International Union of History and Philosophy of Science

Division of History of Science and Technology


XXIIIrd International Congress of

History of Science and Technology


Ideas and Instruments in Social Context


26-31 July 2009, Budapest, Hungary


First Circular





International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/Division of History of Science and Technology (IUHPS/DHST)


Council (2005-2009)

President: Ronald NUMBERS, USA

Past President: Ekmeleddin IHSANOGLU, Turkey

Secretary General: Efthymios NICOLAIDIS, Greece

First Vice-President: LIU Dun, China

Second Vice-President: Fabio BEVILACQUA, Italy

Treasurer: Ida STAMHUIS, Netherlands

Assistant Secretary General: Éva VÁMOS, Hungary



Lesley CORMACK, Canada

Ubiratan D'AMBROSIO, Brazil

Abdul Hafiz HILMY, Egypt

Michio YANO, Japan

Catherine JAMI, France

Alexey POSTNIKOV, Russia


1. International Program Committee



Paolo GALUZZI (Italy)





2. Local Organizing Committee



Éva VÁMOS, Hungarian Museum for Science and Technology, Budapest

Vice-chair for local arrangements

Gusztáv HENCSEY, SCOPE Meetings Ltd.

Executive LOC

Mariann KINDL, SCOPE Meetings Ltd.

Éva THIRY, SCOPE Meetings Ltd.


Scientific LOC

Ildikó ANTAL, Electrotechnical Museum of HMST

Lajos BARTHA, Independent Researcher

György DARVAS, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE)

Karl Hall, Central Europaen University

Imre HRONSZKY, Budapest Technical University

Sándor JESZENSZKY, Electrotechnical Museum of HMST

György KAMPIS, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE)

Károly KAPRONCZAY, Semmelweis Museum, Library and Archives of the History of Medicine

László KOVÁCS, Teachers' Training College Dániel Berzsenyi

Gábor KUTROVÁTZ, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE)

Katalin MUNKÁCSY, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE)

József NÉMETH, Budapest Technical University

Mária PALASIK, Historic Archives of State Security Services

Péter SZEGEDI, Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE)

Benedek VARGA, Semmelweis Museum, Library and Archives of the History of Medicine

Gábor ZEMPLÉN, Budapest Technical University



3. Congress Secretariat


c/o SCOPE Ltd.

Kende u. 13-17.

phone: +36-1-209-6001

fax: +36-1-386-9378





1. Theme


Ideas and Instruments in Social Context


The organizers encourage all scholars to submit fully organized scientific sessions, fully organized symposia and individual papers related to the above topic.

Ideas mean, in this respect, all kinds of scientific, technical, philosophical, religious, political and social ideas that influenced, in a given period and in a given area, the development of science and technology. Topics that show the mutual influence of philosophical, religious, political and social ideas and scientific and technical development are highly appreciated. The analysis of ideas that brought into being or changed an instrument or an institution forms also part of the topic.

All kinds of scientific and technical instruments as preserved in museums, descriptions, memories and in art belong to the topic of the congress. The influence of the instruments on the culture of the laboratories and on everyday life in the different periods is also a highly appreciated topic of the congress.

The history of all kinds of „instruments” that helped or hindered the development of science and technology like legislation, international, state or local influence institutions are incorporated into the second part of the topic.

For much of the history of our discipline, two separate and sometimes antagonistic approaches to the history of science have focused on the study of ideas, and on the study of instruments. However, in the past few decades, more and more scholars have striven to integrate both aspects, showing that instruments not only constitute the material culture of science, but also shape and even embody ideas. They are also central in understanding how science operates within societies, is shaped by the milieus as well as the material conditions in which it is produced, and in return contributes to the construction of these societies. The advent of “Big Science” in the twentieth century, closely dependent on highly sophisticated and costly instruments, has forcefully brought forward the importance of their study by historians of science.

