2020 Early Career Lectures

The 2020 Bologna Early Career Lectures will be delivered by three exceptionally promising scholars selected by a special committee appointed by the ESHS Scientific Council in view of the promise of their historiographical approaches, and as expression of the vitality, diversity and creativity of the younger generation of historians of science. The selected lecturers (and lectures) are:


Sietske Fransen (Biblioteca Hertziana),

Media Changes and Early Modern Visual Cultures of Science

Sietske Fransen is the Research Group Leader of the group Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions at the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome. She studied biology and medieval studies at Utrecht University (the Netherlands), before she did an MA in Cultural and Intellectual History of the Renaissance at the Warburg Institute in London. She received her PhD (2014) from the same institution with her thesis entitled “Exchange of Knowledge through Translation: Jan Baptista van Helmont and his Editors and Translators in the Seventeenth Century”. Since then her research has focused on the use of images in early modern scientific and medical communication. First as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin, and then as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge on the project “Making Visible: the visual and graphic practices of the early Royal Society”. She has published widely in the history of science and medicine on topics including the use of translation and language, copying practices, and the role of prints and drawings in early modern microscopy

(copyright picture Sietske Fransen, Enrico Fontolan)

Paolo Savoia (University of Bologna),
Checking the Surface: Vernacular Science, Everyday Knowledge, and Observation in Early Modern Europe
Paolo Savoia is Assistant Professor of the History of Science at the University of Bologna. After graduating with a MA in Philosophy at the University of Bologna, he earned two PhDs: the first one in Philosophical Disciplines at the University of Pisa; the second one in History of Science at Harvard University. Savoia has been a fellow at Villa I Tatti-Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Florence), at the Council On Library and Information Resources (Washington, DC), Research Fellow at King’s College London, and Senior Fellow at the Medici Archive Project (Florence). He has written on the historiography of the human sciences, the history of the body, the history of early modern medicine, and the history of practical knowledge. His most recent publications include Gaspare Tagliacozzi and Early Modern Surgery: Faces, Men, and Pain (Routledge, 2019), and “Cheesemaking in the Scientific Revolution” (Nuncius, 2019).



Clara Florensa (University Autonoma of Barcelona)


Agnotology, epistemologies of ignorance, and invisibilisation studies in the history of science

Clara Florensa is lecturer at Escoles Universitaries Gimbernat, ascribed to the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). She holds a BSc in Biology, a BSc in Physics and a PhD in History of Science (June, 2017). She has been visiting student at the History and Philosophy of Science Department of the University of Cambridge. Her research interests and publications are focused on the mutual construction of science and political regimes, ideology and religion, with a particular interest in the role the circulation of scientific discourses in the public sphere plays in this co-construction. Her PhD dissertation dealt with the circulation of evolutionary theories during Franco’s dictatorship in Spain (1939-1975). After her PhD, she started studying the mechanisms of construction of ignorance during Francoism through the case-study of the Palomares nuclear accident (Spain, 1966). She is now working on applying the Agnotology framework to the analysis of science under Francoism as part of a recently awarded Spanish national research project. She has co-edited two special issues on science and popularization: “Science on Television” (Actes, 2014) and “Scuffles, Scoops and Scams: The Construction of Prehistoric Knowledge in Newspapers” (Centaurus, 2017), and she is preparing a third on Popular Science under Franco.