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Message posted on 03/10/2022

Fwd: Reminder: CfP Workshop on Small Science, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 2-3 February 2023


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From: Xavier Roque Rodriguez *Subject: *Reminder: CfP Workshop on Small Science, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 2-3 February 2023 Date: 30 September 2022 at 17:02:53 CEST To: MERSENNE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK Reply-To: Xavier Roque Rodriguez

Dear colleagues,

We invite paper proposals for the international workshop Small Science: Perspectives on Contemporary Small-Scale Research. The event will take place in person on February 2-3, 2023 at the Institut d’Història de la Ciència, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. However, there will also be a virtual option for those choosing to attend remotely.

Through the second half of the 20th century, the rise of Big Science eclipsed researchers producing substantial knowledge with modest means. Since the turn of the century, however, a concern with small ways of knowing and doing is noticeable. Isabelle Stengers’ slow science, Manu Prakash’s frugal science,Rosi Braidotti’s minor science, Simon Werrett’s thrifty science… Increased attention is being paid, in the current planetary crisis, to humble yet effective research practices. The early modern approach to “achieving a balance between spending and buying new and saving and making use of things”, Werrett notices, seems to be “reemerging today”: “While people in the late-twentieth century supposed that the future of science would be mostly ‘big,’ as we enter the twenty-first century, it seems that the future will also be small” (2019: 196).

We mean the term small science both as an actor's category (18th-20th century) and a term encompassing a range of recent concerns. We contend that small science, broadly construed, has not ceased to be a relevant, if faintly visible feature of contemporary science.

Following a symposium on Small Science at the ESHS Conference in Brussels (September 2022), and building on an ongoing research project (PID2019-105131GB-I00 SMALLSCIENCE A historical survey of contemporary small-scale research), the workshop aims at placing small-scale research practices in historical perspective. We invite papers exploring some of the following themes:

  • the uses and meanings of the category itself;
  • small science, science policy and the politics of science;
  • small science, repair, maintenance and infrastructure;
  • the relationship between small- and large-scale scientific practices;
  • the interplay between public and private interests in small-scale projects;
  • the connection between small-scale, lay and amateur research, as well as citizen science;
  • the historical roots of contemporary small science;
  • the representations and imaginaries of small science;
  • the motivations driving small-scale research practices;
  • case-studies exemplifying small science and providing an empirical basis for discussion.

A paper proposal of up to 300 words and a short bio are to be sent to before 15 October 2022. Submissions from early career researchers are welcome. Please state if you need support for accommodation. Limited funds are available from the organizers to cover part of the expenses.

There will also be a discussion about an edited journal issue or book based on papers presented at the workshop.


Braidotti, R. “A Theoretical Framework for the Critical Posthumanities”. Theory, Culture & Society 36, (2018): 31–61. Martens, L., Cybulski, J. S., Clements, J. & Prakash, M. “Foldscope: Origami-Based Paper Microscope”. PLoS ONE 9, e98781, 2014: 1–11. Stengers, I. Another Science is Possible. A Manifesto for Slow Science. Cambridge: Polity, 2018. Werrett, S. Thrifty Science. Making the Most of Materials in the History of Experiment. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2019.

Xavier Roqué (UAB, on behalf of the organising committee) Gemma Cirac-Claveras (UAB); Enric Pérez-Canals (UB); Eoin Phillips (URL)

Institut d'Història de la Ciència iHC

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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