The Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop - NDXI

(part of a series)

Location: McKenna Hall (View on map )


The Eleventh Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop was held at the University of Notre Dame June 12-16, 2013. The workshop included a one-day trip to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

Conference Theme: Diffusion of Astronomical Knowledge Across and Within Cultures

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 one 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.

Invited Speaker: F. Jamil Ragep

This year’s invited speaker is F. Jamil Ragep, the Canada Research Chair in the History of Science in Islamic Societies and Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Born in West Virginia (USA), he attended the University of Michigan, where he received degrees in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies, and later took a Ph.D. in the History of Science at Harvard University. He has written extensively on the history of science in Islam and has co-edited books on the transmission of science between cultures and on water resources in the Middle East. Thanks to a major grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Quebec government, Ragep is leading an international effort to catalogue all Islamic manuscripts in the exact sciences and provide a means to access information online on the intellectual, institutional, and scientific contexts of these texts. In association with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, he is co-directing a project to study the fifteenth-century background to the Copernican revolution and in particular its Islamic sources. Married with two grown children, he collaborates with his partner Sally Ragep on these and other research projects.

For detailed information about this conference, including conference materials, please follow this link: