Call for Papers: “Science as Profession” – 26th International Baltic Conference in the History of Science

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERACall for Papers: “Science as Profession” – 26th International Baltic Conference in the History of Science

21st – 22nd August 2014, Helsinki

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 31st March, 2014
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How did science come to be a profession – and how were careers in science structured before professionalization in its modern sense? What kind of interaction does the formation of institutional structures have with the process of professionalization? What has the role of the public image of science and scientists been in various historical contexts? How has the changing gender ratio contributed to the professionalization of scientists? What kind of a role have non-professionals played in development of science? Have heretics added their valuable contributions or rather disturbed the “normal development” of the scientific world?

Nearly one hundred years ago, in 1919 Max Weber published his article “Wissenschaft als Beruf”, Science as a Vocation. Indeed, scientists and engineers play a visible role in our society, and yet the desired ways to educate, enrol and employ these experts are still as much in constant negotiation in Western societies as they were in Weber’s time. Time has come to make sense of the corresponding developments in the countries of the Baltic Rim and beyond. Therefore, the 26th Baltic Conference in History of Science will focus on the multiple questions concerning the past processes of professionalization and career-building of scientists and engineers. The above questions and many other related aspects in their historical contexts will be discussed in close cooperation with the philosophers who add to their conceptual understanding.

The Science as Profession -Conference will take place from the 21st to 22nd of August, 2014 in Helsinki at the premises of the University of Helsinki. We welcome papers which address any relevant questions asked above from the point of view of history of natural and social sciences, mathematics, arts and humanities, technology and medicine as well as philosophy of science and science studies. The choice of topics is neither limited to any geographical area, although special interest will of course be paid to developments in countries in the Baltic Sea area.

The tradition of the Baltic Conferences on the History of Science is long, the first conference taking place in Riga in 1958. All 25 previous events have taken place in the three Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania ( This is the first time when the Baltic Conference in History of Science will be held outside of the borders of these three countries, and you are heartily welcome to Helsinki!

We welcome abstracts of 300-500 words to be sent by 31st March, 2014 to the organizing committee. The language of the abstracts as well as the papers is English. A selection of papers presented in this conference will be published in the Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum. The registration form which will be used for submitting abstracts is available at the conference website:

The conference is co-organized by: Finnish Society for the History of Science and Learning (head organizer), University of Helsinki, University of Oulu, Society for the History of Technology, The Finnish Historical Society, Philosophical Society of Finland and The Baltic Association for the History and Philosophy of Science.