238 results match your criteria Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte[Journal]


Physics, History, and the German Atomic Bomb.

Authors:
Mark Walker

Ber Wiss 2017 Apr 27. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Department of History, Union College, Schenectady, New York, 12308, USA.

Physics, History, and the German Atomic Bomb. This paper examines the German concept of a nuclear weapon during National Socialism and the Second World War. Zusammenfassung: Physik, Geschichte und die deutsche Atombombe. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201701817DOI Listing
April 2017
1 Read

Weniger schlechte Bilder. Walfängerwissen in Naturgeschichte, Ozeanographie und Literatur im 19. Jahrhundert.

Authors:
Felix Lüttge

Ber Wiss 2016 06;39(2):127-42

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Kulturwissenschaft, Unter den Linden 6, D-10099, Berlin.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201601782DOI Listing

"[A]n der Front des Kampfes um den Menschen selbst". Anthropogenetik und Anthropotechnik im sowjetischen Diskurs der 1920er Jahre.

Authors:
Kevin Liggieri

Ber Wiss 2016 06;39(2):165-84

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Mercator Research Group, "Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge", FNO 02/19, Universitätstr. 150, D-44801, Bochum.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201601770DOI Listing

[How to do Things with Metaphors: Reflections on the Role of Metaphors and Metaphor Theory for the History of Science Using the Example of Shock Metaphors in Medicine].

Authors:
Ulrich Koch

Ber Wiss 2015 Dec;38(4):321-42

School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University, 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, US-Washington, DC 20037.

In recent decades, metaphors have attracted a great deal of interest within the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. The article takes the growing interest in epistemic metaphors as the starting point of a discussion of two conflicting motives prevalent in theories of metaphor and metaphoricity: On the one hand, metaphors are associated with the indeterminacy of scientific discovery and the emergence of new epistemic objects; and on the other hand, metaphors are said to provide a filter of possible meanings and vantage-points. It is argued that an approach, which aims to do justice to both tendencies, cannot exclusively rely on linguistic models but must expand its scope of inquiry to include the practical trajectories of a metaphor’s usage as well as the problematizations to which they respond, since both engender metaphorical meaning, albeit at the cost of semantic precision. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501643DOI Listing
December 2015

[Focal Point “Reading Animal”. Hermann Cohn and the Emergence of the Fin de Siècle Hygiene of Reading].

Authors:
Fabian Grütter

Ber Wiss 2015 Dec;38(4):305-20

(MA ETH), ETH Zürich, Clausiusstraße 59, CH-8092 Zürich.

From the 1860s onward, ‘eye experts’ increasingly fretted the alleged surge of myopia attributed to an increase of reading matter circulating in schools. In order to avert the inauspicious prospects, revised school desks designed to prevent children from becoming myopic were introduced. During the 1880s, said experts turned to printed matter, maintaining that books must become more reader friendly. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501731DOI Listing
December 2015

Petrus van Musschenbroek and Newton's 'vera stabilisque Philosophandi methodus'.

Authors:
Steffen Ducheyne

Ber Wiss 2015 Dec;38(4):279-304

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Pleinlaan 2, room 5B425, B-1050 Brussels.

According to a dominant view in the scholarly literature, Musschenbroek is to be considered a follower of Newton’s methodology, i.e. as a natural philosopher who, although he occasionally departed from Newton’s doctrines, aligned himself to Newton’s methodological views. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501745DOI Listing
December 2015

[The Durkheim Test. Remarks on Susan Leigh Star's Boundary Objects].

Ber Wiss 2015 Sep;38(3):211-26

DFG-Graduiertenkolleg "Locating Media", Universität Siegen, Artur-Woll-Haus, Am Eichenhang 50, D-57076 Siegen.

The article reconstructs Susan Leigh Star's conceptual work on the notion of 'boundary objects'. It traces the emergence of the concept, beginning with her PhD thesis and its publication as Regions of the Mind in 1989. 'Boundary objects' attempt to represent the distributed, multifold nature of scientific work and its mediations between different 'social worlds'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501724DOI Listing
September 2015

[For the Introduction of a Conceptual Perspective in Mathematics: Dedekind, Noether, van der Waerden].

