Day 1: Tuesday 28th May 2013 – University College London

Panel 1: Beyond the Two Cultures
The aim of this panel is to start to break down the disciplinary barriers between physics and history.  What are your perceptions of the other discipline; what do historians and physicists think about one another?  What do we believe to be our aims and methods, and what do we find particularly valid or problematic about them?

From these presentations, and the following discussion the areas of commonality and difference will emerge.  Participants will then be asked if the outcome of the discussion had affected their preconceived notions of the other discipline.

Panel 2: Uncertainty and Creativity; is Knowledge the means or the ends?

Both scientists and historians have to deal with issues of uncertainty in their research, and to accept that some things simply cannot be known. The aim of this panel is to encourage participants to consider how the different disciplines deal with uncertainty and the use of creativity in their research.

Rountable: Collaboration, Publishing, and Communication
Physicists work in an academic environment in which multi-authored papers are freely shared online using open access platforms such as arxiv.  There has been an attempt to bring this type of open access and commentary to history through the History Working Papers Project but in general historians rarely work in a collaborative fashion. This panel will explore reasons for these different approaches, and the implications for publication and communication of research findings.

This session will be be a roundtable, where each speak will talk for 5 minutes about their research and working methods.  The remainder of the discussion will be shaped by the questions of the workshop participants.

Members of this rountable are Dr. Gavin Hesketh and Dr. Nikos Konstantinidis who work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and the One Medicine group from CHoSTM (Imperial).  Investigating human and animal disease, its members –  Dr Abigail WoodsDr. Angela Cassidy, Dr. Michael Bresalier and Dr. Rachel Mason Dentinger– have a wealth of experience of working both as individual researchers as well as on collaborative projects.

Evening Public Lecture
We’re delighted that Professor Hasok Chang has agreed to be our keynote speaker.  Prof. Chang, currently President of the British Society for the History of Science, will be speaking at the wonderful and unique Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL His title is ‘Complementary science: using history and philosophy to improve science’ and he has promised to show footage of his historical experiments.

You can book (free) tickets for this talk here

This will be followed by a reception and dinner for the workshop participants.

Day 2: Wednesday 29th May – Science Museum & Imperial College London

The morning will be spent at the Science museum, where the group will have a tour of the current Alan Turing exhibition by its curator David Rooney.  Following free time at the exhibition the group will reconvene at Imperial College to discuss reactions to the exhibition and a discussion with David about the challenges of presenting scientific ideas in a cultural context.

The afternoon will be a group discussion about the value of the workshop and how the humanities and sciences can work together in the future.


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