Research Topics

Research Topic Archive

Bear hunting throughout Europe led to the species’ eradication in many areas. Wikimedia.
September 22, 2017

Building upon recent research, Wilko Hardenberg delves into the analysis of the history and policy of cohabitation between humans and bears.

Read more

Tamar Novick explores the use of bodily waste in scientific practice, considering when worthless matter becomes valuable and how this fosters new relationships between distant places, institutions, people, and animals.

Read more
better shelter
May 23, 2016

In one of her ongoing projects, historian Emily Brownell investigates the history of refugee housing.

Read more
March 24, 2016

In a new project, Philipp Lehmann studies the colonial past of climate science with the help of digital maps.

Read more
January 7, 2016

In his new project, environmental historian Wilko von Hardenberg investigates the history of the mean sea level.

Read more
July 30, 2015

In her project, historian of science Elena Aronova investigates the history and politics of environmental data collection during the Cold War.

Read more
February 1, 2015

Art historian Sylvie Neven describes a new database that shows how knowledge on colours occurred and spread in Early Modern Europe.

Read more
October 1, 2014

A new department directed by Dagmar Schäfer studies the history of artifacts, action, and knowledge and starts with a project on the histories of planning.

Read more

Historian of science Judith Kaplan studies the encounters of linguists, anthropologists and biologists in their search for human origins.

Read more
May 1, 2014

Historian of science Jenny Bangham argues that many of the questions and techniques of contemporary human genetics were first established between 1920 and 1960, when the only human characters with clear-cut inheritance were blood groups.

Read more

New studies on Galileo Galilei carried out at the MPIWG reveal the role played by practical knowledge in the seventeenth century’s Scientific Revolution.

Read more
January 1, 2014

A new working group examines data practices and epistemologies across many current disciplines to explore continuities and ruptures in the emergence of data-driven science.

Read more
August 1, 2013

The Max Planck Research Group Twentieth Century Histories of Knowledge about Human Variation, directed by Veronika Lipphardt, has invited Katrin von Lehmann as an artist-in-residence to contemplate the role of visualizations in the study of human variation.

Read more

Historian of science Matteo Valleriani has published a new edition of Nova scientia by the mathematician Nicolò Tartaglia that sheds new light on the emergence of ballistics as consequence of technological innovations around 1500.

Read more
December 1, 2012

A new project by Etienne Benson explores how endangered species protection reshaped twentieth-century field biology. More...

Read more

A new working group is challenging the taken-for-granted nature of endangerment in contemporary discourse by placing it in conceptual and historical perspective and exploring the situated, culturally and historically specific character of the imperative to preserve nature and culture.

Read more
February 1, 2012

Published in Edition Open Access, a new volume by Jürgen Renn and Peter Damerow sheds fresh light on a major Renaissance controversy: through the equilibrium controversy, key aspects of mechanical knowledge, such as the positional effect of weight or force, were redefined and laid the foundation for concepts in modern physics.

Read more
August 1, 2011

By developing new methods to organize and analyze historical data, in particular the geographical analytical tool “map Places In Time” (mapPIT), Dagmar Schäfer and Falk-Juri Knauft examine and write about how the design and perception of space have changed historically and what impact this change has had on scientific and technical thought.

Read more

In her new project, Christine von Oertzen explores why members of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae in the United States came to focus in the 1880s on the early development of infants and toddlers.

Read more

A new Max Planck research group, directed by Sabine Arnaud, studies the construction of deafness in Europe and the United States from 1600 to 1900.

Read more

Lorraine Daston, director of the MPIWG, has coedited a book on the histories of scientific observation from the fifth to the late twentieth century which presents studies from the working group “Scientific Observation.”

Read more

On the occasion of the 65th birthday of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, the MPIWG is publishing excerpts from his recent publication On Historicizing Epistemology: An Essay (Stanford University Press, 2010).

