Geert Somsen

Visiting Scholar (Sep 2016-Dez 2016)

PhD, Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow, Columbia University

Geert Somsen is based at Maastricht University, Netherlands, where he teaches history of science at undergraduate and graduate levels. He has been Academic Coordinator of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences and PhD Training Coordinator of the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture. He is the recipient of a Marie Curie International Outgoing fellowship, 2014–17, in the EU 7th Framework Programme, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Uppsala Universitet and Harvard University. He is editor of Studium, the Low Countries’ Review for the History of Science. Before arriving at the MPIWG he spent two years as a Research Associate at the Department of History of Columbia University.

Geert studies public discourse about science, especially in relation to its political implications. In his current project he examines how science has been promoted as a model for international cooperation through appeals to its universality. He explores the different agendas (from communist to fascist) with which such appeals have been made and the varying conceptions of world order that they have given rise to, and has published widely on this and related topics. He recently completed the volumes Pursuing the Unity of Science: Ideology and Scientific Practice from the Great War to the Cold War (Ashgate 2016, edited with Harmke Kamminga) and Neutrality in Twentieth-Century Europe: Intersections of Science, Culture and Politics after the First World War (Routledge 2012, edited with Rebecka Lettevall and Sven Widmalm).



No current projects were found for this scholar.

Science and World Order: Uses of Science in Plans for International Government, 1899-1950


Selected Publications

Somsen, Geert (2021). “The Princess at the Conference: Science, Pacifism, and Habsburg Society.” History of Science 59 (4): 434–460. https://doi.org/10.1177/0073275320977750.

Read More

Somsen, Geert (2020). “The Philosopher and the Rooster: Henri Bergson’s French Diplomatic Missions, 1914–1925.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 50 (4): 364–383. https://doi.org/10.1525/hsns.2020.50.4.364.

Read More

Somsen, Geert (2017). “Science, Fascism, and Foreign Policy: The Exhibition ‘Scienza Universale’ at the 1942 Rome World’s Fair .” Isis 108 (4): 769–791. https://doi.org/10.1086/695758.

Read More

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

The Princess at the Conference: Science, Pacifism and Habsburg Society in Bertha von Suttner’s Der Menschheit Hochgedanken (1911)

Columbia University, New York City (Intellectual and Cultural History Seminar)

The Idealism of International Science

Columbia University (Columbia Committee on Global Thought, keynote presentation)

Columbia Committee on Global Thought
Science, Fascism and Foreign Policy: the Ideological Mobilization of ‘Scienza Universale’ in the 1942 World Exhibition in Rome

York University, Toronto (STS Seminar Series)

STS Seminar Series, York University
Chemical Internationalism: Wilhelm Ostwald, Die Brücke, and the Energy Streams of Empire

Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia (Brown Bag Lecture)

CHF Brown Bag Lectures
‘Science and World Order’: Uses of Science in Plans for International Government

Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government, STS Circle)

Harvard STS Circle
‘Science … the Great Pacifier’: George Sarton, History of Science, and the First World War in America

Ghent, conference Intellectuals and the Great War (invited contribution)

Intellectuals and the Great War

Nachrichten & Presse

MPIWG-Forschende und Alumni veröffentlichen eine Isis-Ausgabe zum Thema Anthropozän