Dear Marie Curie, you had an incredible and incredibly difficult life. It is great that you went down in the history of science. After and during all kinds of challenges, you still managed to conduct research. Nobody needs to take such a hard path any more. Your story should inspire us, today’s researchers. And I believe it does.
Dear Dr Franklin,
I am writing to you from Oulu, a town in Northern Finland. The University of Oulu, where I work, was founded in 1959, a year after your death. I am not a scientist myself, but a historian of science specializing in the history of 20th-century biomedicine. Everyone in our research field would know your name today – in fact, most schoolchildren would, at least in the Anglophone countries. In many respects, you are still with us.
The recently-founded Centre for Philosophical Studies of History, a hub for junior and senior researchers interested in conceptual and philosophical studies of history and historiography, at the University of Oulu came to my attention on the occasion of the international conference The Role of Philosophy of History, 5-7 October, 2017.
Sometimes philosophy of history is called a ‘field,’ comparable to other ‘fields’ like history, sociology or biology. At other times it is linked with theory of history, and these two are understood to form a ‘field’ together. But is it justified to talk about a field in either of these cases?