Veronika Lipphardt

Research Group Director

Dr., Professor of History of Knowledge, Friedrich Meinecke Institute, Freie Universität Berlin.

Residence: March 1, 2009–April 30, 2016


Veronika Lipphardt works on the history of the life sciences, particularly physical anthropology and human population genetics and their social and cultural contexts. Her current work focuses on the history of knowledge about human variation in the 20th century. Since March 2009, she is director of an Independent Research Group, and since 2011, she is Professor at the Free University, Berlin and member of Die Junge Akademie.

Veronika Lipphardt has published a book about German-Jewish physical anthropologists and geneticists and how they contributed to the scientific debate about the so-called "Jewish race" between 1900 and 1935. From 2006 to 2009, she has been a researcher in the BMBF-funded Collaborative Research Project "Imagined Europeans. The scientific construction of Homo Europaeus" at Humboldt University Berlin, studying imaginations of the "European" and its biological essence in the life sciences from the 18th century until today. She has studied history, biology, musicology and social sciences in Vienna, Potsdam, Berlin and Freiburg. 

Selected publications

  • Lipphardt, V. (2012). Isolates and Crosses in Human Population Genetics, or: A Contextualization of German Race Science. Current Anthropology, (Vol 53, 5), 69-82. More
  • Lipphardt, V., & Ludwig, D. (2011). Knowledge Transfer and Science Transfer. European History Online (EGO). More
  • Lipphardt, V. (2010). The Jewish Community of Rome: an Isolated Population? Bio-historical Narratives in Genetic Analysis in the 1950s. BioSocieties, 5(3), 306-329. More
  • Lipphardt, V. (2008). Biologie der Juden. Jüdische Wissenschaftler über "Rasse" und Vererbung, 1900-1935. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck&Ruprecht. More
  • Lipphardt, V. (2008). Biohistorical Narratives of Jewish History. Contextualizing the Studies of Wilhelm Nussbaum (1896-1985). In A Cultural History of Heredity IV: Heredity in the Century of the Gene, Preprint 343 (pp. 191-212). Berlin: Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science. More

Talks and presentations

Selected Talks and Presentations
Jan 2013 Isolation, Wanderung, Herkunft und Verbreitung. Narratives Wissen in der Humanpopulationsgenetik. – Forschungskolloquium zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte bei Prof. Dr. Friedrich Steinle / TU Berlin. Institut für Philosophie, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte - Berlin
Mar 2013 Human Diversity and Biohistorical Narratives – Conference "Interventions. What it means to be human in 21st century life sciences". / Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Mercator Research Group "Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge" - Bochum
Apr 2013 Jews, Roma, Basks, Laps: How the Concept of "Isolates" Helped to Transfer Race Science Into Late 20th Century Human Population Genetics. – Workshop "Why does the racial and genetic discourse on the Jewish people reemerge in the 21st Century?" / ETH Zürich - Zürich
Apr 2013 Contemporary genetic studies of Roma. – Workshop: Contemporary genetics and uses of historical narrative. / MPIWG. Research Group: Twentieth-century histories of knowledge about human variation - Berlin.