Conference Call for Papers: XXIX Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission

XXIX Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission

Florence, 4-9 October 2010

Sponsored and organized by: Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (Museo Galileo), Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica

Conference website:

The Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza and the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica are very pleased to host the XXIX Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (Division History of Science and Technology) in October 2010. The Symposium is open to anyone interested in the history, preservation, documentation of use of scientific instruments. Scholars, curators, collectors are welcomed and students are especially encouraged to attend.


The primary theme for the conference will be “Instruments on display”. We encourage you to submit papers about how instruments have been presented in scientific collections, museums and permanent and temporary exhibitions in past and more recent time. Did didactic, scientific, celebrative, propagandistic and rhetorical considerations significantly influence the manner of displaying instruments? How were instruments presented in a Wunderkammer of the Renaissance, in a 18th-century cabinet or in a 19th-century exhibition? How and why are they shown in contemporary science museums? We hope that these and other questions will give rise to interesting papers and discussions at our meeting.


The participants will have the opportunity to visit the newly renovated halls of the Museo Galileo, the recently restored 19th-century physics cabinet of the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica, the collection of surveying, geodetic and meteorological instruments of the Istituto Geografico Militare, as well as the Tribuna di Galileo, the wax anatomical cabinet and the recently refurbished astronomical tower of La Specola, the zoological section of the Florence Natural History Museum. An excursion will be organized to Arezzo, where the participants will have the opportunity to visit the Museo dei Mezzi di Comunicazione as well as one of the most important Italian private collection of scientific instruments.


Please visit the conference website for details:


Sara J. Schechner

Secretary of the IUHPS Scientific Instrument Commission

Sara J. Schechner, Ph.D.
David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments
Department of the History of Science, Harvard University
Science Center 251c, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-496-9542 | Fax: 617-496-5932 |