Artefacts Annual Conference:
“Modern Chemistry and Material Science: Artefacts Tell the Story”

Museum at CHF

The Museum at CHF.

Date: October 6, 2013 - October 8, 2013
Time: Varies

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: Registration Required

The meeting will examine how artefacts—scientific, commercial, and everyday objects—can provide a material record of modern science and the public’s engagement with science and technology. The conference will investigate themes centered on “materials” (chemistry and material science in particular) and how the material record/nature of artefacts can inform our research and understanding of the relationship between science and society, inform our collecting choices, and influence our methods of outreach through display and interpretation.

The full conference schedule with abstracts is available as a PDF download. An abbreviated schedule is listed below.

Registration deadline: September 9, 2013.

  About the Conference

Artefacts conferences are friendly, informal meetings with the character of workshops. Ample time is given for open discussion and networking. Twenty minutes will be allocated for each paper together with ample time for questions and discussion. The conference language is English.

For more information about this event, please contact Jennifer Landry, Director of the CHF Museum, at 215.873.8230 or

  Conference Schedule

Sunday, October 06, 2013

3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Registration and Afternoon Tea/Coffee

3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Tour of Museum, permanent and temporary exhibition, Sensing Change

5:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

Welcome Remarks and Discussion with curators of Sensing Change

6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Reception and opportunity to tour Fisher Gallery (featuring alchemical art) and library

Monday, October 07, 2013

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

Light breakfast fare (tea/coffee)

9:00 a.m.–9:10 a.m.

Welcome, logistics

9:10 a.m.–9:30 a.m.

Peter Morris (Science Museum): Early Chemical Museums

9:30 a.m.–9:50 a.m.

Robert G. W. Anderson (University of Cambridge): Chemical Glass: An Unconsidered Subject

9:50 a.m.–10:10 a.m.

David DeVorkin (Smithsonian): Identifying, Collecting, and Preserving 20th-Century Astronomical Detectors and Their Support Systems

10:10 a.m.–10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m.–10:40 a.m.


10:40 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Veronika Petroff (University of Adelaide): Search and Rescue: Establishing the University of Adelaide Chemistry Collection

11:00 a.m.–11:20 a.m.

Yves Andre Thomas (University of Nantes): Artefacts and an Institute of Chemistry and Materials: The Whole Story

11:20 a.m.–11:35 a.m.


11:35 a.m.–11:45 a.m.


11:45 a.m.–12:05 p.m.

Susanne Rehn-Taube (Deutsches Museum): Chemistry in the Deutsches Museum: Artefacts as Vehicles

12:05 p.m.–12:25 p.m.

Han Hooijmaijers (Museum Boerhaave): Storytelling in a Museum: Objects Should Do the Talking

12:25 p.m.–12:45 p.m.

Juan-Andres Leon (Harvard, CHF Cain Fellow): Paper Objects: Navigating the intersection between museum, archive, and historical recreation

12:45 p.m.–1:10 p.m.


1:10 p.m.–2:25 p.m.


2:30 p.m.–2:50 p.m.

Frank Dittmann (Deutsches Museum): Pure Materials for Socialism

2:50 p.m.–3:10 p.m.

Benjamin Gross (Chemical Heritage Foundation): The Stuff That Screens Are Made of: Reconstructing the Early History of the LCD

3:10 p.m.–3:25 p.m.


3:25 p.m.–3:40 p.m.


3:40 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Otmar Moritsch (Technisches Museum Wien): The Writing Apparatus of Friedrich von Knaus

4:00 p.m.–4:20 p.m.

Deanna Day (University of Pennsylvania): Mittelschmerz, Spikes, or Blinking Lights? Thermometers, Fertility, and Making Knowledge about the Body

4:20 p.m.–4:40 p.m.

Ingrid Ockert (Princeton University): Ice-Nine, Isolation, and Innocence: How Cat’s Cradle Can Help Historians Investigate the Insular Nature of Postwar Scientific Communities

4:40 p.m.–5:00 p.m.


5:00 p.m.–5:10 p.m.


5:10 p.m.–6:40 p.m.


5:10 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Barney Finn: Website and Other Updates

5:30 p.m.–6:40 p.m.

Museum Updates

7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Dinner, CHF

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

Light breakfast fare (tea/coffee)

9:00 a.m.–9:20 a.m.

Lydia Xynogala (The Cooper Union): S, Sulfur: Building, Material, Program

9:20 a.m.–9:40 a.m.

David McGee (Canada Science and Technology Museum): The Social Chemistry of Paper (Making)

9:40 a.m.–9:55 a.m.


9:55 a.m.–10:10 a.m.


10:10 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

F. Robert van der Linden (Smithsonian): Aluminum Alloy and Aircraft Construction

10:30 a.m.–10:50 a.m.

Odile Madden (Smithsonian): Plastics and Early Aircraft

10:50 a.m.–11:05 a.m.


11:05 a.m.–11:35 a.m.

Cathleen Lewis and Lisa Young (Smithsonian): Repairs to Neil Armstrong’s Gloves Tell an Interesting Story Not Documented in History Books

11:35 a.m.–11:55 a.m.

Valerie Neal (Smithsonian): Space Shuttle Tiles: Stories from Sandto Space

11:55 a.m.–12:15 p.m.


12:15 p.m.–12:30 p.m.


12:30 p.m.–1:15 p.m.


Need Meeting Space?

CHF’s state-of-the-art conference center is in Philadelphia’s beautiful historic district.

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