TU Berlin

Institute of History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and LiteratureHistory of Science

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Chair for the History of Science


Historians of science study the long and complex developments that are behind scientific insights. They investigate the emergence and transformations of knowledge and, more in general, of the cultural, social, and material practices of science. They also ask what was considered to be scientific knowledge at different times, and what not. The sources for the history of science are not restricted to scientific texts and images, published or unpublished, but also include all kinds of cultural and socio-historical sources as well as instruments and technical artefacts.

The history of science group at the TU has its focus on the history of the natural and the so-called exact sciences. The BA program “Kultur und Technik mit Schwerpunkt Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte” (“Culture and Technology with core subject History of Science and Technology”) offers an introduction to the history of science as well as to the closely related field of history of technology. The interdisciplinary MA program “Geschichte und Kultur der Wissenschaft und Technik” (“History and Culture of Science and Technology”) has a wider scope that combines the fields of history of science, history of technology, and 'literature and science'. Within that scope, history of science can be chosen as a focus. In that context, students learn about the methodologies and dynamics in the sciences, about the history of their practices, and about the epistemic categories shaped in their historical development. For students coming from the humanities and social sciences, the interdisciplinary program provides an insight into the culture and dynamics of the natural sciences – and, conversely, students from scientific disciplines obtain an understanding of the questions, perspectives, and methods of the humanities. In this way, studying history of science allows to contextualize scientific practice and stimulates reflection on the conceptual basis of the sciences.


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