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Niels Bohr Archive: Seminars 1999-2012


Since its inception in 1995, the Niels Bohr Archive's History of Science Seminar has been able to present some of the foremost historians of science from all over the world talking on their favourite research topics. The seminar, which is usually held in English and is directed towards a generally educated audience, seeks to avoid unnecessary jargon of specialisation. This page contains a list of past and planned seminars as of 1999, with links to the original abstracts. Where possible, the abstract leads further to the author's manuscript of the lecture itself. In future we will encourage lecturers to provide such manuscripts to be entered on the NBA's web site. In special cases, such as the November 1999 seminar based on Michael Frayn's play "Copenhagen", a complete transcription of the event has been made available.

Because the seminars are generally planned shortly before they are held, there is no future programme for the series. However, we will seek to announce any future event as soon as the necessary arrangements have been made. If you want to be reminded by e-mail (or, if that is impractical, by regular mail) about coming events a week before they take place, please apply to nba @ nbi.dk or tel: +45 353 25219 or fax: +45 353 25428.





Seminars held in 2012:


Thursday 08 November 2012, at 14.15
Henry Nielsen
Too Hot to Handle:
The Controversial Hunt for Uranium in Greenland in the Early Cold War


Monday 02 July 2012, at 14.15
Henrik Zinkernagel
Are we living in a quantum world?
Niels Bohr and the classical-quantum divide.


Wednesday 06 June 2012, at 14.15
Erik Høg
Astrometry Lost and Regained


Wednesday 18 April 2012, at 14.15
Olival Freire Jr
Continuity and Change:
Charting David Bohm's Evolving Ideas on Quantum Mechanics


Friday 27 January 2012, at 14.15
Roland Wittje
Niels Bohr and nuclear physics in Norway, 1920s to 1950s


Wednesday 18 January 2012, at 14.15
Matthias Heymann
Constructing evidence and trust:
How did climate scientists' confidence in their models and simulations emerge?



Seminars held in 2011:


Thursday 15 December 2011, at 14.15
D.J. Kinney
The AEC.s Propaganda Primer: Revisiting Cold War Atomic Testing in the Arctic


Friday 9 December 2011, at 14.15
Zuoyue Wang
Transnational Science and the Cold War: China, US, and Europe


Thursday 8 June 2011
Niels Bohr Archive 25 years - Celebration 9 June 2011,
NBA Brochure (pdf file), NBI page

Monday 14 February 2011, at 14.15
Alexei Kojevnikov
Space-Time and the Russian Revolution:
Alexander Friedman and his Contemporaries


Seminars held in 2010:

Monday 6 December 2010, at 14.15
Ronald E. Doel
Challenging Cornucopian Dreams:
M. King Hubbert.s advocacy of peak oil and natural limits

Wednesday 27 October 2010, at 14.15
Gregory A. Good
Inaccessible Earth:
Geomagnetism, In Situ Measurements, Remote Sensing, and Proxy Data

Wednesday 26 May 2010, at 14.15
Arthur I. Miller
The Strange Friendship of Pauli and Jung
When Physics Met Psychology

Thursday 8 April 2010, at 14.15
Graham Farmelo
Paul Dirac and the religion of mathematical beauty

Thursday 4 March 2010, at 14.15
Christopher Prom
Preserving the 'Papers' of 21st Century Science

Thursday 11 February 2010, at 14.15
Christian Gram
Early History of Computers in Denmark
- a personal view



Seminars held in 2009:

Wednesday 9 December 2009, at 14.15
Rajesh Kochhar
Colonial use of science and the native responses

Monday 9 November 2009, at 14.15
Kristine C. Harper
Weather by Design:
State Control of the Atmosphere in 20th Century America

Monday 2 November 2009, at 14.15
Peter Robertson
Pioneering a New Astronomy:
The Life of John Bolton (1922 - 1993)

Monday 19 October 2009, at 11.15
Christoph Lehner
The Resolution of the Particle-Wave Dualism:
Pascual Jordan and the Quantum Field Theory Program

