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Biennial History of Astronomy Workshops


In 1993 the first Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop took place at the University of Notre Dame and launched what has become a stimulating forum for scholars of all levels and interests in the history of astronomy. Notable has been the workshop's attention to the teaching of the history of astronomy as well as the warm welcome given to graduate students and independent scholars.

A workshop typically attracts 60-65 scholars who take part in a thematic program of talks, panel discussions, and, in some years, hands-on demonstrations. All aspects of the history of astronomy receive attention and across all time periods. Furthermore, the workshop's residential format ensures ample time outside of the scheduled meetings for participants to converse. When the weather allows, a visit to the Notre Dame Observatory is usually planned.

An evening banquet with a well-known speaker tops off the workshop and helps to make this biennial gathering much anticipated among historians of astronomy.

Upcoming Workshop

The Fifteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop will be held 15-18 July 2021 at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and will include a one-day trip to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. Further details, including the call for papers, sessions, and posters, will be provided towards the end of 2020.

Recent Workshop

The Fourteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop was held 19-22 June 2019. The theme of the upcoming conference was “Images in the History of Astronomy,” recognizing the broad variety of roles that images, both captured and created, have played in the historical development of astronomy. More details here...

Our invited guest speaker, Omar Nasim, Professor for the History of Science at the University of Regensburg (Germany), is a leading scholar on image-making and visualization in astronomy, following up his award-winning book Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century with new research on astrophotography.

Acknowledgments: Generous support for the workshop is provided by the Graduate Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), the College of Science’s Nieuwland Lecture Series, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Department of Physics of the University of Notre Dame, as well as the Vatican Observatory Foundation and the Adler Planetarium.
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