Science, Occupation, War: 1939–1945

Institut für Zeitgeschichte; Zentrum für Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften Prag
23.10.2019 - 25.10.2019
Simunek Michal

In September 2019, we will mark eighty years since the outbreak of the Second World War, the so far largest conflict in the history of the humankind.
Large part of Europe was occupied by military forces of Nazi Germany and its allies, genocidal policies were set in motion, and six years of fighting required hitherto unimaginable deployment of human, technological, and financial resources. All this also posed new challenges to the scientific community on European continent and worldwide.
The position of science during the Second World War, issues of basic and applied research at that time, and the impact of political and military events on personnel changes in the academia of occupied countries especially from a perspective of international comparison, all this remains a relatively little researched chapter in the history of science of the 20th century.
The Centre for the History of Sciences and Humanities of the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic in collaboration with the National Technical Museum therefore invite you to take part in international workshop

“Science, Occupation, War: 1939–1945”

The workshop will take place in Prague on 23–25 October 2019 in the building of the National Technical Museum, 42 Kostelní Street, Prague 7, Czech Republic.
We invite to contribute especially on the following topics and ranges of subjects:
A. Nazi Science Policy in Occupied Territories: analysis of structures and strategies, including offers to collaborate with the occupying powers, prominent personalities, regional similarities, and interactions with local authorities;
B. Relevance of Academic, Non-Academic, Departmental, Industrial, and/or Other Research: the development and impact of departmental, industrial, or other research and governmental agencies, the position of universities;
C. Changes in Composition of Local Scientific Communities: emigration, involvement in resistance movements, persecution of scientists, annihilation strategies;
D. Resources: exploitation of intellectual and scientific potential and properties as well as of the financial resources and facilities of scientific institutions;
E. War Production and Science: the role of science and scientific research in the armament industry, shift towards applied research and its implementation, technical innovations;
F. Information & Propaganda: the use of scientific information, scientific communication including conferences, censorship, science, and propaganda in the war effort;
G. Ethical Issues: reflection upon the ethical dimension of modern science, medicine, and war.

Applications for registration including a summary of proposed contributions (one to two pages) in English and a brief description of affiliation should be sent by July 20, 2019 to
Presentations, in English, should be 15 to 20 minutes long.
By July 30, 2019 we will go over applications, finalise a programme, and notify participants.
Invited speakers will receive reimbursement for accommodation during the two workshop days (Wednesday to Friday) and for their travel costs.
The workshop is supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic.


Simunek Michal
IfZ/Zentrum für Wissenschaftsgeschichte der AdW Prag, Puskinovo nam. 9, CZ-16000 Praha 6

Science, Occupation, War: 1939–1945, 23.10.2019 – 25.10.2019 Prague, in: H-Soz-Kult, 18.06.2019, <>.
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