Ber Wiss 2015 Sep;38(3):243-58

Zentrale Frauenbeauftragte, Freie Universität Berlin, Goßlerstraße 2-4, D-14195 Berlin.

,,She [Noether] then appeared as the creator of a new direction in algebra and became the leader, the most consistent and brilliant representative, of a particular mathematical doctrine - of all that is characterized by the term ‚Begriffliche Mathematik‘.“ The aim of this paper is to illuminate this "new direction", which can be characterized as a conceptual [begriffliche] perspective in mathematics, and to comprehend its roots and trace its establishment. Field, ring, ideal, the core concepts of this new direction in mathematical images of knowledge, were conceptualized by Richard Dedekind (1831-1916) within the scope of his number theory research and associated with an understanding of a formation of concepts as a "free creation of the human spirit". Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501729DOI Listing
September 2015

[Geognosy versus Geology: National Modes of Thought and Cultural Practices Concerning Space and Time in Competition].

Authors:
Marianne Klemun

Ber Wiss 2015 Sep;38(3):227-42

Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien, Universitätsring 1, A-1010 Wien.

Natural science investigators at the end of the eighteenth century made use of conflicting labels to position their respective preferred fields of activity in the Earth sciences. This mania for labelling marked their break with natural science and the umbrella term 'mineralogy'. In this conflict situation of specialist classifications and explanations, two terms in particular were established: geognosy and geology, which covered the very promising project of research in the areas of the 'origin of the Earth' and the 'formation of the Earth'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501728DOI Listing
September 2015
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[The Significance of Terminology for the Idea of a Historical Period--Considerations on Frühe Neuzeit/Early Modern].

Authors:
Justus Nipperdey

Ber Wiss 2015 Jun;38(2):170-85

Historisches Institut, Lehrstuhl Frühe Neuzeit, Universität des Saarlandes, D-66041 Saarbrücken.

The Significance of Terminology for the Idea of a Historical Period - Considerations on Frühe Neuzeit/Early Modern. This article focuses on the relationship between the names given to historical periods and the attributed substance of that period. It argues that the possibility of a neutralisation in terms of substantive meaning depends on the terminology used to delineate a historical period. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501719DOI Listing

["Chemistry of Concepts”and “Historical Sense”. On Philosophical Concept Formation].

Ber Wiss 2015 Jun;38(2):153-69

Philosophisches Seminar der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Leibnizstraße 6, D-24118 Kiel.

"Chemistry of Concepts" and "Historical Sense". On Philosophical Concept Formation. The question concerning concepts and their relations to objects and words has had a long and controversial history. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501726DOI Listing

[The Origin of Scientific Notions in the Circle of the Roman Accademiadella Virt¾ around 1550].

Authors:
Bernd Kulawik

Ber Wiss 2015 Jun;38(2):140-52

Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin, Luegetenstraße 11, CH-8840 Einsiedeln.

The Origin of Scientific Notions in the Circle of the Roman Accademia della Virtù around 1550. Between c. 1537 and 1555 a group of humanists, clerics, architects and philologists known as the so-called Accademia della Virtù got together in Rome to work on a program which was formulated in a letter by the Sienese humanist Claudio Tolomei in 1542 and published in 1547. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501722DOI Listing

[The Gradual Formation of the Concept of ‘Light Quanta'].

Authors:
Klaus Hentschel

Ber Wiss 2015 Jun;38(2):121-39

Abteilung für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften & Technik, Universität Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 17, D-70174 Stuttgart.

The Gradual Formation of the Concept of 'Light Quanta'. The complex concept of 'light quanta' which made its first appearance in Albert Einstein's 1905 paper on a "heuristic point of view" to cope with the photoelectric effect and other forms of interaction of light and matter, has a rich history both before and after 1905. Some of its semantic layers lead as far back as Newton and Kepler, others are only fully espoused several decades later, yet others initially increased, then diminished in importance and finally vanished. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501718DOI Listing
June 2015
1 Read

[Not Available].

Authors:
Philipp Osten

Ber Wiss 2015 Jun;38(2):111-20

Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 327, D-69120 Heidelberg.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501717DOI Listing

[Thought Experiments in Historiographic Function: Max Weber on Eduard Meyer and the Question of Counterfactuality].

