History and the public understanding of science

A two-day conference to be held at the Maison Française, Oxford on Friday 28 May and Saturday 29 May 2004

The conference, organized by Robert Fox (Modern History Faculty) and Ian Maclean (All Souls College), is the last in the cycle of five meetings on ‘Transmission and understanding in the sciences’ held in Oxford and Bologna since April 2002

——————————————————————————– Friday 28 May

9.30: Introduction and welcome (Alexis Tadié and Robert Fox)

First session: Biography and film (10.00-13.00)

10.00: Giuliano Pancaldi (University of Bologna): “Biography, community, and contingency” 11.15: Georgina Ferry (Oxford): “Scientific lives: biography as a route to public understanding” 12.00: Tim Boon (Science Museum, London): “‘Science and the Citizen’: documentary film and science communication in World War Two”

Second session: Museums and the public understanding of science (14.15-16.30)

14.15: Michel van Praët (Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, Paris): “Science and its image: the Natural History Museum exhibitions in Paris since 1633” 15.00: Dominique Ferriot (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers): “University museums and collections: the role of the object” 15.45: Wolf-Peter Fehlhammer (Deutsches Museum, Munich): “‘Extended educational mission’: the odd man out becomes important. A German view”

Third session: The role of journalism (17.00-17.45)

17.00: Paddy Coulter (Reuter Foundation Programme, Green College, Oxford): “Science in the media: the responsibilities of scientists and journalists”

—————————————————————————— Saturday 29 May

Fourth session: Science and theatre (9.30-11.00)

09.30: Robert Marc Friedman (University of Oslo): “Balancing act: harmonizing scholarship and artistry in drama based on history about science” 10.15: Jim Bennett (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford): “History of science on stage: one historian’s experience”

Fifth session: Burning issues (11.15-12.00)

11.15: Martin Hirsch (Directeur, Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments): “How do scientists raise and calm new fears?”

Sixth session: The genome project (14.00-15.30)

14.00: Presentations by Denis Noble (University of Oxford) and Pierre Sonigo (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)

Seventh session: Medical imaging (16.00-17.30)

16.00: Presentations by Sir Mike Brady (University of Oxford) and Nicholas Ayache (Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique) 17.30: Closing remarks (Ian Maclean and Alexis Tadié)

For further information, please contact Robert Fox <[email protected]>, Ian Maclean <[email protected]>, or the Maison Française <[email protected]>.