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Seminari "La ciència i els seus públics": Peter Heering (Universität Flensburg) continuació

Divendres, 14 de maig de 2010 en el Seminari del CEHIC, 11:00-13:00 hrs.
CEHIC 04/05/2010

Revolutionary Experiments, Experimenting Revolutionaries: Experimental Practices on the Eve of the French Revolution

The period of the French Revolution is not only in terms of European politics or sociology a period that caused major changes and in a sense opened a door into modernity. The same period is also highly relevant to the development of modern science: researchers such as Lavoisier, Laplace and Coulomb developed a style of experimentation that can be seen as an improvement of the experimental standards established during the Enlightenment. In retrospect, one could argue that these experiments (such as those with the torsion balance or the ice-calorimeter) are a significant step from natural philosophy towards modern science. Yet, at the same time these experiments are also to be seen as an explicit break with some of the standards established during the Enlightenment.

Peter Heering studied physics and chemistry to become a secondary school teacher. Following his studies he did a PhD in the field of history of physics and its didactical use, which he completed in 1995. After being trained two years at a secondary school in Wilhelmshaven he became senior lecturer at the physics department at the University of Oldenburg (Germany) in 1996. Since 2009 he is professor of physics and physics didactics at the University of Flensburg.
His actual research in history of science focuses on the development of experimental practice in physics from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, in particular on entertainment and educational experiments as well as the development of precision measurements. In physics didactics, he is interested in the educational use of historical experiments as well as the implementation of historical aspects into the science curriculum.
Whilst these researchers (who worked within the context of the Paris Academy) were successful in establishing new standards for experimental practice, other outside of this community failed to do so. Among those unsuccessful researchers is Jean Paul Marat, physician by training and revolutionary scientist to be. His practice is distinct from the one established by the Academy, and his experimental findings are ultimately rejected by the same body.
In my presentation, I am going to discuss both approaches in order to come to a symmetrical comparison of different researchers at this particular period and place. In doing so, I am relying on the findings made in analyzing the relevant experiments with the replication method.