Workshop: Experts in the periphery (19th-20th centuries)

Valencia, 30 November – 2 December 2011
Institute for the History of Medicine and Science “López Piñero”
Palau Cerveró
Plaça Cisneros, 4. CP. 46003-València (SPAIN)


Scientific experts play a crucial role in modern societies. Expert advice is broadly employed nowadays in matters such as the fight against the disease, the prosecution of criminal activities, the development of military industry, the control of food quality and the regulation of industry, among many others.  Due to this important role, an increasing number of studies have been focused on the role of experts in modern western societies. The study of experts and expertise has an interdisciplinary nature, involving historians of science and sociologists of knowledge and professions, law scholars and historians of law as well as science popularisers and those who study the public image of science. All these ingredients make the study of experts an expanding area, placed at the crossroads of many disciplinary histories, and benefiting from the fruitful interaction of a heterogeneous group of scholars pursuing a broad spectrum of aims ranging from history, sociology or philosophy of science studies to current public policy problems. Taking into account these studies, the main goal of the meeting is to explore from a comparative perspective the shaping of the expert and expertise in the European periphery from late eighteenth-century to twentieth century.