Call for Applications: Spring School “The History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Large Physics Experiments”, Wuppertal (13-20 March 2022)

The Research Unit “The Epistemology of the LHC” invites applications for the Spring School “The History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Large Physics Experiments” taking place 13-20 March 2022 in Wuppertal (Germany).

Large experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) play an essential role at the frontiers of contemporary fundamental physics. These experiments employ big research facilities, they probe nature at vast energy and length scales, they produce immense amounts of data, and they involve great numbers of researchers. During this Spring School we will explore large physics experiments from historical, philosophical, and sociological perspectives. We will discuss questions such as those arising from the history and philosophy of fundamental physics, the methodological challenges of big data, and the history and sociology of large research collaborations.

Confirmed speakers (more to be added):
Arianna Borrelli, TU Berlin (Philosophy/History)
Laura Covi, Universität Göttingen (Physics)
Katharina C. Cramer, Universität Bonn (Political Science/History)
Richard Dawid, Stockholm University (Philosophy)
Gregor Kasieczka, Universität Hamburg (Physics)
Dennis Lehmkuhl, Universität Bonn (Philosophy/History)
Martina Merz, AAU Klagenfurt (Science Studies)
David Wallace, University of Pittsburgh (Philosophy)
Christian Zeitnitz, BU Wuppertal (Physics)

We invite up to 30 graduate students and early career researchers from history, philosophy, sociology, and physics to participate. The application process will be competitive and participants will be selected according to qualification and research interests. The cost of participation will be € 450 and will include full board and lodging.

To apply, please send the following material in a single pdf file by December 19th 2021 to

  • a letter of motivation, and
  • a cv.

A selection of participants will be given the opportunity to give short presentations of their own work as part of the school. The presentations will be followed by a commentary from a member of the Research Unit or one of the invited speakers. In case you intend to give a presentation, please include in your application:

  • the title of your talk, and
  • a short abstract (between 300 and 500 words).

We offer a small number of stipends to participants with limited funding opportunities. To apply for a stipend, please also prepare and submit a letter, no longer than one page, explaining your financial situation. The research unit is strongly committed to creating equal opportunities. In case of equal qualification, preference will be given to underrepresented groups. We are organizing on-site child care. Please indicate in your application if you intend to bring your child or children.

The ongoing pandemic will be monitored carefully. It will be decided by early January 2022 whether the spring school will take place or not. The spring school will not be moved online.

For further information and practical details, click here or contact the organizers Radin Dardashti and Enno Fischer using the email address