History for Physics: Quantum Gravity

IQOQI-Vienna and the Max Planck Research Group “Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin are organizing a series of symposia on the history for physics, aiming at demonstrating the importance of the history of physics for current research in physics itself. The second event will be held on November 28-29th 2019 at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam-Golm (Germany). We invite you to participate and submit a contributed talk, submissions are open until November 1st, 2019: both physicists and historians are invited to apply.

Researchers and students in physics who are not, or not yet, engaged in the history of physics are particularly welcomed to join. 

The core format of this symposium will be that of tandem talks. Each tandem will pair two presentations, one given by a physicist on a current research topic, the other given by an historian of physics providing the historical context to that topic. 

We are delighted to announce the following two confirmed invited tandems:

  1. Alexander Blum (MPIWG) and Hermann Nicolai (Albert Einstein Institute)
  2. Thiago Hartz (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and  Claus Kiefer (University of Cologne)



We furthermore call for contributed talks. We welcome talks which are either

  • single history talks on quantum foundations
  • physics/history-tandems on quantum foundations
  • presentations of historically relevant papers in quantum foundations

In case you are interested in participating in tandem, but do not have a tandem-partner, please contact the organizers, who will then try to match tandems together. We also highly welcome history talks by non-historians.

If you wish to contribute in one of those ways, please send an abstract of your proposed talk, no longer than half an A4 page, to hfp(at)mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de. The deadline for applications is 01.11.2019.

Besides the talks, we will schedule a panel discussion on the relevance of the history of physics for research and education and its current realization within academic structures. We are very pleased to already be able to announce Jeroen van Dongen (University of Amsterdam) and Arianna Borelli (Technische Universität Berlin) as panelists, who will additionally give a short impulse talk beforehand. More panelists will be announced, soon!

"History for Physics: Quantum Gravity" is the second of so far two scheduled events of this kind. The first, on quantum foundations, was held September 23-24, 2019 at the Faculty for Physics at the University of Vienna.