario Perinetti (UQAM), Andrea Sangiacomo (ENS de Lyon), and Eric Schliesser (Ghent). 
    Convenor: Mogens Laerke (Aberdeen). Please email for more details.
  • Tuesday 22 May, 4.15pm, New King's 10
    'Demythologising Oxford's "Great Debate": Wilberforce and Huxley on Human Ancestry', Professor John Hedley Brooke (Oxford)
  • Friday 29 June (3pm) - Sunday 1 July (noon), Humanity Manse Seminar Room 1
    Workshop: ‘The History of Science Popularization and Popular Science: New Methods and Approaches'. 
    Speakers: Jim Secord (Cambridge), Jonathan Topham (Leeds), Graeme Gooday (Leeds), Aileen Fyfe (St Andrews), Adelene Buckland (East Anglia), Sadiah Qureshi (Birmingham), Gowan Dawson (Leicester) and Tim Boon (Science Museum, London).
    Convenor: Ralph O’Connor (Aberdeen). 
    Please contact the convenor if you wish to attend as spaces are limited.
  • 4-9 September, British Science Festival (Aberdeen meeting), popular events on the history of science (Peter Bowler, Aileen Fyfe); display of rare astronomy books in the Wolfson Reading Room, Sir Duncan Rice Library (John Reid)
History and Philosophy of Physics - Reading Group, Research Seminar 2011 - 2012

Convenor: Dr. Guido Bacciagaluppi (now University of Utrecht)

The seminar consisted of research talks from staff, visitors and postgraduate students, mixed with discussion of recent and/or classic work on the subject. Most of the first half-session of 2011-2012 was devoted to discussion of Kristian Camilleri's recent book on Heisenberg and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Cambridge, 2009).

Weekly schedule for the first semester:

  • 27 September: Seminar by G. Bacciagaluppi and E. Crull (Aberdeen) on ‘“The Einstein Paradox”: the debate on nonlocality and incompleteness in 1935’
  • 4 October: Reading group, Camilleri chapters 1 and 2
  • 11 October: Reading group, Camilleri chapter 3
  • 18 October: Reading group, W. Heisenberg, ‘On the anschaulich content of the quantum mechanical kinematics and mechanics’ (1927)
  • 25 October: Reading group, Camilleri chapter 4
  • 1 November: Reading group, Camilleri chapter 5
  • 8 November: Seminar by G. Bacciagaluppi (Aberdeen) on ‘Non-equilibrium in Nelsonian mechanics’
  • 15 November: Reading group, Camilleri chapter 622 November: reading group, Camilleri chapter 7
  • 29 November: Reading group, Camilleri chapter 8
  • 6 December and 13 December (special time: 11-12): Reading group, Camilleri chapter 9 (Conclusion)

Weekly schedule for the second semester:

