CfP: Astronomical Observatories and Chronometry: Time, Science and Instruments (18th-20th Century)
Musée international d'horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
2-4 December 2020
Over the last decades, several studies have been devoted to the history of astronomical observatories, to the emergence of a culture of precision in their context, and to the professionalisation of astronomy. The growing interest in the material history of science has also much contributed to unveil the importance of observational technologies and their innovation. In this context, several recent research projects are endeavouring to understand the configuration of the material culture of astronomical observation. Such inquiries require an elaborated approach combining the history of science and the history of scientific instruments, soliciting the expertise of historians, restorers, and specialists of museum collections.
The workshop Astronomical Observatories and Chronometry: Time, Science and Instruments (18th-20th Century) will focus on the importance of observatories in the determination of exact time, in the technological innovation of scientific instruments and the improvement of observational techniques, in the diffusion of the measure of exact time among the public, and in testing and certifying precision chronometers. In the framework of this event, the role of observatories as centres of astronomical and astrophysical research will be secondary.
Topics of the workshop will include (but not be limited to):