various astronomy-related historical images

Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop - ND XIV June 19-22, 2019


The Fourteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop will be held 19-22 June 2019 at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Call for Proposals is open

The call for session and individual paper proposals has opened with proposals due by (new date of) 15 February 2019. Please →click here← for further details.

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 and from the Adler difficult. We have thus made the decision to end the workshop on Saturday, June 22, instead of on Sunday, June 23. We will have full days at Notre Dame on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, culminating with the banquet and final talk by our invited speaker, Omar Nasim, on Saturday night. Because we won’t have the trip to the Adler, registration costs will be lower than usual.

Workshop Details

Details about this year's workshop are available through the below links:

Conference Theme: Images in the History of Astronomy

This year’s theme focuses on the impact that images, both captured and created, have had on the history of astronomy. With this theme, we recognize a broad variety of images that have served as a medium for advances and discoveries in astronomy, including early depictions of constellations and cosmologies; the many centuries of images created to record and convey astronomical knowledge; artistic and symbolic uses of astronomical imagery; the development of the telescope, the camera, and other technologies for manipulating and capturing physical images; and the ongoing research use and potent societal impact of astronomical photography and visual data-representations today. As in previous years, this theme is intended to encompass a number of different time periods and geographical locations.

Invited Speaker

Our invited speaker will be Omar Nasim, Professor for the History of Science at the University of Regensburg, Germany, whose interdisciplinary research focuses on the practices of visualization and image-making in the observational sciences, especially 19th- and 20th-century astronomy. In his book Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century, winner of the History of Science Society’s Pfizer Award in 2016, Dr. Nasim brought both historical depth and philosophical insight into examining the rich and productive relationship between the acts of seeing, drawing, and knowing. With ongoing research in the history of astrophotography, Omar Nasim continues to explore the way images and visual representations are constructed, and how such constructions reflect a complex and dynamic interplay between science, technology, philosophy, and even art.

Adler-Mansfield Prize

The Adler Planetarium will bestow the Adler-Mansfield Prize on the author of an outstanding presentation given during the 2019 History of Astronomy Workshop. The award includes a modest stipend and travel expenses to the Adler Planetarium if the awardee wishes to carry out onsite research in the Adler’s collections.

Update: The Adler Planetarium is very pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 Adler-Mansfield Prize is Stefan Zieme of Humboldt University, Berlin. Stefan Zieme's paper 'Adam Elsheimer and the Renaissance Night Sky' (abstract) was an interesting and daring approach to a controversy surrounding a work of art, using insights from the history of science, history of art, and material culture. His focus on art and science in the early modern period is an excellent fit for making good use of history of science collections.

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