Science at the Fair: Performing Knowledge and Technology in Western Europe, 1850-1914

Related B-magic project 'Science at the Fair' under principal investigator and B-magic member Nele Wynants (ULB) has recently been approved and is looking to fill three vacancies in the Antwerp Research Institute of the Arts (ARIA):

SciFair is looking for two full-time (100%) doctoral candidates in Theatre, media, and science history and one full-time postdoctoral researcher (100%) Art, social, or cultural history.

Read more about the vacancies and find out how to apply on the SciFair website vacancy page.

Benner's Aeroplane, 1913. Poster by Adolph Friedländer, Theater collection UvA (Allard Pierson)

Science took central stage during 19th century fairs

During the second half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, travelling fairgrounds played a crucial role in informing people about all the latest scientific developments. The EU-funded SciFair project will perform pioneering research on the role itinerant show people played in the dissemination of information about scientific and technological advances at fairs in western Europe between 1850 and 1914. The project is based on the hypothesis that fairs during this period were not only local folk events but also centres of international exchange. For instance, travelling show people helped disseminate science. SciFair will engage a multilingual and multidisciplinary team to analyse practices of science performance across national frontiers and map transnational networks of western European travelling scientific performances.

SciFair is a five-year research project (2021-2026) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 948678 - SciFair).