CFP: 13th Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop

July 5-9, 2017, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

The Thirteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop (NDXIII) will be held July 5-9, 2017, at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and will include a one-day trip to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Theme: Models and Mechanisms in the History of Astronomy

Models and mechanisms have played an important role throughout the history of astronomy, both as physical devices and as conceptual entities. In exploring this workshop theme, we invite you to consider such questions as: What do we know about historical astronomical models and mechanisms, including their origins, development, and abandonment? How have physical models and mechanistic devices influenced major developments in astronomy and related fields? How have mental models and mechanistic thinking shaped astronomical concepts and explanations? As in previous years, we expect that the theme can encompass a number of different time periods and geographical locations. Proposals that directly address the theme will receive preferential treatment.

Invited Speaker

Our invited speaker will be Emeritus Professor Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University, former Head of its School of Physics and Astronomy. His astronomical research career involved the determination and interpretation of the abundances of the chemical elements in the universe, and investigation of the origin of interstellar dust. His later work has included research in the history of astronomy, particularly on the history and implications of astronomical machines and mechanisms, and efforts to bring science to wider audiences. Edmunds is Chair of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, Chair of the Astronomical Heritage Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society, a former member of two UK Research Councils, and can occasionally be seen in his one-man play about Newton “Sir Isaac Remembers….”


Call for papers

We will accept proposals for both papers and sessions. Single papers will probably have to be 15–20 minutes in length, depending upon the number of submissions. Organized sessions, with multiple papers addressing a particular question or theme, can contain papers of longer length, but must incorporate significant time for discussion. Proposals for papers should include a title and a one-paragraph abstract; session proposals should identify all presenters as well as titles and one-paragraph abstracts for each presenter. Proposals from graduate students and recent PhDs are especially welcomed.

Proposals, including a one-page CV for all presenters, should be sent by March 1, 2017 [Updated], to Elizabeth Hamm at All submissions will be shared with the organizing committee: Stephen Case, Jacqueline Feke, Elizabeth Hamm, Pedro Raposo, and Sarah J. Reynolds. Final decisions on paper and session acceptance are planned for April 1 [Updated]. All presenters will be expected to register for the workshop and pay the registration fee; questions about local arrangements should be addressed to Matt Dowd at If you wish to propose a paper or session making use of items in the Adler Planetarium collections, please contact curator Pedro Raposo at prior to submitting a proposal. To search the collections, please go to

Deadline: March 1, 2017

Posted: October 24, 2016