Zu Hauptinhalt springen
Startseite UR

Dr. Chaokang Tai

Chaokang Tai is a historian of science working as postdoctoral researcher in the DFG-Project “Astronomy’s Glass Archive: Photographic Practices at the Observatory, 1850-1950”. He is trained in physics and astronomy, and history and philosophy of science. During his PhD research, Tai investigated the scientific research of Marxist astronomer Anton Pannekoek, where he especially focused on Pannekoek’s use of astrophotography and the intricate and diverse relations between Pannekoek’s astronomy and Marxism.

In his current research, Tai will investigate the historical development and implementation of glass plate photography at the Leiden Observatory and the Astronomical Laboratory in Groningen during the first half of the twentieth century. The goal of this research is to trace the entire process of astrophotography, from how they were produced to how they were measured and turned into astronomical knowledge.

Website: cktai.hcommons.org


Vita

2014-2021

PhD Researcher in History of Science, University of Amsterdam

2020

Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Amsterdam

2016-2017

Lecturer and TA for History of Modern Physics, Utrecht University

2008-2010

TA for Physics Lab Course, University of Amsterdam

Eductation:

2021

PhD in History of Science, University of Amsterdam

2013

MSc in History and Philosophy of Science, Utrecht University

2011

BSc in Physics and Astronomy, University of Amsterdam


Publications

Books

Anton Pannekoek, Marxist Astronomer: Photography, Epistemic Virtues, and Political Philosophy in Early-Twentieth Century Astronomy (PhD Dissertation, University of Amsterdam, 2021)

Anton Pannekoek: Ways of Viewing Science and Society, edited with Bart van der Steen and Jeroen van Dongen (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019)

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“The Milky Way as Optical Phenomenon: Perception and Photography in the Drawings of Anton Pannekoek”. In Anton Pannekoek: Ways of Viewing Science and Society, ed. Chaokang Tai, Bart van der Steen, and Jeroen van Dongen (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019): 219-247.

Introduction to Anton Pannekoek: Ways of Viewing Science and Society, with Bart van der Steen, and Jeroen van Dongen. (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019): 9-23.

“Left Radicalism and the Milky Way: Connecting the Scientific and Socialist Virtues of Anton Pannekoek”. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 47/2 (2017): 200-254.

“Anton Pannekoek’s Epistemic Virtues in Astronomy and Socialism: Personae and the Practice of Science”, with Jeroen van Dongen. BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review 131/4 (2016): 55-70.


Papers

Anton Pannekoek and the Global Division of Labour in Astrophotography. British Society for the History of Science Twitter Conference, 12-02-2020.

Anton Pannekoek’s marxistische melkweg. Public lecture at Museum Boerhaave, 30-11-2019.

Precision and Skepticism as Epistemic and Social Virtues in Anton Pannekoek’s Astrophysics. History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Utrecht, 26-07-2019.

Anton Pannekoek en de Universiteit Leiden. Public lecture at the Historical Society Oud Leiden, 29-05-2019.

Marxist Astronomer: On Anton Pannekoek’s Scientific Research, and its Relation to his Socialism. Colloquium at the Einstein Papers Project, California Institute of Technology, 25-03-2019.

Anton Pannekoek and the Development of Early 20th Century Astronomy. Colloquium at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), 19-01-2019.

Astrophysics, Marxism, and the Role of Science in Society: Exploring the Ideal Scientific Personae of Anton Pannekoek. Workshop Self-Fashioning Scientific Identities in the Long Nineteenth Century, University of Leicester, 15-06-2018.

Biography and Diversity in History of Science. Workshop Scientist Biographies, Delft University of Technology, 09-03-2018

Anton Pannekoek and the Dutch School of Astrophysics, Thirteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop, University of Notre Dame, 08-07-2017

Left Radicalism and the Milky Way: Connecting the Scientific and Socialist Virtues of Anton Pannekoek. Colloquium at the American Institute of Physics, 02-05-2017.

Pannekoek, Minnaert, and the Birth of Dutch School of Astrophysics. First Teylers Meeting on History of Astronomy and Physics, Teylers Museum, 12-04-2017.

How to Observe the Milky Way: Pannekoek’s Galactic Research and his Marxist Philosophy of Mind. Conference Anton Pannekoek (1873-1960): Ways of Viewing Science and Society, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 06-06-2016.

Anton Pannekoek. Public lecture at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 07-11-2015 (invited).

Left Radicalism and the Milky Way: Connecting the Socialist and Scientific Virtues of Anton Pannekoek. Workshop Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities, Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Utrecht University, 28-08-2015.

The Scientific and Political Persona: Searching for the Interrelations in the Astronomy and Marxism of Anton Pannekoek. Colloquium at the Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 17-08-2014

Objectiviteit of interpretatie? Het Melkwegonderzoek van Kapteyn en Pannekoek door het kader van epistemische waarden. Workshop Tweede Wetenschappelijke Revolutie, Museum Boerhaave, 24-05-2014.

Anton Pannekoek on the Structure of the Milky Way: Epistemic and Socialist Virtues in Twentieth Century Astronomy. Colloquium at the Institute for the History and Foundations of Science, Utrecht University, 30-05-2013

Anton Pannekoek’s Research on the Structure of the Universe, Colloquium at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, 26-04-2013.



  1. Fakultät für Philosophie, Kunst-, Geschichts- und Gesellschaftswissenschaften
  2. Institut für Philosophie