Authors:
Florian Ernst

Ber Wiss 2015 Mar;38(1):77-91

M. A., Universität Konstanz, Fachbereich Geschichte und Soziologie, Universitätsstraße 10, D-78464 Konstanz.

Thought Experiments in Historiographic Function: Max Weber on Eduard Meyer and the Question of Counterfactuality. Max Weber's remarks on his colleague Eduard Meyer regarding counterfactual reasoning in history reflects a significant shift during the Methodenstreit around 1900. The question of attributing historical change strictly to either individual causes or abstract general laws has been tackled in a new way: By counterfactual reasoning a historian should be able to detect the most significant (and therefore meaningful) cause, event, or action for a certain historical outcome. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501702DOI Listing
March 2015
1 Read

[Thought Experiments of Economic Surplus: Science and Economy in Ernst Mach's Epistemology].

Authors:
Monika Wulz

Ber Wiss 2015 Mar;38(1):59-76

ETH Zürich, RZ, Professur für Wissenschaftsforschung, Clausiusstraße 59, CH-8092 Zürich.

Thought Experiments of Economic Surplus: Science and Economy in Ernst Mach's Epistemology. Thought experiments are an important element in Ernst Mach's epistemology: They facilitate amplifying our knowledge by experimenting with thoughts; they thus exceed the empirical experience and suspend the quest for immediate utility. In an economical perspective, Mach suggested that thought experiments depended on the production of an economic surplus based on the division of labor relieving the struggle for survival of the individual. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501703DOI Listing

[Is it Possible to Experiment with Thought? Ernst Mach's Notion of Thought Experiment and its Pedagogical Context around 1900. ].

Authors:
Julian Bauer

Ber Wiss 2015 Mar;38(1):41-58

Fachbereich Geschichte und Soziologie, Universität Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, D-78457 Konstanz.

Is it Possible to Experiment with Thought? Ernst Mach's Notion of Thought Experiment and its Pedagogical Context around 1900. The article tries to establish the crucial importance of the pedagogical dimension of Ernst Mach's ideas on experimenting with thought. The focus on contemporary pedagogics demonstrates, first, that Mach's didactic approach to physics is part of a much broader stream of pedagogical writings that transcends national and disciplinary borders and comprises a diversity of authors, e. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501704DOI Listing
March 2015
1 Read

[Investigation of Empiricism. On Ernst Mach's Conception of the Thought Experiment].

Ber Wiss 2015 Mar;38(1):15-40

"Bild Wissen Gestaltung. Ein interdisziplinäres Labor"︁, Exzellenzcluster der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin.

Investigation of Empiricism. On Ernst Mach's Conception of the Thought Experiment. The paper argues that Ernst Mach's conception of the thought experiment from 1897/1905 holds a singular position in the lively discussions and repeated theorizations that have continued up to the present in relation to this procedure. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501705DOI Listing

[Thought experiments, counterfactuality and self-understanding of the sciences around 1900].

Ber Wiss 2015 Mar;38(1):7-14

Juniorprofessur für Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, EXC 16 "Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration", FB Geschichte und Soziologie, Universität Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, D-78457 Konstanz.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201501701DOI Listing

[Mental images: towards a media history of the psyche around 1900].

Authors:
Veronika Rall

Ber Wiss 2014 Dec;37(4):379-94

Presupposing that visual practices are inherent to the social constitution of knowledge, this article suggests juxtaposing photographs and films produced in a psychiatric environment to popular films run in theaters around 1900, thus identifying cinema's particular "Denkstil" (Fleck). Rejecting science's dominating paradigm of visual objectivity (Daston/Galison), the visual apparatus [dispositif] of early cinema facilitates subjective experience of unreason and irrationality and thus initiates a different epistemological approach to knowledge as self-knowledge of a modern, self-reflexive subject. This is particularly evident in early cinema's depiction of the psyche, which does not solely focus on the physical manifestation of the 'mad', 'insane' body, but also visualizes the subject's inner life: technical means like montage, multiple exposure or stop motion can be employed to illustrate subjective visions, fantasies or dreams. Read More

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December 2014

[Gazing into the depths of the soul: hypnotism in documentary and instructional film (1920-1936)].

