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Visiting professor: Dr. Piyo Rattansi


As a part of the exchange program included in FAPESP Research Project - Thematic Grant 2011/14040-9, "Revealing natural processes through the laboratory (phase II): the quest for material principles in the three kingdoms of nature until the specialization of science in the 1800s", Dr. Piyo Rattansi, Emeritus Professor, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, will visit Center Simão Mathias of Studies in History of Science (CESIMA)/PUC-SP from January to April 2014. Prof Rattansi is internationally acknowledged for his studies on the origins of modern science, with emphasis in chemistry, medicine, and the relationship between science and religion. Starting 2000, Prof Rattansi's collaboration with CESIMA has been continuous and fruitful. Therefore, this new visit will largely contribute to the studies conducted as a part of our latest Thematic Research Project in two aspects at least: 1) further development of joint work currently performed with the Project's Principal Investigators; and 2) refinement of our studies on material principles, laboratory work, and the classification of science from the 17th to the 19th centuries through a series of Research Seminars targeting the full Project researcher staff, which will be devoted to the following subjects: “Revisiting 17th century historiography of chemistry” and “Animal alkahest” at the early Royal Society and the dilemmas of classification revision”. Those complex subjects will be more thoroughly elucidated by Prof Rattansi in a series of presentations open also to the academic community and public interested in History of Science, which will be delivered at PUC-SP and USP, to wit: 1) the discussion on the mutual relationship between science, ancient knowledge, and religion will be more closely examined in our traditional weekly Special Seminars, which target the academic community as a whole, and the students at our Graduate Program in particular; the subjects thus selected are "Science and religion in the beginnings of modern science", "Alchemy and chemistry in early modern science", and "Revisiting 'Newton and the Pipes of Pan'"; 2) in the Noon Seminars (PUC-SP), which are open to the overall public, Prof Rattansi will focus on the particular view on the delimitation of knowledge fields held in the 1600s by approaching subject "Chemistry and medicine in the early Royal Society"; 3) in lectures to be delivered at the Institute of Chemistry and the School of Arts, Science and Humanities (USP), Prof Rattansi will discuss two features of paramount importance for the understanding of 17th century science, to wit, "Natural philosophy and the constitution of scholarly webs in the 17th century" and "Milenarism and science in 17th-century England". In addition, working meetings will be conducted relative to the ongoing collaboration, including publications currently under elaboration, and enlargment of our exchange program extent. Finally, Prof Rattansi will make himself available to students, who will thus have an opportunity to interact with a specialist of wide international fame. (AU)

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