  • 31 January: reading E. Crull and G. Bacciagaluppi, ‘Translation of W. Heisenberg: “Ist eine deterministische Ergaenzung der Quantenmechanik moeglich?”’,
  • 7 February: reading D. Howard, 'What makes a classical concept classical?',
  • 14 February: seminar by Chris Timpson (Oxford), 'Quantum- and Macro- Realism: What does the Leggett--Garg inequality actually test?' (joint work with Owen Maroney)
  • 21 February: seminar by G. Bacciagaluppi (Aberdeen), 'Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument'
  • 21 January, Prof Graeme Gooday (Leeds), 'Patenting the Telephone: Legally Disputing an Inventive History'
  • 1 February, Prof Carl Hoefer (Barcelona), 'Can There Be Probabilistic, Primitive Fundamental Laws?'
  • 8 March, Dr David Watts (Aberdeen), 'Developments in visual marketing technology: British railway advertising posters, ca. 1900-39'
  • 21 April, Prof Yakup Bektas (Tokyo Institute of Technology), ‘Relocating Meiji Japan’s techno-cultural transformation’
  • 26 April, Dr Aileen Fyfe (St Andrews), 'Natural history and the Victorian tourist'
  • 3 May, Prof Nick Jardine (Cambridge), 'Historiographical reflections on the circulation of scientific knowledge'
  • 11 May, Dr Adelene Buckland (East Anglia), 'Walter Scott and the geologists: the novel as scientific practice'
  • 19 May, Prof Martyn Evans (Durham), 'Medicine, embodiment and wonder'
  • 20 May, Prof Robert J. Richards (Chicago), 'Moral Judgment of Historical Figures: the Role of Darwin's Theory in Nazi Biology' (with Department of History)
  • 21 May: workshop on 'Current Issues in the History and Philosophy of Biology' (Catherine Wilson, organizer)
  • 30 May, Jennifer Downes (Aberdeen), 'Printing the Moon: Using Telescopes to Map the Lunar Surface in Johannes Hevelius’s Selenographia (1647)'
  • 31 May, Alex Sutherland (Aberdeen), 'From Simples to Scientific Innovation: Medicine and Healthcare in the North-East; (with Elphinstone Institute, in their public lecture series)
  • 1 June, Lucy Perry (Lancaster), '“Reverse the Signs of Ageing”: Aestheticizing and Medicalising our Way out of Old Age and the Implications for the Semiology of Ageing in Contemporary Prose' (with Centre for Medical Humanities)
  • 8 June, Ralph O’Connor (Aberdeen), 'Dragons, dinosaurs and the place of myth in modern science' (with Centre for the Study of Myth)
  • 25-26 June: research workshop on ‘Quantum states: ontic or epistemic’ (Guido Bacciagaluppi, organizer), part-sponsored by Scots Philosophical Association
  • 8-10 July: research workshop on ‘Literary Studies and the History of Science: New Directions in “Science and Literature”’ (Ralph O’Connor, organizer)
  • 15 November, Dr Jeroen van Dongen (Utrecht), 'Rewriting the History of the Light Quantum: The Einstein-Rupp Experiments'
  • 6 December, Olivier Darrigol (Paris), ‘The Acoustic and Musical Origins of Harmonic Analysis'
  • 12 December, Russell Re Manning (Aberdeen), 'Towards an Intellectual History of Natural Theology'
  • History and Philosophy of Phystics Reading Group, Research Seminar
  • 9 March, Antony Valentini (Imperial College, London), 'Quantum Mechanics and Reality: the Schism in Physics'
  • 20 April, John Wilkins (Exeter), 'Galen's advice to us on maintaining good health' (jointly with Centre for Cultural History)
  • 27 April, Allan Beveridge (Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline), 'Should psychiatrists read literature?' (jointly with the Centre for Medical Humanities)
  • 28 April, John Henry (Edinburgh), 'Isaac Newton and action at a distance' (jointly with Philosophy Department)
  • 4 May, Iain Hutchison (Stirling University), 'Disability History from the bottom up: narratives of disabled people in the 19th and 20th centuries' (jointly with the Centre for Medical Humanities)
  • 6-9 July, 16th UK and European Meeting on the Foundations of Physics, organised by Guido Bacciagaluppi (Aberdeen), in collaboration with CHPSTM, part funded by the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy (Aberdeen), the Scots Philosophical Association, and the Royal Institute of Philosophy
  • Workshop: 'Literary engineering', co-organised by Dr Casper Andersen (Aarhus, Denmark) and Ben Marsden (Aberdeen). Speakers and participants included the organisers, Graeme Gooday (Leeds), Mike Chrimes (Institution of Civil Engineers, London), Frances Robertson (Glasgow School of Art), Christine Macleod (Bristol), Don Leggett (Kent) and Klaus Staubermann (National Museums Scotland)
  • In July 2010, the Annual Conference of the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) was held at the University of Aberdeen. It attracted 140 delegates internationally and has been described as the Society's most successful annual conference. The local organisers were Ben Marsden and Ralph O'Connor (Aberdeen). For further information see the BSHS website
  • Various speakers including: John Reid (Aberdeen), Anne Borsay (Swansea), Jenny Brown (Aberdeen Maritime Museum)
  • 3 February, Dr Ben Marsden (Aberdeen), ‘A handful of dust and a cyclone in the living room: John Aitken, FRS, and gentlemanly meteorology’ (seminar, joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 10 February, Barbara Mortimer, ‘Race, racism and gender in British nursing, 1950-2000: an exploration via oral history’ (seminar, joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 24 February, 3.30 pm, F61 Edward Wright Building, Tyler Griffith (Aberdeen), ‘The mirage: scientific observation, cultural exchange, and epistemological validity in the nineteenth century'
  • 1 March - 31 March, Sandeep Sinha (Serampore College, India) visiting scholar, co-sponsored by CHSTM)
  • 3 March, MR903, Sandeep Sinha (Serampore College, India), ' Public Health Policy in British India: Bengal, A Case Study, 1835-1920' (joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 10 March, MR903, Sandeep Sinha (Serampore College, India). 'Man, Malaria and An Imperial Government: A Review of the Epidemic in Eastern India, 1850-1920 (joint event sponsored by the CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 17 March, F61, Stuart Anderson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), 'Empire and the Pharmacy Workforce: The Migration of British Pharmacists to India1811 to 1947' (joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History / RGU School of Pharmacy)
  • 18 March, Robert Gordon University, School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Schoolhill site, Room MA7, 4-5 pm, Stuart Anderson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), 'Licensed to kill? Community Pharmacists and Tobacco: An Historical Perspective 1600 to 2000' (sponsorship as above)
  • 24 March, Powis Gate Board Room, Sandeep Sinha (Serampore College, India), 'Touch to Heal: A Glimpse of the Medical Missions in India, c.1870-1947' (joint event sponsored by the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 21 April, Dominic James (seminar, joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 5 May, Elizabeth Curtis (Aberdeen), 'Circles, cists and crania: archaeology as science in nineteenth-century Scotland'
  • 13 May, 'Facts and fairies, puns and play: "instructive and amusing" science in nineteenth-century Britain', Melanie Keene (University of Cambridge)
  • 23 October, seminar on the history of cybernetics, Andrew Pickering (University of Exeter)
  • 7 October, Dr Richard Perrin (Aberdeen), 'Public and private impediments to slaughterhouse reform in Victorian Britain' (joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 28 October, Dr Roger Smith, 'Late Victorian thought on the relations of the humanities, especially history, to science' (joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 2 December, Dr Alastair Bain, 'Silence in early modern England: the silences (and sounds) of death and the afterlife' (joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)
  • 9 December, Dr Martyn Gorman, 'Echoes of the resurrection men' (joint event sponsored by CHSTM / Centre for Cultural History)