Crossing the borders between meteorology, climatology and geography, 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague, 25-31 July 2021

Concerns about climate change and the increasing impact of weather events have become important topics for publics, stakeholders and scientists. Significant efforts have been devoted to the development and improvement of climate services and products to offer applied solutions to these issues. Applied meteorology and climatology, however, have a long tradition within geography from studies of atmospheric resources (Taylor, 1976), to urban climatology (Oke, 1978) and climate modification (see Oldfield, 2013).

At times, geography and the atmospheric sciences have been drawn together through explorations to map, measure and define the distribution and risks of particular climates. At times, the fields have separated with early 20th century American meteorology abandoning climatology to the ‘unscientific’ geography (Koelsch, 1996) and sometimes inflated claims about climatic determinism (Livingstone, 2012). Recent work in the histories of geography and climatology have explored the contribution and often unfavourable reception of the work of geographers like Ellsworth Huntington and Griffith Taylor (Livingstone, 2002; forthcoming; Fleming, 1998), the ways that climate has been a malleable political and cultural idea (Hulme, 2017), the entwining of geographical and meteorological scholarship in the Habsburg Empire (Coen, 2018) and the historical development of a geographical urban climatology that had a specific focus on the importance of place in shaping lived experiences of urban climates (Hebbert and Janković, 2013). More can be done, especially on the histories of these subjects within the Global South and non-Anglophone societies.

Papers are welcome that incorporate historical biographies, histories of folk or local scientific knowledge, or histories of disciplines and institutions. Histories of science that draw together where and how geographers and climatologists have intersected and with what effects are also encouraged. The panel will focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.

The symposia will be kindly supported by the International Commission for the History of Meteorology (ICHM) and the Commission History of Geography of the International Geographical Union (IGU).

Initial expressions of interest with abstracts of 250 words should be sent to both session organizers by the 31st of January 2020. All the conference information can be found at the main conference webpage (https://www.ichst2021.org/)


Sorin Cheval (“Henri Coandă” Air Force Academy, Braşov), sorincheval@yahoo.com

Samuel Randalls (University College London), s.randalls@ucl.ac.uk