Friday 11 September 2009, at 14.15
Gino Segrè
The front row: Physics in transition
The 1932 meeting at Niels Bohr's Institute of theoretical physics

Thursday 18 June 2009, at 14.15
Christian Joas
Interacting Fields –
Quantum Field Theory and the Conceptual Borderlands between Solid-State and Particle Physics

Friday 03 April 2009, at 14.15
Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor
Naming God, Naming Infinity

Friday 06 March 2009, at 14.15
Lars Becker Larsen
The Moving Earth



Seminars held in 2008:

Thursday 25 September 2008, at 14.15
Anja Skaar Jacobsen
Niels Bohr's "Paper Tiger":
Lon Rosenfeld in physics, ideology, and history

Friday 6 June 2008
Book Launch:
Niels Bohr Collected Works

Monday 7 April 2008, at 14.15
Dan Ch. Christensen
Nature's Mind-Reader:
Hans Christian Ørsted's Discovery and his Position
in European Science and in Danish Society

Monday 11 February 2008, at 14.15
Michael J. Neufeld
Von Braun:
Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War


Seminars held in 2007:

Friday 21 December 2007, at 11.15
Steven Shapin
Science and the Modern World

Monday 3 December 2007, at 13.15
Matthias Heymann
Modelling reality:
How scientists simulated pollutant transport in Europe and invented a new science

Thursday 13 September 2007, at 14.15
Yury Gaponov
I.V. Kurchatov (1903-1960) as Scientist and Inventor

Thursday 6 September 2007, at 14.15
Naomi Oreskes
The Controlled Experiment That Wasn't: Acoustic Tomography of Ocean Climate

Thursday 31 May 2007, at 14.15
Graham Farmelo
Niels Bohr and Paul Dirac: Father and son in science

Monday 21 May 2007, at 14.15
Karl Hall
The Schooling of Landau

Monday 30 April 2007, at 14.15
Spencer Weart
The Discovery of Global Warming

Thursday 1 March 2007, at 14.15
John Heilbron
History, astronomy and international politics in late baroque Rome:
The several lives of Monsignore Francesco Bianchini (1662-1729)


Seminars held in 2006:

Monday 23 October 2006, at 14.15
Mark Walker
The Peter Debye Affair:
Taking Scientific Honors Away for Non-Scientific Reasons

Monday 2 October 2006, at 14.15
Peter Harper
Contemporary Scientific Archives:
Investing in the Future of the History of Science

Tuesday 26 September 2006, at 14.15
Ronald E. Doel
Science in U.S. Foreign Policy: A post-Cold War Perspective

Monday 29 May 2006, at 14.15
Paul Josephson
The Peaceful Atom in Eastern Europe

Thursday 27 April 2006, at 14.15
Bruce Hevly
Arctic Empires: Terrestrial Physics and the Frontiers of Science

Tuesday 7 March 2006, at 14.15
Chris Chilvers
1931, the year of living dangerously:
The Russian Delegation and the
Second International Congress of the History of Science


Seminars held in 2005:

Monday 5 December 2005, at 14.15
Lars Becker-Larsen
"The Copenhagen Interpretation"

Thursday 24 November 2005, at 14.15
Matthias Dörries
Nature experiments: Volcanic eruptions and climate change

Tuesday 27 September 2005, at 14.15
Alexei Kojevnikov
Philosophy in Quantum Mechanics: High Principles,
Rhetorical Strategies and Academic Ritual

Thursday 9 June 2005, at 10.15
Silvan S. Schweber
Genius and Community: Einstein and Oppenheimer

Wednesday 1 June 2005, at 14.15
Paul R. Josephson
Nuclear culture in Putin's Russia



Seminars held in 2004:

Monday 6 December 2004, at 14.15
David DeVorkin
Eastern physicists encounter the West:
Meghnad Saha from India and Toshio Takamine from Japan

