Research

Science and Power: Princes and Scholars at the European Courts in the 17th and 18th centuries

At the heart of a modern Europe that had yet to experience the separation between two cultures, scientific and technical on the one hand, humanistic and artistic on the other hand, the sciences were not confined only to academies, curiosity cabinets and early laboratories. They also played their part in influencing court life, its rituals and its crazes, as well the great royal residences like Versailles, a place of experimentation and sharing of scientific and technological knowledge.

The key areas of study will take a cross-disciplinary approach to relationships between courts and scientists across Europe; science, technology and medicine in the European courts; the symbolism and representation of the sciences and the spread of knowledge within royal households.

Team

Project leaders: Antoine Picon, Professor of the History of Architecture and Technologies at Harvard University, United States, and Thomas Widemann, astrophysicist at the Observatoire de Paris;

Michel Blay, Director of Research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Centre d’Archives de Philosophie, d’Histoire et d’Édition des Sciences (CAPHÉS);

Laurence Bobis, Chief curator, Director of the library for the Observatoire de Paris;

Emmanuel Bury, Professor of Literature at the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines;

Frédéric Dassas, heritage curator at the Musée du Louvre;

Suzanne Débarbat, tenured astronomer at the Observatoire de Paris;

Armelle Debru, Professor of the History of Medicine at the Université Paris Descartes;

Michèle Goubern, honorary general curator of libraries;

Thierry Lalande, collections manager at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers;

Jérôme Lamy, historian of astronomy, temporary education and research officer at the Observatoire de Paris;

Denis Lamy, senior research officer at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, associate researcher at the Centre de Recherche en Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques Alexandre Koyré of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales and researcher at Département Systématique et Évolution Cryptogamie of the Musée national d’Histoire naturelle;

Christine Lehman, Doctor at the École doctorale Connaissance, Langage, Modélisation of the Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, specialist in the dissemination of knowledge in the field of 18th century Chemistry;

Marine Masure-Vetter, senior research officer, research associate at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles;

Simone Mazauric, Professor of Philosophy at the Université de Lorraine, Nancy;

Pascale Mormiche, Professeur agrégé of History, member of the laboratoire « État, Société et Religion in Europe, Moyen Âge - Temps modernes » at the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines;

Irène Passeron, research associate at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, associate researcher at the UMR Systèmes de Référence Temps-Espace (SYRTE) of the Observatoire de Paris and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie;

Stanis Perez, Doctor in Modern History, École des hautes études en sciences sociales;

Béatrix Saule, general heritage curator, Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles;

René Sigrist, associate researcher at the UMR Systèmes de Référence Temps-Espace (SYRTE) of the Observatoire de Paris and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie;

Marie Thébaud-Sorger, temporary education and research officer at the Centre Maurice Halbwachs of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales;

Mary Terrall, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. In collaboration with the Observatoire de Paris and the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers.


Productions

>  Publication of data extracted from memoires and journals relating to scientific practices at court, edited by Marine Masure (in French).

>  Import of data on a selection of scientists into the CRCV biographical database.

>  Science and Curiosities at the Court of Versailles exhibition 26 October 2010 - 27 February 2011, Palace of Versailles.
>  Publication of the exhibition catalogue.

>  International symposium Courts and the Sciences. Emergence of Scientific Policies in the Courts of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, 3 - 5 February 2011, Palace of Versailles.
>  Publication of thirteen proceedings of this symposium in the journal Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences (vol. 62, issue 169, december 2012, Brepols Publishers). Order the issue.

PDF - 115.2 kb
Table of contents (in French)
Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines
©CRCV