Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop

Location: Adler Planetarium, Chicago

Diffusion of Astronomical Knowledge across and within Cultures

Click here for the conference website.


It is a well recognized phenomenon that astronomical ideas, theories, and data have historically crossed cultural and disciplinary boundaries. For the Eleventh Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop, we invite submissions that explore the theme of diffusion of astronomical knowledge. We understand “diffusion” to be a broad category: How did astronomical theories pass from on culture to another? What ideas expressed in one language or worldview were modified when passing into another system? How do subcultures within a single broader culture, such as professional and amateur within the same geographical region, interact? How do new discoveries make their way through a scientific community, and how do they eventually get rejected or accepted? How does knowledge pass from specialists to the broader popular culture? How do instruments play a role in transferring and shaping knowledge, especially as they pass between cultures? As in previous years, we expect that the theme can encompass a number of different time periods and geographical locations. Proposals that directly address the theme will receive preferential treatment.

Friday Schedule:

Field trip to the Adler Planetarium

8:45 am (EDT)  Bus boarding begins at McKenna Hall

9:00 am  Bus departs from McKenna Hall for Adler Planetarium

10:00 am (CDT)  Arrive in Chicago at the Adler Planetarium

10:00 - 10:15 am  Arrival / Bathroom break / gather in Johnson 3D Theater

10:15 - 10:30 am  Welcoming remarks in Johnson 3D Theater, coffee bar provided by the Adler

10:30 - Noon  Free time
- Telescope Gallery Tour @ 10:30 / 11:30
- Collections Viewing in Johnson 3D Theater

Noon - 1:00 pm  Lunch at Galileo’s Café

1:00 - 1:15 pm  Group photo on front steps of the Adler Planetarium (if raining, then in solar system gallery)

1:15 - 1:30 pm  Break / gather in Johnson 3D Theater

1:30 - 3:30 pm  Paper Session
Chair: Christopher Graney, Jefferson Community and Technical College
Location: Johnson 3D Theater

“Ancient Egyptian Astronomy Online,” Robert Cockcroft and Sarah Symons, McMaster University

“Mithra(s): From Persia to Rome on a Celestial Quadriga,” Reza Assasi, McGill University

“Constructing Astronomical Knowledge: The User-Friendly Design of a Medieval Equatorium,” Sebastian Falk, University of Cambridge

“Rotating Discs, Transmitting Knowledge: Volvelles in Sixteenth-Century Astronomical Textbooks,” Margaret Gaida, University of Oklahoma

3:30 - 4:00 pm  Coffee break provided by the Adler

4:00 - 5:30 pm  Special Workshop (tbd) AND/OR Freetime

5:30 - 6:30 pm  Dinner in Executive Lobby

6:30 - 7:00 pm  Break / gather on the bus

7:00 pm  Bus departs from Adler Planetarium

10:00 pm (EDT)  Arrival at Notre Dame / McKenna Hall

See conference website for paper abstracts.

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