Date: 17 January 2018

Time: 15:45-17:15

Location: VU, Main Building HG 5A37

Stevin Seminar: The Odd Couple: Hans and Susan Freudenthal

Abstract
During the post World War II decades, both members of the Freudenthal couple made a rather astonishing career. Hans Freudental became an internationally celebrated mathematician, and in the early seventies, in an outburst of self fashioning, he was launched as the “patron saint” of math teachers in the Netherlands. During the same period, Susan Freudenthal, despite her marriage, became a highly regarded child pedagogue and was honoured as a demi-God within the Jena-Plan Foundation. In a sense, the history of this couple illustrates the possibilities and constraints scientists (mathematicians and pedagogues) encountered as well as the rising and faltering opportunities for women attempting to enter the scientific workforce at this time.

This talk will focus on the archives that each has left behind. The ordering and preservation of the archives reflect both the personality traits of the couple as well as their historical position in the sciences. Making sense of these archives is both fascinating and taxing.

Speaker: Danny Beckers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Commentator: Gerard Alberts, University of Amsterdam