Call for Papers: the 26th International Baltic Conference in the History of Science

Call for Papers: the 26th International Baltic Conference in the
History of Science // 21st –22nd August2014, Helsinki

Deadline (new) for abstracts: Tuesday 22nd April, 2014
Contact e-mail for information:
Information online at: and

The 26th International Baltic Conference in the History of Science will take place from the 21st to 22nd of August, 2014 in Helsinki. The tradition of the Baltic Conferences on the History of Science is long, the first conference taking place in Riga in 1958. All 25 previous events have taken place in the three Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania ( This is the first time when the Baltic Conference in History of Science will be held outside of the borders of these three countries. You are heartily welcome to Helsinki!

An overarching theme for the conference is Science as Profession. We welcome, however, papers addressing different relevant and topical questions from the point of view of history of natural and social sciences, mathematics, arts and humanities, technology and medicine as well as philosophy of science and science studies. The choice of topics is neither limited to any geographical area, but special interest will be paid to developments in countries in the Baltic Sea area.

The papers may, as an example, address following questions: How were careers in science structured before professionalization in its modern sense? How did science come to be a profession? What kind of interaction does the formation of institutional structures have with the process of professionalization? What has the role of the public image of science and scientists been in various historical contexts? How has the changing gender ratio contributed to the professionalization of scientists? What kind of a role have non-professionals played in development of science? Have heretics added their valuable contributions or rather disturbed the “normal development” of the scientific world?

The proposals can deal with, but are not limited to, the following themes:

* Publication policies and professions
* Pre-modern or modern careers of science/medicine/technology
* Self-fashioning or building the self-image of a scholar
* Heretics of science
* Engineering knowledge – between theory and praxis
* Borders of science in a scientist’s career
* Institutional settings of professionalization
* Public image of scientists
* Gender and professionalization
* Baltic perspective on professions
* Borders of Science in a scientist’s career
* Role of non-professionals in field of science/medicine/technology.

Discussion on professions and professionalism in sciences has long roots. It was nearly one hundred years ago in 1919 that Max Weber, for example, published his article “Wissenschaft als Beruf”, Science as a Vocation. Indeed, scientists and engineers play a visible role in our society, and yet the desired ways to educate, enrol and employ these experts are still as much in constant negotiation. Therefore, we invite the participants in particular to consider from many aspects the past processes and philosophy of professionalization and career-building of scientists or engineers.

We welcome abstracts of 300-500 words to be sent by 22nd April, 2014 to the organizing committee. The language of the abstracts as well as the papers is English. A selection of papers
presented in this conference will be published in the Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum. The registration form which will be used for submitting abstracts is available at the
conference website:

The conference is co-organized by: Finnish Society for the History of Science and Learning (head organizer), University of Helsinki, University of Oulu, Society for the History of Technology, The Finnish Historical Society, Philosophical Society of Finland and The Baltic Association for the History and Philosophy of Science.