First Teylers Meeting on History of Astronomy and Physics, “Crossing Borders: Internationalism in 20th Century Astronomy and Physics.” (12 April 2017, Teylers Museum, Haarlem)

A remarkable feature of the history of modern astronomy and physics might be the increasing ability to effortlessly work in an international environment. At least, seemingly effortlessly. At this meeting we would like to focus on the mixes of international collaboration and competition in these fields during the 20th century.

What characterised the boundary between pursuing domestic scientific objectives and promoting collaborations in a transnational dimension? To what extent and in which way international interactions have influenced or shaped professional research in astronomy and physics, especially in terms of access, practice, and policy? Meeting contributions will address issues such as the circulation of novel ideas, the implementation of research programs, the development of science facilities, and the formation of international scientific networks.


  • 10:00 – 10:20: Welcoming coffee
  • 10:20 – 10:50: David Baneke, “Big Science, Megascience: Pooling resources as an (inter)national necessity”.
  • 10:50 – 11:20: Sjang ten Hagen, “Relativity in Belgium: Disrupted scientific networks and post-World War I (inter)nationalism”.
  • 11:20 – 11:30: Coffee
  • 11:30 – 12:00: Astrid Elbers, “Dutch radio astronomy: Between international competition and collaboration”.
  • 12:00 – 12:30: Matteo Realdi, “The travelling astronomers: European site testing campaigns in the Northern Hemisphere”.
  • 12:30 – 14:00: Lunch and Teylers Museum tour
  • 14:00 – 14:30: Friso Hoeneveld, “On the non-Dutch origins of CERN: European acceleration and a chain reaction in Dutch science”.
  • 14:30 – 15:00: Jaco de Swart, “4000 Miles of missing mass: The parallel rise of dark matter in the U.S. and Estonia”.
  • 15:00 – 15:10: Coffee
  • 15:10 – 15:40: Chaokang Tai, “Pannekoek, Minnaert, and the birth of Dutch astrophysics”.
  • 15:40 – 16:10: Open Discussion
  • 16:10 – 17:00: Drinks

This meeting is intended to be an occasion to informally discuss works in progress. Attendance is free and open to everyone interested in the meeting topics. Coffee breaks, lunch, and drinks are included.


Since the seminar room has a limited number of seats, we kindly ask you to register before Friday 7 April by sending an email to Jaco de Swart.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement n. 656139.