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At our forthcoming Seminar on 24 November, our new Vossius fellows Lyke de Vries and Grigoris Panoutsopoulos will talk about their research. The talks will be digital and start at 14:00.

Detail Summary
Date 24 November 2020
Time 14:00 -16:00

Please send an email to if you want to join the seminar. Then we will send you a zoomlink by 23 November at the latest.

Lyke de Vries

"Many shall pass to and fro and knowledge shall be increased": Francis Bacon's early reform programme and its apocalyptic context

14:00 - 14:50


Francis Bacon published in 1605 the first edition of his Advancement of Learning, in which he described his reform programme. Bacon set out to reach new conclusions in science through natural experiments and based on empirical data. However, his scientific programme also brought with it religious and apocalyptic elements. Bacon's plans of reform were couched in metaphors and staged into an apocalyptic context, as he expected that with the rediscovery of the New World a new day would dawn and prelapsarian knowledge would return to the world, restoring humanity to an original state of cognition. This paper aims to shed light on Bacon's apocalyptically inspired reform plans and its eschatological framework by analysing various of Bacon's early works.

Grigoris Panoutsopoulos

Investigating the Materiality of CERN’s Science Diplomacy: The Case of CERN-Serpukhov Experiment”

15:00 - 15:50


From its inception, CERN made its diplomatic ramifications clear, being one of the most characteristic examples of science diplomacy. Its diplomatic role can be seen in both its organizational structure, where diplomats and scientists alike are involved in managing it, as well as in the public discourse of its representatives. However, despite the fact that a lot has been written regarding its diplomatic aspects, little attention has been paid to the material culture of CERN’s science diplomacy. A facet of pivotal importance, since the worldwide networks that the organization builds have an inextricable and exceptionally important material part. Besides, the circulation of technological innovations and scientific instruments carries by itself a significant social, political, diplomatic, geopolitical and even financial dynamic, so much so that it decisively affects how the entirety of science diplomacy develops. One of the most characteristic examples of these material science diplomacy networks concerns how the colliders and the detectors, which are the vital instruments of the laboratory, were built piece by piece with components made by a multitude of research institutes and industries, all of them spread geographically, operating in many cases as diplomatic assets in political negotiations. As we attempt to highlight the material dimension of CERN’s science diplomacy in this presentation, we will focus on a pivotal moment in CERN’s diplomatic evolution. It revolves around the Cold War period and the establishment of a relationship between France, CERN and the USSR, in late 60s, in the context of CERN-Serpukhov experiment. Under the mantle of scientific neutrality, it was constructed an axis with scientific, technological, political, financial and industrial dimensions, which remained open for several years despite the political tensions between USSR and Europe during that period.