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Lecture prof. Steven Shapin (Harvard): Who is the Modern Scientist? (28 November, 2013)

Who is the Modern Scientist?  A lecture by Steven Shapin

Thursday 28 November 2013, 5-7pm, Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam

There are now many historical studies of what’s been called scientists’ personæ–- the typifications, images, and expectations attached to people who do scientific work. There has been much less interest in the largely managerial and bureaucratic exercises of counting scientists-– finding out how many there are, of what sorts, working in what institutions. This talk first describes how and why scientists came to be counted from about the middle of the twentieth century and then relates those statistical exercises to changing senses of who the scientist was, what scientific inquiry was, and what it was good for.

Professor Shapin’s lecture will be followed by two short comments, by Professor Floris Cohen of the Huizinga Institute and by Dr Laurens Hessels of WTMC, before the discussion is opened to all. Find the flyer here.

Steven Shapin is Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. His books include Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (Princeton University Press, 1985 [new ed. 2011] with Simon Schaffer), A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (University of Chicago Press, 1994), The Scientific Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 1996; now translated into 16 languages), Wetenschap is cultuur (Science is Culture) (Amsterdam: Balans, 2005; with Simon Schaffer), The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation (University of Chicago Press, 2008), Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). Amongst the many prizes he has received, he was the 2005 winner of the Erasmus Prize (with Simon Schaffer), conferred by HRH the Prince of Orange of the Netherlands, for contributions to European culture, society, or social science. More details at:

 Attendance at this public lecture is free. However, space is limited, so please register in advance via huizinga-fgw[at]uva[dot]nl (deadline: 13 November). WTMC members who have already registered for the WTMC annual meeting do NOT need to register separately for this lecture.