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Looking south. International collaborations in optical astronomy and solar physics in post-WWII Europe (1953-1979).
This talk deals with the European organization of optical astronomy and solar physics after World War II, in terms of new observational facilities and programmes for cooperation in professional research. The analysis is focused on the site-testing campaigns that were carried out both in the Southern Hemisphere and the Mediterranean area (1953-1979). The emphasis is placed on issues of international collaboration, such as the interactions among scientists, scientific institutions, and governments in searching for new astronomical sites, as well as the connections between scientific, technical, political, and economic aspects in the foundation of new observatories.