Infrastructures of Science

IDEA League Summer School 2019 + 2020

RWTH Aachen / ETH Zurich Summer School

The interdisciplinary IDEA League Summer School investigates the history and philosophy of digital infrastructures. How do infrastructures affect science? And how do sciences configure their technologies? 

Archives, collections, labs and machine parks are well known institutions that promote scientific research. From the 19th century on they have been developing into large scale research systems organizing methods, instruments and scientists’ work. In the last decades we are witnessing that sciences have become more and more computer-based. Obviously, computing centers, networks and platforms are indispensable facilities for research, they are complementing and reconfiguring traditional technologies. In a historical perspective, digital infrastructures offer an unprecedented generalizability: they stimulate the production and circulation of methodological knowledge across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.

The interdisciplinary Summer School seeks to understand the interplays of technology and science. It offers problem-oriented insights into the history and philosophy of digital infrastructures. In working groups we will analyze the mutual interdependence of scientific and technological change. The organizers of the Summer School aim for an engaged debate with all speakers and participants. The school combines seminar talks, in-depth text discussions in a workshop setting, group works and outgoings to scientific institutions.

The school is jointly organized by ETH Zurich’s chair for the history of technology and RWTH Aachen’s chair for the philosophy of science and technology. It was hosted by ETH Zurich in July 2019 and took place in Zurich and the nearby mountains. In July 2020 the school takes place in Aachen. 

Participants will get a certificate of attendance. 


IDEA League Universities are RWTH Aachen, TU Delft, Chalmers University of Technology Gothenburg, Politecnico di Milano, ETH Zürich.


Application is open to Master and PhD Students of the member universities from the IDEA and ASPIRE League Alliances. Please apply in spring 2020 via

If you have any questions concerning the summer school’s content and program, contact Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gramelsberger, chair for the philosophy of science and technology at RWTH Aachen, via Andrea Gibbels (, and Dr. Daniela Zetti, chair for the history of technology at ETH Zurich (

Please ask the IDEA League contact person at your university about administrative details and check for the possibility to apply for travel grants. If you have any further questions regarding the application process, please contact the organizer

Coming soon:

application for Aachen


Date of the event: 13-17 July 2020 

Location: Aachen, Germany

IDEA League Summer School FAQ

Detailed program information (pdf) (2019)