On 19 and 20 March the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (Utrecht University), in collaboration with the department of philosophy of Radboud University Nijmegen, will host an international conference on the marginalization of astrology in the Early Modern period.
Astrology has been a well-established and respected part of scholarship for centuries, practiced in many cultural and geographical settings. However, in the modern world, astrology, though still very much present, has lost its scientific status and has been relegated to the fringes of serious learning. In the history of scientific thought, this must be regarded as a momentous shift. The definite step in the 'marginalization' of astrology appears to have been taken in the seventeenth century and should therefore be regarded as an important element (rather than a consequence) of the so-called Scientific Revolution.
The reasons for this development are far from clear. Actually, even the development itself (when, where and by whom did astrology become disavowed) has so far been only scantly documented. The conference therefore aims to shed light on this intriguing question by bringing together specialists from various fields.