History, Philosophy & Sociology of Cosmology & Astroparticle Physics Conference

29-30 June 2022 Bonn, Germany

Submission deadline: 21 March 2022

Registration deadline: 1 June 2022

speakers | submission | registration | schedule | venue | contact



The DFG-funded research unit Epistemology of the LHC is organising a two-day conference on the history, philosophy and sociology of cosmology and astroparticle physics. This event follows up on the 2019 conference in Aachen on dark matter & modified gravity, a special journal issue on the same topic, and the 2021 online workshop on the philosophy of dark matter. The conference will take place on the 29th and 30th of June 2022 in Bonn, Germany. Philosophers, physicists, historians, sociologists and other interested scholars are invited to attend. 

Over the past few decades, cosmology, astronomy and particle physics have developed in different directions and at the same time become intertwined in an increasingly complex way, i.e., in terms of communities, theories, models, experiments, constraints, conferences and journals. Prime examples at the intersection of two or all three of these fields are the search for dark matter, cosmic rays, and neutrino physics. In recent years, various humanities—in particular the trio of history, philosophy & sociology (HPS)—have paid increasing attention to cosmology, astronomy and particle physics (CAP). It is the aim of this HPS-CAP conference to explore the history, philosophy and sociology of the intersection of CAP, as well as the interactions between history, philosophy & sociology of CAP. Research topics include but are not limited to the following:


The history of the formation of and interaction between the scientific disciplines

Cosmology, astronomy, particle physics & the scientific realism debate

Communities across CAP

Epistemology of experiments, simulation and observation

The interplay between constraints from cosmology, astronomy and particle physics

Cosmology and astronomy as historical sciences

Guiding principles within CAP (cosmological principle, anthropic principle, unification, …)

Dark matter, neutrinos and cosmic rays

Searches for “theories of everything”

Physics of scales (renormalization group methods, multi-scale modeling, inter-theory relationships, emergence and reduction)

The relationship between the humanities and CAP



Official pre-event (28 June, 16:15-17:45, Room 1.070, University Main Building, Am Hof 1):
            Nora Boyd, Siena College (USA) | web

            Marie Gueguen, Institute of Physics of Rennes 1 (France) | web
            Karl-Heinz Kampert, BU Wuppertal (Germany) | web
            Luis Reyes-Galindo, Wageningen University (The Netherlands) | web
            Adrien de Sutter, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK) | web
            James Owen Weatherall, UC Irvine (USA) | web


            Claus Beisbart, University of Bern (Switzerland) | web
            Enno Fischer, University of Bochum (Germany) | web
            Marie Gueguen, Institute of Physics of Rennes 1 (France) | web
            Michael Krämer, RWTH Aachen University | web
            Kian Salimkhani, University of Cologne (Germany) | web
            Jenny Wagner, Independent Scientist | web


            Niayesh Afshordi, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Canada) | web
            Omar Bohórquez, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Columbia) | web 
            Jamee Elder, Harvard University (USA) | web
            Craig Fox, Western University (Canada) | web
            Mahdi Khalili, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (Iran) | web
            Pavel Kroupa, University of Bonn (Germany) | web
            Nichole Levesley, University of Toronto (Canada) | web
            Jean-Philippe Martinez, RWTH Aachen (Germany) | web
            Jenny Wagner, Independent Scientist | web




SUBMISSION DEADLINE [has now passed]

We invite contributing speakers from physics and from philosophy, history and sociology of physics, as well as anyone else who may be interested, to submit an abstract of 250-500 words by the 21st of March 2022 as a pdf to nmartens@uni-bonn.de. We intend to have selected contributing speakers by the end of April.


For registration please fill out this form by the 1st of June.

We will charge a participation fee of 50€. You will receive an invoice for this, which has to be paid by the 7th of June for your registration to be confirmed.

Due to the Corona Pandemic wearing masks is mandatory in the public area of the venue. On each of the conference days, an antigen (or PCR) test no more than 24 hours old will be required and checked at the entrance. There are several test centers nearby, which are typically for free. We will provide more information about these closer to the time.


Map with venues, corona test centers, parking and restaurants

The venue of the conference on Wednesday and Thursday is the Universitätsclub Bonn, Konviktstraße 9, 53113 Bonn. The venue of the pre-event on Tuesday is Room 1.070 of the University Main Building (Am Hof 1).

The corona numbers in Germany have been rising again. During both the pre-event and the conference itself, masks are required. Moreover, entering the conference venue (i.e. University Club) on each day requires showing a negative rapid test/ antigen test ("Schnelltest") (or a PCR test) that is at most 24 hours old. Various nearby test centers are indicated on this map. When entering a test center, you register by scanning the QR code that says "Kostenloser Bürgertest" (free citizen test). Despite the name, these tend to be free also for non-citizens---when registering, please indicate the address of your hotel. You will receive the result via email within 15-30 minutes. Booking for these rapid tests is not required (but possible). However, if you need a PCR test for your flight back, we do recommend that you visit the test centers as early as possible to arrange a PCR test within the relevant time window.

The following airports are nearby:

Cologne-Bonn. Intercontinental airport.

Take the Airport bus SB60 to Bonn and get off at "Bonn Markt".

A taxi - airport to Universityclub Bonn - about 45€.

Düsseldorf. Third-largest intercontinental airport in Germany.

0h50 by RE (i.e. Regional Express, the least expensive trains) to Bonn Hauptbahnhof (central station)

Frankfurt (am Main). Largest intercontinental airport in Germany.

1h40 by RE (i.e. Regional Express, the least expensive trains) to Bonn Hauptbahnhof (central station) or 0h45 by ICE (more expensive than RE, and are best booked in advance to reduce costs) to "Bonn / Siegburg" and continue with the Metro line 66 to "Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz."

A taxi from "Bonn / Siegburg" is about 30€.



This workshop is organised by the University of Bonn and RWTH Aachen University, in particular by the project team LHC, dark matter & gravity within the interdisciplinary, DFG-funded research unit Epistemology of the LHC:

Sophia Haude, University of Bonn & RWTH Aachen University

Michael Krämer, RWTH Aachen University

Dennis Lehmkuhl, University of Bonn

Niels Martens, University of Bonn & RWTH Aachen University

Erhard Scholz, University of Wuppertal

In case of any further questions, please contact shaude[at]uni-bonn.de and nmartens[at]uni-bonn.de