Lea Beiermann shortlisted for Thesis Award

Lea Beiermann is one of the three remaining candidates for the 2019 Gewina-Descartes-Huygens Thesis Award.

This prize is given triannually to the best MA thesis in the History of Science and Universities written in the Netherlands and Belgium. A four-member jury made the selection out of 18 submissions. The award will be handed to the winner on 21 June at the Gewina Woudschoten Conference.

Lea Beiermann, ‘“Microscopical Science”: Building an Instrumental Community in London’s Periodical Press, 1860-1880’

In the mid-nineteenth century, numerous microscopy societies and journals were launched, catering to a diverse community of amateur and professional scientists, physicians, and engineers. In her thesis, Beiermann studies the formation of a microscopy community in the pages of London’s periodical press and shows that subgroups within the community aligned with various epistemic systems – ways of knowing and making – that either lost or gained importance. Science professionalization is thus conceptualized as a change in prominent epistemic programs. As present-day citizen science projects again destabilize categories of amateurism and professionalism, this thesis allows us to contrast current developments with earlier configurations of the amateur/professional dichotomy.

Beiermann wrote her thesis to complete the Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology programme (RMSc) at Maastricht University. She graduated in Juni 2017.

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