Understanding the cultures, mentalities, and ideas that have shaped the modern world
2 February 2017
15:30 - 16:45
Room 1.06, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Utrecht
Cultural History Seminar Series: Pieter Huistra, ‘Fit to Travel – The Exchange Programme of the Belgian American Education Foundation: An Institutional Perspective on Scientific Persona Formation (1920-1940).’
Throughout the twentieth century funding bodies became defining institutions in the scientific landscape. They were instrumental in installing a system of competitive research funding that, although heavily criticized, has become part and parcel of scientific practice: every academic writes applications, hopes to obtain funding and is involved in the judgement of the research proposals of his peers.
In my talk, I want to discuss the role of funding bodies in twentieth-century science. First, I will show the way how funding bodies played a role in establishing the intellectual and bodily qualities scientists needed to possess in the first half of the twentieth century. The Belgian American Educational Foundation will serve as a case in point, as becomes clear from the enclosed article Kaat Wils (Leuven) and I recently published. Second, I will focus on the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Zuiver-Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (ZWO) and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO). I will explore the explore the possibilities for studying how funding bodies such as ZWO/NOW shaped the scientific repertoires in the second half of the twentieth century.