Authors:
Sophie Ledebur

Ber Wiss 2014 Dec;37(4):363-78

Although part of the medical fold since the 1870s, hypnosis was long relegated to the margins, recognised and used by only a relatively small group of medical professionals. In the decades around 1900 hypnotic techniques were monopolised as a form of medical treatment through a long and in no way linear process. Hypnosis of laymen was vehemently opposed, however, denounced as being far too dangerous. Read More

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December 2014
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["... mein Recht muss mir werden!" Hermann Bahr's tragicomedy Der Querulant (1914)].

Authors:
Rupert Gaderer

Ber Wiss 2014 Dec;37(4):351-62

At the end of the eighteenth century, people who became notorious for their excessive engagement in legal proceedings started being labeled as "querulents" or "paranoid litigants". The term "querulents" first appeared in the General Order of the Court for the Prussian States (Allgemeine Gerichtsardnung für die Preussischen Staaten) from July 6, 1793. From there on, the spectrum of juridical measures undertaken against the so-labeled litigators included classifying these persons as ineligible for legal action and psychiatric hospitalization. Read More

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December 2014
3 Reads

["Simulanten des Irrsinns auf dem Vortragspult": dada, war and psychiatry--'active dynamics of trauma'].

Authors:

Ber Wiss 2014 Dec;37(4):332-50

This paper relates stage performances of dada artists to war neurosis and shell shock as sociocultural phenomena. The leitmotif of this investigation is the notion of simulation, as dada artists were referred to as malingerers (simulators) of madness by the press at the time. I hypothesize that the performers imitate/simulate with drums, shouting and 'bruitist' sound poems, the noises of war, staging themselves as war neurotics in a kind of shocking clinical demonstration. Read More

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December 2014

[Performing madness: the clinic as stage].

Ber Wiss 2014 Dec;37(4):309-31

In the second half of the nine- teenth century, clinical demonstrations became the dominant teaching method in psychiatry, playing a key role in medical-professional disputes, as well. This paper traces this widely used though historiographically neglected practice of knowledge implementation and mediation, as demonstrated in the psychiatric clinic of the Berlin Charité (Psychiatrische und Nervenklinik der Berliner Charité) from 1881 to 1927. Documentation of this practice, found within individual medical records, forms the basis of this research. Read More

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December 2014
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[Systems, boundaries and resources: the lexicographer Gerhard Wahrig (1923-1978) and the genesis of his project "dictionary as database"].

Ber Wiss 2014 Sep;37(3):263-86

Gerhard Wahrig's private archive has recently been retrieved by the authors and their siblings. We undertake a first survey of the unpublished material and concentrate on those aspects of Wahrig's bio-ergography which stand in relation to his life project "dictionary as database", realised shortly before his death. We argue that this project was conceived in the 1950s, while Wahrig was writing and editing dictionaries and encyclopedias for the Bibliographisches Institut in Leipzig. Read More

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September 2014

[What remains is what should remain: using estates to construct biographies].

Authors:
Wilhelm Füssl

Ber Wiss 2014 Sep;37(3):240-62

Estates play a major role in historical research, especially biographic research, for they supplement the official writings surrounding the individual view of a historical figure. But they nonetheless reflect only a small part of the scientific and private activities of a researcher. Moreover, before being handed over to an archive, they are also often filtered by the researchers themselves, by family members, and/or by successors to the historical figure's post. Read More

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September 2014

[Behring's personal papers--Behring's lives].

Authors:
Ulrike Enke

Ber Wiss 2014 Sep;37(3):216-39

The article wants to show the connection between the enriched personal papers of Emil von Behring (1854-1917) in the Behring archives in Marburg (established in 1927) and the history of the first biography of the scientist, which was published by Heinz Zeiss and Richard Bieling during Nazi era in 1940. One focus is placed on Behring's widow Else von Behring (1876-1936), who was active in arranging Behring's papers in proper order and in searching a biographer of her husband's life. The paper also presents new discoveries from the Behring Works archives in Marburg which show Behring--founder of the serum therapy and first winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1901--as an entrepreneur who was fighting for control and influence in the field of science and of business: maybe another narration of Behring's life. Read More

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September 2014
1 Read

[From biodiversity to biodiversification: a new economy of nature?].