Moreover, the Budapest Congress will be the first to be held after our Division’s change of name from “Division of History of Science” to “Division of History of Science and Technology” in 2005. In order to explicitly bring out the ways in which science and technology have been interrelated in history and how studies of both fields are complementary, a series of plenary lectures, symposia and special sessions will be devoted to “Science and ideas in social context”, with the aim of bringing together historians of science and historians of technology, and to enhance common discussion on objects that are traditionally regarded as pertaining exclusively to one or the other discipline.


2. Scientific Activities


-          Plenary lectures given by invited experts;

-          Sections covering the history of science, technology and medicine from antiquity to the present;

-          Symposia devoted to themes of current interest;

-          Poster sessions.

A joint mail from the Presidents of both the IPC and the LOC is to be sent to all Council members, IPC members, chairs of National and Scientific Commissions, as well as some selected scholars, inviting them to organize symposia for this Congress. Proposals for organizing symposia from other qualified scholars are also welcome. Guidelines concerning the nature and structure of a symposium can be found at the Congress website.


3. Business Meetings


-          General Assemblies of the IUHPS/DHS;

-          Council Meetings of the IUHPS/DHS;

-          Meetings of Commissions of the IUHPS/DHS;

-          General Assembly of the International Academy of History of Science;

-          Meetings of other scientific associations and working groups.


4. Other Activities


-          Display and sale of books on history of science and relevant subjects;

-          Exhibitions devoted to special topics;

-          Various cultural programs and local excursions;




1. Dates


26-31 July 2009


2. Venue


Corvinus University of Budapest


3. Languages



Documents and correspondence of the Congress: English and French;

Papers and Posters

The LOC suggests that participants use DHST official languages in their presentations in plenary lectures, scientific sections, and symposia; it also follows the tradition of previous congresses of accepting papers and posters written in other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. 


4. Abstract


All abstracts will be submitted to a peer review process. Abstracts can be sent to the Congress Secretariat until 15 March 2009 by completing the Abstract Form.  Papers reaching the Congress Secretariat after 15 March 2009 will not be accepted. No more than one paper per person will be accepted.


5. Accommodation


Special hotel rates have been negotiated for Congress participants. Most of the selected hotels are within walking distance of the Congress venue, or 20 minutes by public transportation.  The actual names of the hotels and their prices will be available with the Second Circular.


6. Expression of Interest


All those intending to take part in the Congress are kindly requested to complete the “Intention to Participate Form” for being included in the official Congress Mailing List.


7. Registration Fees


Both on-line and off-line registrations will be open in September 2008 (more than 6 months before the early registration deadline).

The registration fees will correspond to the rates of the previous conferences. All services traditionally included in the conference’s registration fee will be provided for.


8. Grants


The Local Organizing Committee will provide free registration to some participants. In allocating this support, preference will be given to applicants from countries facing economic difficulties, as well as young scholars. In order to assist such colleagues, other applicants are asked to explore other possible sources of help before turning to us. If required, the LOC can provide invitation letters.

Under no circumstances will the LOC contribute to travel expenses.

EDvery applicant has to send his/her Curriculum Vitae to the Congress Secretariat before 15 January 2009. Successful applicants will be informed by 15 February 2009.


9. Further Information


The Congress Website will be frequently updated in order to keep participants informed about important information concerning DHST activities and organization of the Congress.


10. Important Dates


Deadline for symposia proposals

30 June 2008

Second Circular

30 September 2008

Deadline for determination of the final symposia programs

15 December 2008

Deadline for grant applications

15 January 2009

Confirmation of grant applications

15 February 2009

Deadline for submission of paper abstract

15 March 2009

Deadline for notification of working meeting by DHS Commission

15 March 2009

Deadline for acceptance of abstracts

15 April 2009

Deadline for early registration

30 April 2009

Deadline for hotel reservations

30 April 2009

Third Circular

31 May 2009

Opening of the Congress

26 July 2009