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A Sabbatical in Cambridge

K. Brad Wray, Centre for Science Studies, Aarhus University

2021.01.26 | Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen

Mathematical Bridge, Cambridge

I was supported by a Sabbatical Grant from the Office of the Dean in the Faculty of Natural Science for three and a half months, from August 31 to December 18, 2020.

I was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, and a Visiting Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, at the University of Cambridge.

My principal objectives were to complete a book manuscript, tentatively titled Kuhn’s Intellectual Path: Charting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and to access Mary Hesse’s papers at Cambridge, which includes material relevant to my research for the book.

The sabbatical was a resounding success. Despite the lockdown conditions in Britain, I was able to access the Mary Hesse papers at the Whipple Library in Cambridge, and complete my book manuscript.

In addition, I was able to accomplish a number of other things my sabbatical leave. I attended – via Zoom – a variety of lectures included lectures by (i) Alexander Bird, the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, at Cambridge, (ii) Michela Massimi, at the University of Edinburgh, (iii) Darrell Rowbottom, at Lingnan University, and (iv) Haixin Dang, at the University of Leeds.

I regularly attended a reading group on the History of Chemistry, ADHOC, coordinated by Hasok Chang. This group included over 20 participants from England, USA, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Germany, and Greece.

I was able to visit the Whipple Museum at Cambridge, a museum of scientific instruments, which includes in its collection a microscope used by Charles Darwin.

Further, I gave two invited lectures – via Zoom – at Seoul National University in South Korea, as part of their Distinguished Lectures in Philosophy of Science series.

I want to thank the Office of the Dean in the Faculty of Natural Sciences for their generous support, which made the sabbatical leave possible. It has been a very rewarding experience.