Read more
November 1, 2009

To mark the anniversary of Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s moons, the magazine <i>Sterne und Weltraum</i> will publish a special issue with contributions from researchers of the MPIWG.

Read more

Nicolas Langlitz’s anthropological investigation of brain research and philosophy in the sleep laboratory shows how philosophical questions that scholars have wrestled with for centuries are addressed in novel ways through laboratory experiments.

Read more

Julia Kursell studies why the Muscovite neurophysiologist Nikolai Bernstein brought piano virtuosos into the laboratory.

Read more
March 1, 2009

Historian of science Tania Munz examines Karl von Frisch’s work on honeybees over five decades and traces the transition of the bee as a cultural and scientific object.

Read more

Christine von Oertzen describes problems related to open access to digital visual media and reports on the efforts of the MPIWG to establish guidelines for the scholarly use of visual sources.

Read more
December 1, 2008

By studying the German physiologist and psychologist Hugo Münsterberg’s late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century laboratories in Freiburg and at Harvard University, Henning Schmidgen shows how new instruments encourage the emergence of new scientific facts.

Read more

Other Languages

Research Topic 13: "Courting the Crafts in Qing China" by Dagmar Schäfer in Chinese.

Research Topic 15: "The Uncertain Boundaries Between Light and Matter" by Marta Jordi Taltavull in Spanish and in Catalan.

Research Topic 16: Johann Lambert’s "Conversion to a Geometry of Space" by Vincenzo De Risi in Italian.

Research Topic 19: “Let Him Reconquer Language” by Sabine Arnaud in French.

Research Topic 22: "Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe" by Sven Dupré in Dutch.

Authors: Research Topic Numbers

Elena Aronova : Nr. 40
Viktoria Tkaczyk : Nr. 39
Sylvie Neven : Nr. 38
Dagmar Schäfer : Nr. 37 Nr. 13
Judith Kaplan : Nr. 36
Jenny Bangham : Nr. 35
Jürgen Renn , Matteo Valleriani , Jochen Büttner : Nr. 34
Elena Aronova , Christine von Oertzen , David Sepkoski : Nr. 33
Jochen Büttner : Nr. 32
Veronika Lipphardt : Nr. 31 Nr. 9
Elaine Leong : Nr. 30
Matteo Valleriani : Nr. 29
Etienne Benson : Nr. 28
Jürgen Renn , Helge Wendt : Nr. 27
Rohini Devasher : Nr. 26
Alexandra Widmer : Nr. 25
Fernando Vidal : Nr. 24
Jürgen Renn : Nr. 23
Sven Dupre : Nr. 22
Dagmar Schäfer , Falk-Juri Knauft : Nr. 21
Christine von Oertzen : Nr. 20 Nr. 4
Sabine Arnaud : Nr. 19
Lorraine Daston : Nr. 18
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger : Nr. 17
Vincenzo De Risi : Nr. 16
: Nr. 15
Grégoire Chamayou : Nr. 14
Wolfgang Lefèvre : Nr. 12
Barbara Wittmann : Nr. 11
Jürgen Renn , Matteo Valleriani , Jakob Staude: Nr. 10
Nicolas Langlitz : Nr. 8
Milena Wazeck : Nr. 7
Julia Kursell : Nr. 6
Tania Munz : Nr. 5
Henning Schmidgen : Nr. 3
Hannah Lotte Lund : Nr. 2
Thomas Sturm : Nr. 1
Alexander Blum : Nr. 41
Wilko Graf von Hardenberg : Nr. 42 Nr. 52
Alexander Blum , Roberto Lalli , Jürgen Renn : Nr. 43
Philipp Nicolas Lehmann : Nr. 44
Emily Brownell : Nr. 45
Joyce van Leeuwen : Nr. 46
Joeri Bruyninckx : Nr. 47
Sebastian Felten : Nr. 48
Tina Asmussen : Nr. 49
Lino Camprubi : Nr. 50
Tamar Novick : Nr. 51