History of Hydrology
|Convener: Okke Batelaan | Co-Conveners: Keith Beven , Laurent Pfister , Roberto Ranzi|
When hydrology became recognized and established as a science is debatable. Sure is that there exists a long tradition of theories on the natural occurrence, distribution, and circulation of water on, in, and over the surface of the Earth (Horton, 1931). As a hydrological community we are keen to further our science, which is evident from the growing number of sub-disciplines. It is therefore of utmost importance to understand what the roots of our science are, i.e. there is a need to develop a culture of historical hydrological literacy. While further developing its terminology, concepts and methods, teaching and research can benefit from considering the relevant collective scientific knowledge base. Moreover, a historical perspective in our science avoids a ‘contemporary bias’ of ideas and theories. Science is performed and influenced by humans, hence it is never free of value, personal interest or societal pressures. The historical context in which scientists work can therefore help to understand the development of the science, its current state and future directions.
With this session we aim to stimulate the discussion on how we, as a community, develop a historical literacy and integrate this in teaching and research to enhance our science. We solicit contributions that discuss how hydrological concepts have gradually evolved over time; how forgotten methods might have contemporary value; the value of historical datasets of experimental catchments and their management; remarkable contributions of scientists, institutes and organisations.