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Seminaris d'història de la ciència Curs 2010-2011
Lissa Roberts (University of Twente)

Dimarts, 26 i dijous 28 d'octubre de 2010 de 11:00 a 12:30 h a la Casa de Convalescència del Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
cehic 20/10/2010

Seminaris dhistria de la cincia: Lissa Roberts
Seminaris d'història de la ciència: Lissa Roberts
Seminaris dhistria de la cincia Lissa Roberts
Seminaris d'història de la ciència Lissa Roberts

Dimarts, 26 de octubre de 2010, 11:00-12:30 h

De-centring 'the circulation of knowledge': the case of Dejima, Japan

The “circulation of knowledge” has been a major focus of research and discussion since at least 2004, when the phrase was chosen as the theme for a major international history of science conference. While the phrase is certainly open to a number of interpretations, it is generally directed in our field toward an understanding of scientific knowledge production. This paper will de-centre the concept in two ways. First, it will focus on a point of accumulation and passage of knowledge that is generally associated with the history of international trade rather than science. Dejima was a man-made island in the harbour of the port city of Nagasaki and housed the Dutch trading post from 1641 to 1853. Second, rather than trace the process through which scientific knowledge is produced, it will examine the various ways in which and various reasons for which embodied knowledge was collected, dispersed and put to use by both the Dutch and Japanese in and around Dejima. The end result should be a more sensitive historical appreciation for the often used term ‘ knowledge’ and the ways in which the history of science was embedded in global history during this period. Geographies of steam

Dijous, 28 de octubre de 2010, 11:00-12:30 h

Mapping the entrepreneurial strategies behind steam engine projects in eighteenth-century France

This paper has at least three aims. First is to expand our understanding of the history of steam engine development, popularly seen as the motor of the first industrial revolution. Rather than the traditional Anglo-centric story which links the steam engine to British ingenuity and coal-mining, it shifts our attention to France and to the various purposes to which steam was innovatively put during the eighteenth century. Second, it highlights the role of entrepreneurship in the history of innovation, a theme first developed by the economist Joseph Schumpeter, but still in need of further historical understanding. Third, it offers a critique of ‘ national history’ in two ways:
1. by revealing the benefit of focusing on ‘ regional geographies’ and
2. by reminding us of the porosity of national borders, across which entrepreneurs ranged, along with their knowledge, skill, needs and products.
The history of technological development and diffusion during this crucial period thus takes on a rather different complexion.

Lissa Roberts is professor of the history of science and technology at the University of Twente. She has held positions at universities in both the United States (including UCLA, University of California at Irvine, Washington University and San Diego State University) and the Netherlands. Roberts’ current interests are oriented around three broad themes:
1. tracing the historical evolution and transgressions of the (claimed) divide between ‘ science’ and ‘ technology’ ;
2. investigating science and technology as co-evolutionary constituents of the broader context in which they develop;
3. understanding entrepreneurialism and innovation in historical context. Her recent publications focus on topics including eighteenth-century chemistry, the early development and application of steam technology, ‘ entrepreneurial engineers’ and the cultural history of science and technology in and around Tokugawa Japan.