Call for contributions: ESA History Project (deadline extended to 30 August)

15/06/2017 2873 views 4 likes
ESA / About Us / ESA history

There is more to space than rocket science. Historians, diplomats, economists, law students, political scientists and sociologists have all contributed to our understanding of the space age and its impact on our societies over the past decades.

Sixty years on from the placing of the first human-made object in orbit around Earth, space is now an integral part of our daily lives. Space science and technology are projects for the whole of humankind, reaching not only outside Earth’s atmosphere, but also beyond our Solar System.

While the technological and scientific challenges of working, living and travelling in space motivate students to pursue such studies, the impact of space activities on our lives on Earth, on relations between nations and organisations, and our collective recent history, provides fertile ground for students and scholars in the humanities to take up space-related subjects.

ESA History conference

ESA is launching the latest phase of the ESA History Project. Building on the success of the previous phases, this new endeavour is marked by an opening to other domains in the humanities, while continuing to take a historical perspective and write the history of space activities, especially in and by Europe, with a view, notably, to supporting present and future decision-making.

To mark the launch of this new phase, an international conference is being planned for 23–24 November 2017 in Italy. It will be hosted by the University of Padua (UNIPD), and organised in cooperation with its Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies (SPGI), and the Giuseppe Colombo Centre for Space Studies and Activities (CISAS).

Enter your papers - to win a trip to Europe's Spaceport!

We are calling on early career scholars (generally up to the age of 35) and university students at Master’s level and onwards, from all over the world, who are writing on subjects related to space activities, to submit their work to be considered for presentation at the conference and to enter the competition for best paper.

The winner of the prize for best paper will be offered a trip to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, and/or the publication of their paper. For those young scholars invited to present their paper at the conference in Padua, a certain amount of travel support will be provided on request.

In order to enter, please submit the following items, by 30 August 2017 by email to: 

  • An abstract of your work in English
  • Affiliation and description of the framework in which the work is being conducted
  • An endorsement of your academic supervisor (if applicable)
  • A short motivation letter


Those selected will be notified by 20 September 2017. Then you should submit by 15 October 2017:

  • A full paper in English or French
  • An executive summary in English
  • An evaluation letter from your academic supervisor (if applicable)


We are looking forward to your contributions. Any queries, please write to the email address below.


The third phase of the History Project is coordinated at ESA by Nathalie Tinjod, and steered by an ESA History Project Academic Council (EHPAC), chaired by Professor John Krige. EHPAC is composed of distinguished scholars, from renowned universities, research institutes and museums, nominated by the ESA Director General for three years, as from January 2017. They are:

John Krige (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA)
Doug Millard (Science Museum, London, UK),
Isabelle Sourbès-Verger (Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris, France),
Helmut Trischler (Forschungsinstitut des Deutsches Museums, Munich, Germany),
Antonio Varsori (Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche, Giuridiche e Studi Internazionali, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy),
Nina Wormbs (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden).

ESA's Piero Messina ( acts as the Executive Secretary of the Academic Council.

For more information

ESA History Project

Nathalie Tinjod


Also check the conference web site here

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