The development of human understanding has not been balanced. Since time immemorial, it has depended on many objective and subjective factors. This unevenness is not merely chronological. Development also differed from region to region in a single era of history. Moreover, in a single region and a single era there may be great differences in the support of disciplines, teams, prominent figures. The title of the congress therefore features the terms “dwarfs” and “giants”, which symbolise this difference.
We can find a number of areas in which we, as science historians, use both terms figuratively. In what particular sense? We generally use these terms to refer to entities that stand out for their unusual size, i.e. entities that are visibly bigger than one might expect, or, on the other hand, considerably smaller.