Du Châtelet Prize

2024 Du Châtelet Prize in Philosophy of Physics

Topic: Physics in the writings of 19th century women
Deadline: September 8th, 2024
Du Chatelet

Submissions are invited on the writings of women in the nineteenth century that discuss or otherwise engage with the concepts, foundations, or methods of any area of physics, or with the nature and scope of physics itself. The topic should be construed broadly to include: any genre in which the women were writing; “physics” as understood then and/or now; both the experimental and the theoretical; and physics in relation to other areas of inquiry. Submissions may address the work of a single figure or multiple figures. We are interested in any work that from today’s perspective might be viewed as a contribution to philosophy of physics in the 19th century.

The winner will receive $1000, an invitation to participate in a workshop on the topic of this year’s prize, and an invitation to have their paper considered for publication in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. The prize is open to graduate students and to scholars within 5 years of PhD as of the submission deadline. Submissions should not exceed 10,000 words.
The deadline for submissions is September 8th, 2024 (midnight GMT). For more details of the prize and of submission requirements, see below.

The Du Châtelet Prize in Philosophy of Physics is supported by Duke University and Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.


Members of This Year’s Prize Committee

  • Katherine Brading, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
  • Joshua Eisenthal, Research Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California Institutue of Technology, and 2020 Du Châtelet Prize winner
  • Samuel C. Fletcher, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; from Sept. 1, Professor of Philosophy of Physics, University of Oxford
  • Lydia Patton, Professor of Philosophy, Virginia Tech
  • Jennifer Whyte, Postdoctoral Associate in Philosophy, Duke University



A workshop honoring this year’s prize winner, and including talks by members of the committee, will be held at Duke University on November 9-10, 2024. If you would like to join the mailing list to receive registration information for this workshop, please email Katherine Brading at katherine.brading@duke.edu.


Submission Requirements

  • Submissions must be in English
  • Submissions must be prepared for blind review
  • Submissions must be no longer than 10,000 words in length, including footnotes and references
  • Submitted work must be unpublished and must not be under consideration for publication


The submission portal will open in August. For details of the submission process, and for any other questions, please contact Katherine Brading (katherine.brading@duke.edu).


More information about the prize

The Du Châtelet Prize in Philosophy of Physics celebrates excellence in philosophy of physics and promotes breadth across the field both historically and philosophically. Each year, a prize committee of scholars in the field invites submissions on a particular topic. The prize winner receives feedback and support from the committee, and the paper is considered for publication in Studies. The goals of the prize are to support young scholars working in philosophy of physics, to strengthen the historical and philosophical breadth of the field, and to promote some of the very best work being done by students and junior scholars.

Submissions are considered under blind review. Should a possible conflict of interest be recognized, committee members are recused accordingly.



2023 Winners: Marta Bielinska and Caspar Jacobs

Marta Bielinska
Caspar Jacobs

“A Philosophical Introduction to Hidden Symmetries in Physics.”

  • Topic: Laws and symmetries in the practice of physics
  • Committee: Elena Castellani, Nina EmeryBas van Fraassen, Marc Lange, 

    with input from Nancy Cartwright






Winner of the 2023 du Chatelet Prize, Ovidiu Babeș, with Katherine Brading

2022 Winner: Ovidiu Babeș

“Mixed Mathematics and Metaphysical Physics: Descartes and the Mechanics of the Flow of Water."

  • Topic: The complex interplay between physics and mechanics in Descartes’ quantitative explanation of the flow of water
  • Committee: Roger Ariew, Dan Garber, Dana Jalobeanu, Alison Peterman, and Sophie Roux






Miguel Ohnesorge

2021 Winners: Miguel Ohnesorge: “Pluralizing Measurement: Physical Geodesy's Measurement Problem and its Resolution”

Jamee Elder

and Jamee Elder: “The ‘Direct Detection’ of Gravitational Waves” 

  • Topic: Measurement practices in the physical sciences: correlation, calibration and stabilization
  • Committee: Alisa Bokulich, Hasok Chang, Daniel Mitchell, and Wendy Parker





Joshua Eisenthal

2020 Winner: Joshua Eisenthal

“Hertz’s Mechanics and a unitary notion of force”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90 226-234. 2021.

  • Topic: Mathematics as a tool of conceptual innovation in physical theory and/or experiment, 1780-1890.
  • Committee: Katherine Brading, Janet Folina, Doreen Fraser, Lydia Patton and Sheldon Smith






2019 Winner: Adwait Parker

“Newton on Active and Passive Quantities of Matter”Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84 1-11. 2020.

  • Topic: “How the parts of matter act on one another, as that issue stood at any time in the period 1680-1780”
  • Committee: Katherine Brading, Mary Domski, Andrew Janiak, Chris Smeenk, George Smith