Call for Papers

For its XXXVth Symposium in Istanbul from 26th to 30th September 2016 the Scientific Instruments Commission (SIC) seeks to gather papers offering a variety of perspectives around the theme Instruments between East and West. We invite submissions of papers that focus on exchange and cooperation, conflict and competition, creation and use, interpretation, preservation and study of instruments and scientific heritage wherever possible adopting interdisciplinary perspectives.

‘Between East and West’ in this context might refer to ‘Orient and Occident’ or ‘Europe and the Ottoman Empire’, but also more broadly to East-West relationships. This could be topics as diverse as Jesuits working in China or instruments in the Cold War – but please make clear in your abstract how your proposal links to the theme of the conference.

While we especially welcome papers within this broad thematic framework, in keeping with the tradition at SIC symposia submissions will not be restricted to the theme. Strong papers that generally contribute to the history of scientific instruments, their collections and museums, as well as their broader use within the history of science, technology and medicine, may also be accepted.

All abstract submissions will be evaluated by a review committee. Submissions of proposals for thematic sessions are most welcome and actively encouraged.



A sponsored interdisciplinary session at the SIC Symposium in Istanbul that aims to extend the main theme of the meeting:
“The migration of objects and ideas between the Ottoman Empire and northern Europe in the period 1500-1700”

We propose an interdisciplinary session in Istanbul on the migration of objects and ideas between the Ottoman Empire and northern Europe in the period 1500-1700. What cultural exchange was there in times of peace or of armed and religious conflict? The focus would be on the types of objects that fall in the categories normally collected in a kunstkammer or art cabinet (artefacts and naturalia), but could also be found at other places such as libraries. We would also welcome papers on local production in northern Europe/the Ottoman empire of artefacts embodying visual references to cultural exchange between those areas.

If you are interested to offer a paper for this session or if you would like an abstract that you have already submitted to be considered for this session please contact Inga Elmqvist Söderlund on as soon as possible, but in any case before the abstract submission deadline on 13 March 2016. Registration is via the conference site (, all abstracts will be reviewed.