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Aims and Activities

In the past few years cross-disciplinary research has been strongly encouraged by both European and UK Research Funding Councils and Academies, with special emphasis placed on the boundary between science and humanities.

The premise of scientific decline in the Middle Ages has been challenged by many scholars across various disciplines. It has become even more apparent that medieval studies can successfully engage with and contribute to current scientific debate. In light of this we wish to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration for those engaged in medieval studies and modern science. Crossing Frontiers, which uses a participatory research and public engagement approach, aims to inspire high-impact cross-disciplinary projects crossing between Medieval Studies and Sciences and also providing support and mentoring to early career scholars and PhD students interested in this kind of research.

Our Aims

The aim of this international Research Network is to inspire high-impact cross-disciplinary projects between Medieval Studies and the Sciences and to advance knowledge exchange and cultural networks.

The main objectives of the network consist in:

  • promoting new collaborations between members from across the world, including established scholars, early career academics, postgraduate researchers, members of cultural institutions and associations, practitioners of the creative arts, and members of the wider public.
  • identifying new areas of research together,
  • proposing innovative disciplinary and cultural frameworks, and
  • working towards ways of achieving impact and knowledge exchange, intellectual flexibility and a renegotiation of disciplinary parameters.

Our Activities

  • In May-June 2018 we organised a photo exhibition ‘Marvelling at the Skies: Comets through the Eyes of the Anglo-Saxons’ that was held at the Ulster Museum in Belfast https://www.nmni.com/whats-on/marvelling-at-the-skies. The exhibition combined records of comets from Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Bede's Ecclesiastical History) with contemporary images of comets (from the NASA, New York Times, Armagh Observatory, and the Astronomical Association from Northern Ireland), from the earliest contemporary description of a comet in England in MSA in the year 891 under the period of Alfred the Great, to the sighting of a hazy green-hued comet Lovejoy in 2015.
  • Support and dissemination of research will be promoted through a dedicated website, containing descriptions of current projects of interest to members, links to funding opportunities and a blog where researchers are encouraged to discuss their ideas within the group.
  • We aim to build a cohort with interdisciplinary expertise, and a forum for advice and support for new projects and particularly for early career scholars.
  • We will be running a number of events throughout this year and next, including a cross-disciplinary workshop, exhibitions and public engagement activities.
  • We wish to help the growth and promotion of the study of medieval science and to encourage collaboration and support for new projects.