Leading history of science journal Isis comes to the Netherlands

Isis, the world’s leading journal in the field of history of science, is relocating from North America to The Netherlands. H. Floris Cohen, professor in Comparative History of Science and chairman of the Descartes Centre (Utrecht University) will run the journal’s editorial office from mid-2014 to mid-2019. The Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in The Hague and Museum Boerhaave in Leyden have contributed to making the move financially possible. Both institutions provide a book review editor. The move enables the Dutch triad of the Descartes Centre – Huygens ING – Museum Boerhaave to present itself as a hub for the international history of science. Read more…

[in Dutch] De VU schrijft geschiedenis. De toekomst van het VU-verleden

Onlangs benoemde de Vrije Universiteit Ab Flipse tot universiteitshistoricus. Op 20 juni presenteerde hij zijn plannen op de ‘middag van de VU-historie’. Ook spraken op deze middag de huidige en een vroegere rector magnificus van de VU, werden presentaties gegeven over VU-erfgoed en het VU-archief en werden enkele klassieke VU-films vertoond. De VU-films zijn ook online te bekijken. Ab Flipse vat zijn lezing hier kort samen. Read more…

[Book] Klaas van Berkel: Isaac Beeckman on Matter and Motion. Mechanical Philosophy in the Making

The contribution of the Dutch craftsman and scholar Isaac Beeckman to early modern scientific thought has never been properly acknowledged. Surprisingly free from the constraints of traditional natural philosophy, he developed a view of the world in which everything, from the motion of the heavens to musical harmonies, is explained by reducing it to matter in motion. His ideas deeply influenced Descartes and Gassendi. Klaas van Berkel has succeeded in unearthing and explicating Beeckman’s scientific notebooks, allowing us to follow how he developed his new philosophy, almost day by day. Read more…

[News] Archives of old University of Leuven recognized as documental world heritage

UNESCO has decided at its conference of 18-21 June in Gwangju to inscribe the archives of the old University of Leuven (1425-1797) in the Memory of the World Register. This list bears on archives and library documents and is the documental equivalent of the world heritage sites list. It contains individual items such as the diaries of Anne Frank, the files of the trial against Nelson Mandela and the films of the Amundsen South Pole Expedition from 1910-1912, but also whole collections such as the archives of the West-India Company en the Jean Jacques Rousseau collection in Geneva and Neuchâtel. Read more…