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Fully Funded PhD Position in History of Science at Ghent University

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD position at University of Ghent, Belgium. The funds for this fellowship are available for 2 years. Candidates are welcome before February 28, 2019.

The PhD student will work on a specific project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Steven Vanden Broecke (Ghent University) and Prof. Dr. Craig Martin (Universit Ca’ Foscari, Venezia).

Project abstract: The period 1700-1840 witnessed the flowering of a new 'atmospheric tides' science. The basic assumption of this science was that Sun and Moon not only generate significant tidal effects in the earth's seas, but in its atmosphere as well. These atmospheric tides (henceforth AT) were held responsible for important weather changes, as well as for a variety of health issues in the human body (e.g. insanity, epilepsy, epidemics), thus rendering the latter predictable and manageable. Interestingly, AT science’s practitioners, audiences and critics all saw considerable continuities between the 'pseudo-science' of astrology and the new science on the conceptual, methodological, social, and cultural levels. So far, research on the history of AT science has been limited, and has generally focused on the English case – undeservedly so, for AT science was both a pan-European phenomenon and offers a unique opportunity to clarify important aspects of the emergence of modern scientific culture. More specifically, AT science offers a privileged view on the precise way in which official science appropriated and transformed ‘pseudo-science’ for its own purposes in the Enlightenment. Focusing on AT science in France and Italy in the period 1750-1830, this project seeks to generate a more refined understanding of the apparent ‘death’ of astrology in the 18th century, and to further explore its appropriation and transformation into the 19th century.

This position, fully funded (100%) by the Flemish Council for Scientific Research (FWO-V), provides a competitive PhD scholarship (ca. 2000 EUR/month net, 2+2 years), benefits, and research funds.

The primary workplace will be at UGent, a top-100 institution worldwide, offers a dynamic and international academic environment where PhD students are involved in high quality training and research. The Sarton Centre for the History of Science hosts an active and engaging group of historians and philosophers of science, and has particular expertise in early modern European science. For more information, see:http://www.sarton.ugent.be/

The secondary workplace is the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Universit Ca’ Foscari Venezia, which promotes an active research program in early modern philosophy, history of science, and intellectual history. It is home for the Center for Renaissance and Early Modern Thought.For more information, see:https://www.unive.it/pag/27827/

Starting date of the scholarship: 1 October 2019 at the latest.

You are invited to send a CV, a research sample (e.g., a chapter of your MA dissertation) and a motivation letter in English by 28 February 2019 to Steven Vanden Broecke (steven.vandenbroecke@ugent.be) and Craig Martin (craigedwin.martin@unive.it).

We reserve the right to close this vacancy earlier, if a qualified candidate is found before the deadline.


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