"Science without Frontiers? Cosmopolitanism and national interests in the sciences in times of peace and in times of war"

Who: Robert Fox, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, University of Oxford

Place: Donostia International Physics Center

Date: Thursday, 20 October 2022, 13:00

Shortly before the Great War, the pioneering historian of science George Sarton articulated his view of science as a pursuit that knew no political frontiers. Events were soon to show how fragile his universalist vision was. The new scientific unions that were established after the war (including the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, in 1922) were an Allied creation that had no place
for Germany and the other Central Powers. Since then, the century has been one of recurring tension between Sarton?s cosmopolitanism ideals and the realities of a pursuit increasingly dependent on governmental support and vulnerable to international events. In tracing this tension, I shall point to its persistence in our own day, as scientists struggle to fashion their response to a resurgence of
challenges, extending in IUPAP's centenary year to warfare at the heart of Europe.

Host: Geza Giedke


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