Authors:
Sabine Höhler

Ber Wiss 2014 Mar;37(1):60-77

This paper explores the relations between economy and ecology in the last quarter of the 20th century with the example of biodiversity. From its definition in the 1980s, the concept of biodiversity responded not only to conservational concerns but also to hopes and demands of economic profitability. The paper argues that archival systems of inventorying and surveying nature, the biodiversity database and the biodiversity portfolio, changed the view on nature from a resource to an investment. Read More

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[Remedy for shortage or risk for national security? The search for oil in Switzerland].

Ber Wiss 2014 Mar;37(1):41-59

Over several decades, geologists, entrepreneurs, politicians, and public authorities dealt with a potential petroleum occurrence in Switzerland. They provided scientific expertise, granted concessions, invested capital and sank bore holes. Although the endeavour was never successful economically, it reveals how closely related geopolitical situations and the exploitation of natural resources were. Read More

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[Inventories of the Earth. Mineral resource appraisals and the rise of resource economics].

Ber Wiss 2014 Mar;37(1):20-40

How do the earth sciences mediate between the natural and social world? This paper explores the question by focusing on the history of nonfuel mineral resource appraisal from the late nineteenth to the mid twentieth century. It argues that earth sciences early on embraced social scientific knowledge, i.e. Read More

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March 2014
4 Reads

[Max Planck--an adversary of Christianity? The debate about Planck's attitude towards religion after World War II].

Authors:
Gebhard Löhr

Ber Wiss 2012 Mar;35(1):42-61

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Theologische Fakultät.

The article discusses a debate which unfolded in the early 1950s and 1960s between East German Marxist philosophers and historians of science and West German theologians and scientists. The subject treated was the attitude towards religion of famous physicist Max Planck who had died a few years earlier, in 1947. The article analyses the different positions of the contributors, mainly with a view to developing a categorial framework usable in descriptions and analyses of the religious attitudes of natural scientists. Read More

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[An analytical visualization practice. The pathological-anatomical illustrations of Jean Cruveilhier in relation to clinical observations].

Authors:
Lukas Engelmann

Ber Wiss 2012 Mar;35(1):7-24

The article examines the meaning and function of medical illustrations in the famous Atlas Anatomie pathologique, published by the French surgeon Jean Cruveilhier (1791-1874). By tracing the complex representation of pathological entities both back to the visual tradition of anatomy and the semiotic tradition of case descriptions and case histories, the article identifies the visualization technique of Cruveilhier as an analytical practice. The illustration of pathological anatomy gains a functional diagnostic quality when bound to case descriptions and clinical histories. Read More

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[On natural history museums and their purpose. A lecture given by Leopold von Buch (1774-1853) in April 1838].

Authors:
Björn Kröger

Ber Wiss 2011 Dec;34(4):346-62

Museum für Naturkunde Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin.

A manuscript of a lecture by the Prussian geologist Leopold von Buch given at the Berlin Society of the Friends of the Humanity was discovered at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. The text is a raw version of a passionate plea for the formation of natural history collections as science places, with a partly biting humor. Based on until now unknown anecdotes about naturalists like Kaspar Maria Graf Sternberg (1761-1838) and Friedrich Wilhelm Hoeninghaus (1771-1854) Leopold von Buch argues with von Sternberg for the scientific value of natural history collections. Read More

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December 2011

["Maintaining a Common Culture"--the German Research Foundation and the Austrian-German scientific aid in the interbellum].

Ber Wiss 2011 Dec;34(4):303-28

Universität Wien, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Spitalgasse, Wien.

After the end of the Great War, private as well as public research funding in Austria was anaemic and slow to develop. Whereas the German state-funded Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) was established as early as 1920, first steps in that direction were only taken in Austria in the late 1920s. In 1929, the Osterreichisch-deutsche Wissenschaftshilfe (ODW) was founded under the auspices of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the DFG. Read More

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December 2011

["He corrects my view and develops it further." Comments by David von Hansemann on the monograph by Theodor Boveri Concerning the origin of malignant tumors (1914)].

