Creative Cities: Knowledge of Nature and Networks of Science


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This collaboration, between Oxford’s Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology and the Department of Philosophy and History of Science at Charles University (Prague), traces scientific interactions between Prague and Oxford over the last five hundred years.  Oxford and Prague have played central roles in developing innovative pedagogical systems in physics, mathematics and astronomy. Indeed, they have been heavily involved in fostering international networks of scientific knowledge since the medieval period.

This collaboration will highlight the international context of institutional structures – such as the natural science collections now found in university collections (e.g. the Ashmolean and History of Science museums) – as well as that of individuals and their teaching.  We will examine how links between academics in these two totemic ‘creative cities’ shaped the formation of knowledge about the natural world, and benefitted from broader intellectual networks revolving around these two centres.  Workshop and translation activities will focus especially on postgraduate students, who will present and respond to each other’s papers, and will encourage them to analyse the role of place, space, and transnational networks in their research. The meetings will be particularly important in terms of introducing students and researchers to (a) new approaches to the role of material culture in the history of science, and (b) to the latest techniques in the provision and maintenance of digital resources. 

Since March 2019 this project has been funded by the TORCH International Partnership Scheme.

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