Sharing Knowledge

The Descartes Centre has strategic partnerships with various academic institutions, listed below. Each year the Descartes Centre organises, in collaboration with Studium Generale and DUB (Utrecht University's digital newspaper) the public event Nacht van Descartes.

Are you also interested in collaborating with us? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Strategic partnerships

Huygens ING

The partnership with Huygens ING (KNAW) is aimed at forming an internationally competitive Dutch centre for the history of science.

History of Science, UCLA

We have a long tradition of collaboration with the Program in the History of Science (History Department, University of California, Los Angeles). There is an exchange programme for students, PhD candidates and lecturers. Moreover, joint projects are being carried out on the origins of the modern knowledge society.

University of Minnesota

The partnership with the University of Minnesota comprises the exchange of students and lecturers as well as research collaboration.

Isis - journal on the history of science

After having been located in the United States for almost a century, the renowned science history journal Isis has taken up its editorial residence at Utrecht University as of 1 July 2014. Internationally considered as the leading journal in this field, Isis will be issued from the Descartes Centre for a period of 5 years under the joint academic responsibility of the Descartes Centre, Huygens ING and Museum Boerhaave.

Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlijn

The informal contacts with the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, the world's leading institute for research into the history of science, are being converted into a permanent partnership. The aim is to create a European axis of Early Modern science history.

Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS)

The NIAS facilitates and stimulates international and interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences. The Descartes Centre collaborates with NIAS in the context of its focus area activities, such as the project 'Creating a Knowledge Society in a Globalizing World (1450-1800)'.

History of Philosophy

The History of Philosophy programme has partnerships with:

Theoretical Philosophy

The Theoretical Philosophy programme participates in the ESF Research Network Philosophy of Science and the Association for Symbolic Logic. It also collaborates with other universities including those of Oxford, Pittsburgh, Bern, Vienna, and the American University at Washington DC.

Other international partnerships

The Descartes Centre also has international partnerships with:

Nacht van Descartes

Portrait of René Descartes (1596-1650) - painting by Frans Hals

Each year the Nacht van Descartes (Night of Descartes), organised by the Descartes Centre together with Studium Generale and DUB, centers around a theme from the field of history and/or philosophy of science with great societal impact. The event consists of an academic afternoon programme and a public evening programme, as well as an essay contest related to the theme. In the past years, the Night of Descartes has been organised around the following themes:

  • 2016: Priceless discoveries
  • 2015: Intelligence
  • 2014: Turning points in science
  • 2013: Vice and economy
  • 2012: Addiction
  • 2011: Eating animals
  • 2010: The authority of the robe in law and science
  • 2009: Evidence based medicine between craftsmanship and science
  • 2008: The lessons of Descartes