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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

UPDATE as of 7 April 2019: Program details now online!

UPDATE as of 28 March 2019: Registration now open!

UPDATE as of 25 March 2019: The Fourteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop will be held 19-22 June 2019 at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. We will unfortunately not be taking our normal trip to the Adler Planetarium this summer due to conflicting events in Chicago that would have made travel to/from the Adler difficult. We have thus made the decision to end the workshop on Saturday, June 22, instead of on Sunday, June 23. More details here...

The theme of the upcoming conference will be “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.

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.

Update: The call for session and individual paper proposals has opened with proposals due by (new date) 15 February 2019. Please see the Upcoming Workshop page for further details.

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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