Ber Wiss 2011 Sep;34(3):263-83

Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin, Berlin.

According to many authors, the treatise on cancer written by Theodor Boveri in 1914 demonstrates astonishing foresight with respect to contemporary cancer research, in particular with respect to the genomic instability of tumors. In some recent publications, however, it has been claimed that not Boveri but primarily David von Hansemann deserves credit for these chromosomal theories of cancer origin. The claim seems to be unjustified because there are great differences, both in conception and in argumentation, between both opinions. Read More

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September 2011
4 Reads

[Ants and aliens. An episode in the history of entomological and sociological construction of knowledge].

Authors:
Niels Werber

Ber Wiss 2011 Sep;34(3):242-62

Universität Siegen, Lehrstuhl Neuere Deutsche Literaturwissenschaften 1, Philosophische Fakultät, Siegen.

The frequent use of biological metaphors in descriptions of society is well known and has already been investigated. Even the traces of biological theory in sociology have been explored. In this field of science, studies of social insects play an important role, because ants, bees, and termites have been considered to be genuinely political animals and founders of societies. Read More

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September 2011

[The meaning of "apology": the survivors of Nazi medical crimes and the Max Planck Society].

Authors:
Carola Sachse

Ber Wiss 2011 Sep;34(3):224-41

Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Universität Wien.

Around the turn of the twenty-first century a new practice in international politics became established: representatives of political, economic and religious organisations apologised for the historical and political crimes of their own collectives, addressing the victims or the victims' descendants. At a public event in June 2001, a formal apology of this kind was made by the president of the Max Planck Society (MPS), who had previously launched an extensive programme of research into the National Socialist history of what was then the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The majority of the eight invited survivors of human experimentation in Nazi concentration camps refused forgiveness. Read More

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September 2011
1 Read

[LONI & Co: about the epistemic specificity of digital spaces of knowledge in cognitive neuroscience].

Authors:
Lara Huber

Ber Wiss 2011 Jun;34(2):174-90

Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Institut für Geschichte, Theorie und Ethik der Medizin, Mainz.

In the neurosciences digital databases more and more are becoming important tools of data rendering and distributing. This development is due to the growing impact of imaging based trial design in cognitive neuroscience, including morphological as much as functional imaging technologies. As the case of the 'Laboratory of Neuro Imaging' (LONI) is showing, databases are attributed a specific epistemological power: Since the 1990s databasing is seen to foster the integration of neuroscientific data, although local regimes of data production, -manipulation and--interpretation are also challenging this development. Read More

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June 2011
1 Read

Removing the center from computing: biology's new mode of digital knowledge production.

Authors:
Joseph November

Ber Wiss 2011 Jun;34(2):156-73

Department of History, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

This article shows how the USA's National Institutes of Health (NIH) helped to bring about a major shift in the way computers are used to produce knowledge and in the design of computers themselves as a consequence of its early 1960s efforts to introduce information technology to biologists. Starting in 1960 the NIH sought to reform the life sciences by encouraging researchers to make use of digital electronic computers, but despite generous federal support biologists generally did not embrace the new technology. Initially the blame fell on biologists' lack of appropriate (i. Read More

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[Documenting and describing. The epistemic function of psychiatric records, their archiving and reinterpretation into case histories].

Authors:
Sophie Ledebur

Ber Wiss 2011 Jun;34(2):102-24

Institut für Medizingeschichte, Berlin.

The paper attempts to reconstruct the writing of published case histories. Due to the establishment of a scientific classification system in psychiatry there were at the Charité several changes from the late 1870s onwards: (1) Not only was the documentation in the clinical records altered significantly, but also (2) the archive was reorganized into a double filing system and (3) the casuistic made a development from describing seldom or sensational cases into a mode which aimed to unfold psychiatric theory through 'typical cases'. Original medical records, the internal documentation of psychiatric observation, will be compared to their published version. Read More

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[The 'Krüppelfürsorge' during the Weimar Republic. Oscillating between an own position and the adoption of eugenic arguments].

