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Pierre Varignon, a “professional” geometer at the dawn of the Enlightenment

Pierre Varignon, un géomètre « professionnel » à l’aube des Lumières

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Published on Monday, January 02, 2023 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

A geometer and mechanic recognized by his contemporaries, an influential member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, in epistolary contact with Leibniz, Newton and even the Bernoulli brothers, Pierre Varignon (1654-1722) shaped a scholarly trajectory that we would today call professional. He is a “normal” scientist, neither brilliant nor misunderstood, and it is in this that he deserves to be studied. The aim of this conference is to make this polymath scholar better known, to take stock of the studies that have been devoted to him over the past few decades and to encourage research that sheds light on lesser-known facets of his commitment, such as his role in the dissemination of knowledge, particularly as a teacher, his positions in contemporary debates, or his technical inventions.

Announcement

Presentation

A geometer and mechanic recognized by his contemporaries, an influential member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, in epistolary contact with Leibniz, Newton and even the Bernoulli brothers, Pierre Varignon (1654-1722) shaped a scholarly trajectory that we would today call professional. He is a “normal” scientist, neither brilliant nor misunderstood, and it is in this that he deserves to be studied. His activities as an academician and teacher at the Mazarin College and the Royal College provide him with regular income, a framework for research and a publication platform. Thanks to his letter writing network, his reputation goes beyond the borders of the kingdom. His works located at a time of transition are marked by Cartesianism but also contribute to the birth of analytical mechanics. As a geometer, Varignon was able to recognize the innovative power of Leibnizian analysis, of which he became one of the first defenders in France.The aim of this symposium is to make this polymath scholar better known, to take stock of the studies that have been devoted to him over the past few decades and to encourage research that sheds light on lesser-known facets of his commitment, such as his role in the dissemination of knowledge, particularly as a teacher, his positions in contemporary debates, or his technical inventions.

Registration

To be noted: free entrance on registration

Locations

The conference is organised in three different locations in Paris:

• Tuesday January 17 2023, Room Hugot at Académie des sciences, 23 quai de Conti, 75006 Paris

• Wednesday January 18 2023, Centre Alexandre Koyré, Campus Condorcet, Centre de colloques, Room 100, 1, place du Front populaire, 93322 Aubervilliers

• Thursday January 19 2023, Laboratoire SPHère, University Paris-Cité, Room Valentin, 454 A, Building Condorcet, 4 rue Elsa Morante, 75013 Paris

Informations contact: conference[at]academie-sciences.fr

Program

Tuesday January 17 2023

Room Hugot at Académie des sciences, 23 quai de Conti, 75006 Paris

09:30am Welcome

  • 10am Opening: Étienne GHYS, secrétaire perpétuel de l’Académie des sciences
  • 10:30am Introduction: Sandra BELLA, CNRS, ERC Philiumm, SPHère, & Jeanne PEIFFER, CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré

Session 1

Chair: Sandra Bella, ERC Philiumm, SPHère

  • 11am Pierre Varignon, épigones et disciples au collège Mazarin: Patrick LATOUR, Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris
  • 12am Pierre Varignon, le professeur: Pierre AGERON, Université de Caen

Session 2

Chair: Patrice Bret, Centre Alexandre Koyré

  • 3pm Un ‘esprit galant’ pour les courbes, reconstitution des échanges Varignon-Fontenelle sur la Géométrie de l’infini: Sandra BELLA, CNRS, ERC Philiumm, SPHère
  • 4pm Le rire de Varignon: Claudine POULOUIN, Université de Rouen
  • 5pm L’action de Pierre Varignon au sein de l’Académie royale des sciences: Hugues CHABOT, Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I
  • 6:30pm Inauguration of the exhibition “Pierre Varignon (1654-1722): practice and transmission of mathematics at the dawn of the Enlightenment” at the Mazarine Library

Wednesday January 18 2023

Centre Alexandre Koyré, Campus Condorcet, Centre de colloques, Room 100, 1, place du Front populaire, 93322 Aubervilliers

Session 3

Chair: Jeanne Peiffer, CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré

09:45am Welcome: Anne RASMUSSEN, head of Centre Alexandre Koyré, EHESS

  • 10am  Recherches de Varignon sur l'optimisation des forces motrices utilisées enhorlogerie et leurs applications à la mesure du temps: Leslie VILLIAUME, Centre Alexandre Koyré, EHESS
  • 11am La naissance de la mécanique analytique dans le réseau épistolaire de Pierre Varignon (1690-1710) : nouvelles pistes de recherche: Niccolò GUICCIARDINI, Università degli Studi di Milano
  • 12am Pierre Varignon dans l’œuvre de Jean Le Rond D’Alembert: Christophe SCHMIT, CNRS, SYRTE, Observatoire de ParisDéjeuner

Session 4

Chair: Irène Passeron, Institut de Mathématique de Jussieu

  • 2:30am Entre deux maîtres : la correspondance de Varignon avec Leibniz et Johann Bernoulli: Charlotte WAHL, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek, Hanovre
  • 3:30pm Pierre Varignon, pivot stratégique d’un réseau de correspondance international: Jeanne PEIFFER, CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré

8pm Dinner

Thursday January 19 2023

Laboratoire SPHère, Université Paris-Cité, sRoom Valentin, 454 A, Bâtiment Condorcet, 4 rue Elsa Morante, 75013 Paris

Session 5

Chair: Sabine Rommevaux-Tani, CNRS, SPHère

  • 09:30am The logarithmic curve - the Bernoullis, Varignon, Reyneau: Antoni MALET, Institut d'Història de la Ciència, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • 10:30am The circulation of transmutation methods: Varignon between Roberval and Leibniz: Siegmund PROBST, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek, Hanovre, Staffan RODHE, Matematiska Institutionen Uppsala Universitet
  • 11:30am Leibniz entre Varignon et Grandi sur les plus qu'infinis: David RABOUIN, CNRS, ERC Philiumm, SPHère

Session 6

Chair: Alain Bernard, Centre Alexandre Koyré

  • 2pm L'étude de l'Analyse démontrée de Reyneau dans les écoles militairesespagnoles au XVIIIe siècle: Mònica BLANCO, Universitat Politècnica da Catalunya, Barcelone
  • 3pm Varignon, Malebranche, Reyneau et la diffusion du calcul leibnizien : des personnalités différentes au service d’un projet commun: Claire SCHWARTZ, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

ABSTRACTS to download with the program

Organisation

International Conference  organised by Sandra Bella and Jeanne Peiffer, for the tercentenary of the disappearance of Pierre Varignon.

Partners

Places

  • Laboratoire SPHère, Université Paris-Cité, salle Valentin, 454 A, Bâtiment Condorcet, 4 rue Elsa Morante | Room Hugot at Académie des sciences, 23 quai de Conti
    Paris, France (75013 | 75006)
  • Centre Alexandre Koyré, Campus Condorcet, Centre de colloques, salle 100 - 1, place du Front populaire
    Aubervilliers, France (93)

Event format

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2023
  • Wednesday, January 18, 2023
  • Thursday, January 19, 2023

Keywords

  • Varignon, Leibniz, Bernoulli, académie, Newton, géomètre, collège Mazarin, mécanique analytique, Roberval, Grandi, Reyneau, Malebranche, infini, Fontenelle, Verzaglia, Riccati

Contact(s)

  • Sandra Bella
    courriel : bellusky [at] hotmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Nad Fachard
    courriel : nad [dot] fachard [at] u-paris [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Pierre Varignon, a “professional” geometer at the dawn of the Enlightenment », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, January 02, 2023, https://calenda.org/1041856

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