Universidade de Lisboa | University of Lisbon
Lisbon Consortium for the History of Science & Technology
The participant institutions – Museums of Politécnica (MP), Centre for the History of Science of the University of Lisbon (CHC-UL), Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science of the New University of Lisbon (CHFCT-UNL), Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) – join in a project to further develop research collaboration among this inter-institutional group whose common objective is to promote and develop studies in the History of Science & Technology in Portugal.
For the University of Lisbon (UL), this is a timely opportunity to reinforce its research capacity in a field that is currently considered as significant and outreaching. Moreover, the foundation of this project is an extended plan of activities designed to revitalize the Museums of Politécnica (MP) located at the former premises of both the Polytechnic School of Lisbon – EP – and the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon – FCUL.
This museological ensemble holds an extraordinary set of scientific collections in the fields of natural history, physics, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, geology, anthropology and botany, constituting one of the most valuable objects of study in Portuguese universities. The scientific enhancement of this impressive scientific heritage, as well as its use in promoting the public engagement with science and culture, has become a clear objective of UL. Given the economic constraints of such an enterprise, the University of Lisbon is actively engaging in multiple initiatives aimed at building a resourceful master plan for the Museums. In this sense, contracting research staff is of crucial significance.
The Consortium for the History of Science & Technology is committed to two major contributions:
1) In the short run, research will be oriented towards the commemorations of the University centenary (1911-2011), namely by preparing a plan for publications including collective works and papers on the institutional histories of the Polytechnic School (EP), the Faculty of Sciences (FCUL) and the Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon (OAL) which will go beyond traditional approaches, in both themes and methods. History of science and technology is often called upon in commemorative events, but it is imperative to secure a high quality of output by enrolling professional historians of science and technology. The working plan includes the following steps:
i) Preliminary archival research (exceedingly time-consuming because of the chaotic state of some archival material);
ii) Outline of main research areas and methodological guidelines;
iii) Research focused on selected topics;
iv) Case-studies converging on the institutional histories of the EP, FCUL and OAL, transcending traditional approaches and incorporating recent methodological trends;
v) Conception and production of exhibitions at the MP.
2) In the long run, the digitization of selected primary sources (manuscript and printed) is planned, as well as the development of an oral history archive which will include fundamental material to the benefit of next generations of scholars. In this task, UL assumes a predominant role by hosting a central library for the maintenance and study of historical sources.
Methodological pluralism will be sought by integrating more traditional approaches and recent methodological proposals, based on the concept of technoscience and on the articulation of history of science and technology, collection-based history of science and the material culture of science and technology.
The Museums of Politécnica (MP), located today where the Escola Politécnica (EP) and the Faculty of Sciences (FCUL) were formely housed, offer a particularly congenial architectonic atmosphere for historians of science and technology. Its Library provides a good collection of secondary literature (books and journals) in the history of science and technology.
The Library is expected to be re-structured and upgraded as part of the development of the master plan for the Museums of Politécnica, in order to become the University of Lisbon’s reference library in History of Science and Technology. It is complemented by the Library of the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS), specialized in the social sciences. While presently only limited conditions can be offered, it is expected that the development plan for the MP will soon substantially improve working facilities.
Applicants should be experienced researchers (at least 3 years of experience) holding a PhD in the History of Science and/or Technology.
Applicants should demonstrate expertise in the history of science and technology (especially of the 19th and 20th centuries), preferably in the history of exact sciences and/or natural sciences. These researchers should be prepared to reinforce and/or complement the expertise of the participant institutions. They should be willing to explore the interface between history of science and technology and the material culture of science and technology, along with multiple methodological approaches. Furthermore, they should demonstrate ability to handle archives in poor organizational conditions and knowledge of oral interview techniques. They should also demonstrate scientific autonomy and ability to suggest their own projects within the framework of the Consortium overarching the research project.
They are required to have a good level of English (spoken and written) and a good level of Portuguese (spoken and reading).
Importantly, candidates are expected to collaborate actively in the post-graduate programme on history and philosophy of science of the FCUL (see http://chcul.fc.ul.pt), and in the supervision of graduate students in research using the above-mentioned archives and collections.
Candidates should submit a CV, a motivation letter, and two reference letters.
An interview may be conducted as part of the selection process.
Candidates must have a minimum of 3 years postdoctoral research experience.
Application deadline: 30 August 2007
5-year contract, Base salary: 43k€ (annual)
For more job opportunities in the University of Lisbon, please consult
CIENCIA 2007/PostDoctoral positions www.ul.pt