Tuesday 7 September 2004, at 14.15
Paul Forman
"Technoscience," or,
The subsumption of science into technology in postmodernity


Seminars held in 2003:

Tuesday 26 August 2003, at 14.15
Peder Jacob Ellehave Kragh
Niels Bohr and the Soviet Union between the Two World Wars:
Resources at the Niels Bohr Archive

Friday 20 June 2003, at 10.15
Jahnavi Phalkey
A history of accelerator-based nuclear physics in India (1938-1966)

Monday 16 June 2003, at 14.15
Matthias Dörries
Krakatau: The Earth as research object

Wednesday 30 April 2003, at 14.15
Graeme Gooday
Irony and Magnetism:
Marie Slodowska Curie and the technologies of magnetic permanence

Wednesday 19 March 2003, at 14.15
Graham Farmelo
"Must it be beautiful?"

Friday 7 March 2003, at 10.15
Ruth Lewin Sime
Lise Meitner and the Discovery of Nuclear Fission



Seminars held in 2002:

Tuesday 8 October 2002, at 14.15
Helge Kragh
Paul Dirac and the Concept of Antimatter

Tuesday 1 October 2002, at 19.45
(in collaboration with The Society for History of Exact Sciences):
Michel Janssen
Why Einstein introduced the Cosmological Constant

Tuesday 11 June 2002, at 14.15
Paul Lawrence Rose
Heisenberg, the Atomic Bomb and German Culture

Tuesday 14 May 2002, at 14.15
Yuri Demkov, Leningrad University
V.A. Fock and his role in the development of
theoretical physics in the twentieth century

Monday 13 May 2002, at 14:15
Mary Jo Nye
The Character of Leadership in Scientific Life:
P.M.S. Blackett and Modern British Physics

Monday 22 April 2002, at 14:15
Robert Marc Friedman
Human frailty etched in gold:
The Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry

Friday 12 April 2002, at 10:15
Peter Galison
Einstein's clocks, Poincaré's maps

Tuesday 9 April 2002, at 14:15
Anders Bárány
The trio that exploded



Seminars held in 2001:

Monday 10 December 2001, at 15:15
Mark Walker
Werner Heisenberg and National Socialism

Thursday 6 December 2001, at 10:15
Ronald E. Doel
The military constitution of the environmental sciences in America

Thursday den 6. december 2001, at 14:15
Ronald E. Doel
Reading photographs

Tuesday 27 November 2001, at 19:45 (i samarbejde med Selskabet for de eksakte Videnskabers Historie)
Finn Aaserud
Samlinger og opgaver p Niels Bohr Arkivet

Friday 28 September 2001, at 14:15
Yury Gaponov
The development of the neutrino concept in 20th century particle physics



Niels Bohr Archive Symposium 22 and 23 September 2001:
Copenhagen and beyond: Drama meets history of science

The symposium was sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Research, the Natural Science Faculty of the University of Copenhagen and the Carlsberg Foundation

Monday 12 March 2001, at 11.15
Dieter Hoffmann
Max Planck's Introduction of the Quantum:
Institutional and Experimental Context


Seminars held in 2000:

Tuesday 19 December 2000, at 14:15
Olivier Darrigol, Ole Knudsen
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF QUANTA

Wednesday 25 October 2000, at 10:15
Rajinder Singh
Sir C.V. Raman and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930

Friday 11 August 2000, at 10:15
Joan Warnow-Blewett
Documenting Modern Science

Tuesday 6 June 2000, at 11:15
Robert Kargon
The Laboratory and the Studio

Wednesday 26 April 2000, at 14:30
Sven Widmalm
The foreign policy of Swedish science 1917-1926

Monday 22 May 2000, at 14:15
Nancy Nersessian
Maxwell and "the Method of Physical Analogy"


Seminars held in 1999:

Friday 19 November:
Michael Frayn, Peter Langdal, Robert Marc Friedman
"Copenhagen" and Beyond:


Niels Bohr Archive e-mail: nba at nbi.dk
Last updated: 2013