Recipes, ‘technologies’, experiments: Enactment and the emergence of modern science

This is a PCE Research Grant (2021-2023) hosted by the ICUB-Humanities. Its purpose is the investigation of the gradual transformation of recipes, in the seventeenth century, into forms of recording more characteristic for the scientific experiments. The focal point of our investigation is the transformation of knowledge embodied in „recipes,” and the long and complex process through which recipes were transformed into scientific experiments. To date, this process was mainly described in terms of material practices, structures of knowledge and epistemic genres. We aim to approach it with a set of conceptual tools coming from the philosophy of science. Our goal is to provide a philosophical analysis of the complex set of actions that lie behind recording recipes and experiments. 

We focus on the process of disambiguation through which tacit knowledge embodied in the recipes was gradually spelled out, tried, tested, reformulated and transformed. We call this process “enactment”. A key goal of our project is to define and exemplify forms and strategies of enacting recipes. A second goal is to show that the passage from recipes to experiments is neither straightforward, nor univocal. Enacting recipes does not always lead to scientific experimentation. Sometimes, the end product is something different. We call this alternative product of enactment “technology,” and an important part of this project will investigate the emergence of several early modern technologies, discussing their complex relations with recipes and experiments. More on “technologies” here.

Corpus of texts

Our laboratory is, so far, a selection of early modern texts (published and manuscript writings). Here you can find more about our selection of texts.

The team

The project is hosted by ICUB-Humanities, University of Bucharest. Principal investigator: Dana Jalobeanu.

Goals and plans

Here are some of our goals, objectives and planned activities

News: We are hiring!

Job opening: We are looking for a research assistant. Duration: 24 months.

More details here.

Research seminar

We are meeting on Tuesdays at 6 pm for a weekly research seminar. The seminar is coordinated by Dana Jalobeanu and Oana Matei. We alternate paper-presentations with reading-groups and informal discussions. The meetings are taking place on zoom. If you are interested to join us, send us a line.


A list of relevant publications written by the members of our team


Here are some talks we gave recently


Here is a list of public events, general talks, articles for the general public, press-releases and media events through which we disseminate our ideas and results.

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