This is the programme for the Science in the City 1500-1800. This page will be updated should anything in the schedule change. Links to each session’s page will be added when they are made live on the day. All times given are for the UK (BST).

Early 17th-century map of London

Monday 6 April

Session 1: 9:30–11:00 – City Streets and the Urban Fabric

Watch the talks and participate in the Q&A here:

  • Boris Jardine, “What’s in a (street) name? Humphrey Cole’s London and the Specificity of Place in Elizabethan Practical Mathematics”
  • Yelda Nasifoglu, “Wren, Hooke, Fitch, and the Fleet Ditch”
  • Umberto Veronesi, “The Ashmolean Museum and Oxford’s 17th-Century Chymical Community: An Archaeological Perspective”

Session 2: 11:30–13:00 – Digitising the City Workshop

Join the workshop here:

  • Adam Corsini, ‘Layers of London’ workshop
  • Q&A followed by broader discussion on digital projects

Session 3: 14:00–16:00 – Instruments, objects, and localities

Read and watch the talks here:

  • Claus Jensen, “The Geometry of 17th Century Dutch Perspective Boxes”
  • Huib Zuidervaart, “Scientia in Middelburg Around 1600: A Prerequisite for the Invention of the Telescope?”
  • Thony Christie, “How Renaissance Nürnberg became the Scientific Instrument Capital of Europe”
  • Torsten Roeder and Jenny Brückner, “Early modern landscapes of collections in Halle, Leipzig and Dresden”

Session 4: 16:30-17:30 – Plenary Lecture

Join us for the live Plenary Lecture here:

  • Pamela Smith, Columbia University, ‘Making and Knowing in Early Modern Europe’


Tuesday 7 April

Session 5: 9:30–11:00 – Networks and Communities

Watch and read the talks here:

  • Edwin Rose, ‘Georg Forster, Joseph Banks and the Publication of the Plants from the South Seas in an Age of Revolution’
  • Didi van Trijp, ‘Knowledge at the Fish market: Observation up close in and around the Historia Piscium (1686)
  • Jordan Goodman and Simon Werrett, ‘Letters and Livestock: Circulation Between Town and Country in the Career of Joseph Banks, 1780-1820.’ 

Session 6: 11:30–12:30 – Science City 1550-1800 Virtual Gallery Tour

Watch the guided tour here:

  • Followed by Q&A with Alex Rose and Alison Boyle (Science Museum)

Session 7: 13:30–15:30 – Institutions

Watch and read the talks here:

  • Noah Moxham, ‘East India House and the business of navigation’
  • Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin, ‘The Royal Mint as knowledge-making space’
  • Janette Bright, ‘Respectable Science at the London Foundling Hospital’
  • Emma Hill, “‘be behind Flamsteed’s House, and I shall see you tomorrow: Social Networks of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1690-1730”

Session 8: 16:00-16:45 – Concluding Discussion

Join the discussion here:

  • Led by panel (Catherine Clarke, Rebekah Higgitt, Pamela H. Smith and Simon Werrett)


Pre-recorded or written papers for Sessions 1, 3 and 5-7 will be made available via posts on this blog, which will be posted at the times given above. These posts will also carry links to online meetings, which will open for the last 40-50 minutes of each session for Q&A and discussion (timing will be indicated). Pages for the live sessions (2, 4 and 8) will likewise carry links and timings to join online. Biographies for speakers in paper panels are available here, those for the workshop and plenary speakers will be on their session posts.


2 thoughts on “Programme

  1. Please feel free to use the comment section here to share relevant projects, websites, events (including side-chats during the conference), publications etc — imagine this is your conference pack and these are the flyers inside it!


  2. Hi all,

    Here’s a link to a new book series that might interest those of you with editorial projects:

    Techne. Knowledge, Technique, and Material Culture (link:

    Edited by Daniel Margocsy and Koen Vermeir, and featuring some of the participants (Pamela Smith, Paola Bertucci) on its Editorial Board:

    The Techne series publishes books in all fields of history that examine the skills, techniques, technologies or material cultures of knowledge, including media. With an emphasis on the notion of “technique”, the series includes topics and approaches that go beyond the traditional history of technology.

    Techniques and skills have been developed and employed by artisans and inventors, and are present in a wide variety of settings. They play a role in grinding natural materials to create dyes and paints, in the playing of musical instruments, in the intricate gestures of a magical performance, in the tacit knowledge involved in a scientific experiment, as well as in the spiritual techniques of many religions. The editors invite contributions that study techniques, skills and training regimes in a broad variety of fields and cultural domains.

    Knowledge is often produced at the intersection of a diversity of material cultures that have developed around artefacts, natural objects, or even the human body. The editors encourage the combination of practice-based and material culture approaches and invite submissions with new analytical and historiographical approaches, including reflexive contributions to the historiography of techniques and studies of technique-related concepts.

    If this interests you: I will be available for a chat during the virtual ‘coffee breaks’,or you can contact me later via this e-mail address:

    Enjoy the conference!

    Best wishes,

    Alexander Sterkens
    (Editor for Brepols)


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