Call for contributions to the edited volume: Science Diplomacy on Display: Mobile Atomic Exhibitions in the Cold War

Deadline for abstract submission: December 14, 2020.

Maria Rentetzi (TU Berlin) and Donatella Germanese (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)

This collective volume moves beyond the bipolar Cold War history that portrays nuclear propagandist exhibitions as one-way communication for promoting the advantages and virtues of the two major and conflicting political powers. Instead, Science Diplomacy on Display follows mobile atomic exhibitions as they move across national borders and around the world functioning as spaces for diplomatic encounters that move within political and scientific networks of exchange and circulation. This volume seeks to trace the multiple and often contradictory meanings that mobile exhibitions took on for various actors. For the countries or even international organizations that designed and circulated atomic mobile exhibitions during the Cold War, these became a way to educate other nations in the peaceful uses of the atom, promote an optimistic representation of nuclear energy, and standardize its use. For the nations that hosted them, their function depended on the local political, economic and social environment; most often they inspired local actors to take their own initiatives and circulate their home-made atomic exhibitions within national borders. An enormous endeavor in terms of their economics, moving logistics, local setting up and running, mobile atomic exhibitions allow us to unpack diplomatic and political tensions on a global level and explore the aesthetics of atomic powers.

Historians of science have already recognized the power of exhibitions to engage the public in the production of knowledge (i.e. Kohlstedt 2010; Rader and Cain, 2014). Exhibitions, however, have the potential to do much more. They make political statements; they become sites for the visualization of different social futures (Molella and Knowles, 2019); they represent fertile spaces for diplomatic negotiations. Despite the vital role of exhibitions in the production of knowledge and the formation of political worldviews, there is hardly any work on the historical role of atomic exhibitions in shaping nuclear science and politics, their function as assets in diplomatic negotiations, or the way they “inscribed” gender stereotypes about nuclear science on the displays.

Science Diplomacy on Display aims to highlight the decisive role of atomic exhibitions in the postwar period. It pays special attention to international organizations and their attempts to spread images of a common atomic future worldwide and in so doing to shape local scientific cultures. Our authors combine an interest in global and transnational histories of atomic mobile exhibitions with their epistemic and political cultures. As we acknowledge the epistemic value of images and objects, we discuss how atomic exhibitions such as those designed by the UN and its related organizations or any national attempts to exhibit the atom, defined nuclear futures.

Based on the abstracts that we have accepted so far, the volume’s chapters describe how countries such as Austria, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany (East and West), Greece, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan dealt with the atomic exhibitions and laboratories they received from the US, the Soviet Union or the IAEA. Some of the essays show that the competition in nuclear technology between the Soviet Union and the US took place in Europe and Latin America by means of traveling exhibitions. Yet, competition arose as well between hosting partners (e.g. France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Mexico) and their givers (USA, USSR), as the “minor” countries tried to leave their imprints on the exhibits and the future national nuclear programs.
Some chapters analyze the cultural impact of the atomic exhibitions through images and objects, while other essays focus on the educational programs in nuclear technology and medicine that were carried out at local universities or hospitals.

As we would like to expand further the range of our investigations, we are asking scholars working in the field of atomic exhibitions to contribute with essays covering additional countries and especially China, Russia and African countries. We expect essays of 8000 words the most including footnotes.
This book project is part of the HRP-IAEA project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Consolidator Grant agreement No770548) led by Prof. Maria Rentetzi at the Technical University Berlin.

Time schedule/deadlines
Deadline for abstracts: December 14, 2020.
Expected first drafts: May 17, 2021.
Revisions by October 31, 2021.
Final submissions by December 1, 2021.


Kohlstedt, Sally. 2011. “Place and Museum Space: The Smithsonian Institution and the America West, 1850-1900” in Livingstone, David and Charles Withers (eds) Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science, University of Chicago Press, 399-437.

Mollela, Arthur P and Knowles, Scott Gabriel. 2019. World’s Fairs in the Cold War: Science, Technology, and the Culture of Progress, University of Pittsburgh Press.

Rader, Karen and Cain, Victoria. 2014. Life on Display: Revolutionizing U.S. Museums of Science and Natural History. The University of Chicago Press.

