Symposium: When Science Diplomacy Divides

European Society for the History of Science 8th Biennial Meeting
London, 14-17 September 2018

The concept of science diplomacy has gained traction in recent years, as the foreign offices of various nations have appreciated and begun reassessing the influence and importance of the soft power of science and technology. Scientists themselves are also recognising the diplomatic roles they have played historically and how they have contributed to global relations. This symposium (divided in five sessions), focusing on the history of science diplomacy, draws together a variety of scholars exploring different aspects of science, technology, and diplomacy at the international and transnational levels. Rather than merely echoing and reifying the scientists’ own accounts about the benign effects of science diplomacy, they challenge them with provocative case studies and newly proposed interpretative frameworks.

Session 1 (15 September, 11:00-13:00)

Matthew Adamson (McDaniel College), ‘Science Diplomacy to Stop the Science? Nuclear Promotion and Safety, IAEA Experts, and Reactor-Building in Morocco, 1978-2008’.

Ronald E. Doel (Florida State University), ‘Stimulating Natural Science Research in Cold War Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Accra: The International Geophysical Year (1957-58) in Comparative Global Contexts’.

Claudia Castelo (University of Lisbon), ‘Africa as a Disputed Site for Social Research in the Era of Decolonisation: CCTA-UNESCO Competition.’

Manoj Saxena (Kings College, London), ‘A Scientist of Consequence: Case Study of the AQ Khan Network in Pakistan.’

Erika Luciano (Department of Mathematics, University of Turin), ‘Jewish Intellectual Emigration from Fascist Italy: Global Aspects and Individual Fates (1938-1948)’.

Session 2 (15 September, 16:00-18:00)

Maria Paula Diogo and Ana Simões (University of Lisbon), ‘Cultivating Scientific and Diplomatic Networks: The Case of the Naturalist Abbé Correia da Serra’.

Luciana Viera Souza da Silva (University of São Paulo), ‘Diplomatic Accords and Ruptures: The Science in University of São Paulo from the Perspective of Gleb Watghin’s Trajectory in Brazil (1934-1949)’.

Simone Turchetti (University of Manchester) and Matthew Adamson (McDaniel College, Budapest), ‘Friends in Fission: The Brazilian Atomic Energy Project and Its Backers in North America and Europe, 1950-1975’.

Zhang Li and Zhu Yanmei (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences), ‘Experiment on Science and Technology Diplomacy: An Investigation of America sending Scientific and Technical Experts to China in World War II’.

Waqa Zaidi (Lahore University of Management Sciences), ‘Natural Scientists as Political Experts: Atomic Scientists and Their Claims for Expertise on International Relations, 1945-1947.’

Session 3 (16 September, 9:00-10:30)

Margaret O. Meredith (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), ‘Thomas Jefferson as Philosopher and Statesman: Diplomacy and Science in the Enlightenment’.

Geert Somsen (University of Maastricht), ‘The Philosopher and the President: Henry Bergson’s International Relations Missions between 1914 and 1925’.

Elena Sinelnikova (St. Petersburg Branch of Institute for the History of Science and Technology), ‘Scientific Societies as Diplomatic Instruments for the International Policy of Soviet Russia in the 1920s’.

Session 4 (16 September, 11:00-13:00)

Roberto Lalli (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin), ‘Spacetime Diplomacy: Unifying the International General Relativity Community during the Cold War’.

Gordon Barrett (University of Oxford), ‘”In the Spirit of Democratic Consultation, Solidarity, and Cooperation”: Chinese Science Diplomacy at the Peking Science Symposia and the Sino-Soviet Split’.

Frans Van Lunteren (University of Leiden), ‘The International Bureau of Weights and Measures and the Politics of Science’.

Wallis Eckhard (Université Pierre et Marie Curie), ‘Setting Standards in Timekeeping – A Case of Science Diplomacy’.

Sam Robinson (University of York), ‘Anticipating Ocean Exploration and the Law of the Sea (1968-84)’.

Session 5 (16 September, 14:00-15:30): DHST Historical Commission on Science, Technology and Diplomacy EGM

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