Ber Wiss 2011 Mar;34(1):64-76

This article examines the discourse about physical disability led by the German 'Krüppelfürsorge'. It deals with the exhibition GeSoLei (Gesundheitspflege, soziale Fürsorge and Leibesübungen), which took place in Düsseldorf in 1926. The GeSoLei was one of the most popular platforms of the healthy and aesthetic body in the 1920s. Read More

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[Biophysical double-lives, 1939-1946. Or: spaces of boredom. On 'information discourse' and (dis)continuities in the life sciences].

Authors:
Max Stadler

Ber Wiss 2011 Mar;34(1):27-63

ETH Zürich, Zürich.

Arguably, few things have shaped the historiography of the mid-twentieth century psy-sciences (and indeed, of the life sciences and science/technology/intellectual life quite generally) more profoundly than the story of cybernetics. This essay aims to undermine this technofuturistic picture of epistemological upheavals, of cyborg regimes of knowing, and of the incipient post-human, by reinserting back into the story the rather dull and unspectacular lives (and occupations) of the great majority of British, 'diverted' biologists during World War II. Instead of Ratio Clubbers or Macy-Conference frequenters, this essay is concerned with a much larger population of would-be biologists and their most pedestrian appropriations of, and exposures to, electronics. Read More

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March 2011
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[The constitution and attribution of government research agencies. A matter of need for science-generated policy knowledge?].

Authors:
Axel Philipps

Ber Wiss 2011 Mar;34(1):7-26

Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Soziologie, Hannover.

Government research agencies are a form of extra-university research institutions. In contrast to other extra-university research facilities they are subordinate to and financed by respective German governmental departments. As their mission they provide science-generated information, services, and monitoring to support the governmental departments. Read More

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[Contraception as an instrument against population growth: expert discussions and the public sphere in 1960s West Germany].

Authors:
Eva-Maria Silies

Ber Wiss 2010 Sep;33(3):246-62

Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.

Theoretically, the introduction of the contraceptive pill in the 1960s created new possibilities to control population growth on a global scale. Several of those involved in developing the pill belonged to the transnational population control movement. In the Federal Republic, demographic and medical experts in the 1960s debated the advantages and dangers of the new contraceptive, and they argued about whether it could be of benefit in West Germany and/or in developing countries. Read More

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September 2010

[Concerning the crisis of the West German politics of limit values in the 1970s: the transformation of cancer at the workplace from a toxicological into a socioeconomic problem].

Authors:
Beat Bächi

Ber Wiss 2010 Dec;33(4):419-35

Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung/Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology/Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung, Universität Bielefeld.

The paper tackles the changes that occurred in the political culture and the episteme of risk in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1970s. The objects of observation are limit values for hazardous industrial materials, especially for carcinogens. At the forefront of the production of such values in Germany was the German Research Society's Senate Commission for the Examination of Hazardous Industrial Materials. Read More

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December 2010

[Psychotropic drugs in socialism? Drug regulation in the German Democratic Republic in the 1960s].

Ber Wiss 2010 Dec;33(4):382-400

Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Charité-Universitätmedizin Berlin.

The peculiarities of drug regulation in the GDR are best described by a historical reconstruction of a concrete field of practice. The article analyses the regulation of psychotropic drugs by focussing on the centralised planning and control of pharmaceutical research and development in the 1960s. Its starting point is the observation that an introduction of certain psychotropic drugs like tranquilizers was initially controversial in the GDR. Read More

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December 2010

[Regulation of behavior in the period between the world wars: Robert Musil and Kurt Lewin].

Ber Wiss 2010 Dec;33(4):365-81

Philologisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Wien.

The paper attempts to reconstruct the proto-cybernetic concept of regulation which emerged in early 20th century both in biology and psychology, and was critically reflected in literature. The basic premise is that Kurt Lewin's field-theoretical psychology played a crucial role in the development of behavioral self-regulation concepts. The goal is to show (1) that Lewin's early experiments and theories were based on the idea of a dynamic process of self-regulation determined by the actors and their personal motivation and interaction, (2) that this concept of self-regulation functioned as a camouflage for power-strategies that aimed to regulate and optimize the economic production and social reproduction processes, (3) that in Robert Musil's fragmentary, 'fringing' novel The Man without Qualities the attempt to optimize the social and economic behavior and to establish a homeostatic state proved to be a complete failure. Read More

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December 2010