Call for Papers: Down Under Darwin: Australasian Perspectives on Darwin Studies

This is a call for papers for a special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

Down Under Darwin: Australasian Perspectives on Darwin Studies

Darwin is an iconic, almost mythical figure; he is the “undead” Darwin, still very much alive in heated debates in modern evolutionary biology, ethology and anthropology, and in public conflicts over religion, gender and race. Both Darwin and “Darwinism” carry an enormous charge, extending far beyond the industry of specialist Darwin Studies. In recent years Darwin Studies too has moved well beyond its original confines to create new researchers and reading audiences in an array of disciplinary fields. “Darwinism” has come to be understood as a protean concept that defies static definition, as an unstable, proliferating body of theory, evidence and ideology, ramifying into a multitude of formats; while scholarly attention is shifting from issues of genesis, reception, and dispersion to the ways in which Darwin and Darwinism have been, and continue to be, actively used, appropriated and reshaped in different localities and sites, in a reciprocal process of production and reproduction. Australia and New Zealand have become dynamic sites for such cutting edge multi-disciplinary Darwin Studies, for rewritings that refract the man and his representations from a different perspective, challenging stereotypical images and interpretations, and exploring and redefining local and global ramifications and interactions.

This special issue will therefore bring together Australasian-based scholars from a rich array of disciplinary fields and methodological approaches who are concerned with Darwin and Darwinism — past and present, from the local to the global. We thus encourage contributions from across the spectrum of Darwin studies that deal with such topics as Darwin and Darwinism in Australia and New Zealand; race, science and Indigeneity; gender, sex, and class in the history of evolutionary theory; Darwinism in nineteenth-century European science, thought, and culture; evolution and the cultural arts; and philosophical and historiographical issues.

We are also seeking Down Under scholarship that considers broader conceptual questions about place, space, and cultural perceptions: Is there a distinctive antipodean perspective on Darwin and Darwin Studies? Has residence in former colonies of settlement with strong Indigenous rights movements shaped our interpretations of Darwin and Darwinism? Are we more attuned to the social and cultural embeddedness of science? Are Australasians, with their overlapping, multitudinous connections to Oceania, Asia, Europe, and North America, particularly well placed to pursue the study of Global Darwin in the twenty-first century?

The special issue will be edited by Evelleen Richards (University of Sydney), Ruth Barton (University of Auckland), and Ian Hesketh (University of Queensland). Please send your abstracts of max. 300 words by 1 December 2020 to The deadline for the submission of full papers is 31 January 2021. Full papers should follow the general Guide for Authors of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS: Genetic Histories and Liberties: Eugenics, Genetic Ancestries and Genetic Technologies in Literary and Visual Cultures Gender and the Body Series, Edinburgh University Press

It is often assumed that the eugenics propaganda and involuntary sterilisation programs of the early 20th century, aimed at those with physical and mental ‘defects’ ceased after World War II. However, unethical eugenic experimentation and practice aimed at the poor, the promiscuous, the illiterate, the sexually deviant, the dangerous and the incarcerated continued in countries such as America and Sweden during the 1960s and 1970s. Non-consensual, compulsory sterilisations and coercive eugenics state practices have continued in the C21st.

Contemporary immigration controls aimed to exclude the entry of undesirable others into ‘near perfect societies’ and discourses of developing world overpopulation suggest that postwar social policy continues ideas and mechanisms incubated within the eugenics movement. Likewise, recent discourse in relation to COVID-19 has highlighted discussions about the shameful history of unethical experimentation and surgery upon BAME communities and their pervasive mistrust of clinical research.

We invite chapters that examine the ways in which representations of the body and gender within literature and visual culture (including film, television, graphic novels, comics, and video games) from the eighteenth century to the present day have engaged with and challenged political, religious, cultural and social attitudes towards eugenics, genetic ancestries and genetic technologies. Contributors may focus upon the ways in which genetic technologies have enabled individual choices and challenged deeply entrenched social issues such as racism, sexism and heterosexism.

We welcome original chapters that address topic areas and questions such as:
• ‘Eugenics’ (well born), ‘dysgenics’ (poor birth)
• ‘Liberal’ eugenics and/or state sanctioned policies
• Beauty, health, morality, disability, utopian bodies
• Sexual selection, sexual hygiene, birth control
• Racial hierarchies, degeneration
• Criminality, sexual ‘disorders’
• Future bodies, cyborgs, transhumanism, post-sexuality
• Epigenetics
• Ectogenesis
• Eugenics survivor narratives
• Medical genetics and genetic engineering
• Genetic inheritance, ancestral histories
• Human futures: the body, sexuality, gender, race,
• Ethics and human rights

How to Submit:
Chapter Proposal Submission Deadline: 1 November 2020. Please include (i) an abstract (no more than 200 words), (ii) a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the aims and concerns of your proposed chapter, (iii) a copy of your C.V and (iv) your contact details.
Final Acceptance Notification: 1 February 2021
Full Chapter Submission Deadline: 1 April 2021
Guidelines for Submissions: Final chapter word length: 8,000 words max.
Contact Details: Please send your submissions to the editors at: