Lara Keuck

Research Group Leader (Apr 2021-Jun 2026)


Lara Keuck is a professor of history and philosophy of medicine at Bielefeld University. At the MPIWG she leads an independent Max Planck Research Group on Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences. Lara graduated in molecular biomedicine at Bonn University with a Diploma thesis in virology at the Robert Koch Institute in 2008. She then participated in a German-French PhD program in History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine at the University Medical Center Mainz and the Philosophy Department of the École normale supérieure in Paris, and completed her dissertation Towards an Epistemology of Medical Classification Systems in 2012. Her research was awarded the 2012 Prize for Philosophy in Psychiatry of the German Association of Psychiatry DGPPN. 

In 2012–15, Lara held postdoctoral positions at the MPIWG and at the Institute of Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin, where she worked on a project on blurred boundaries, from which grew a book on vagueness in psychiatry. The ETH Zurich awarded her a Branco Weiss Fellowship in 2015, the funding from which was used to establish a junior research group Learning from Alzheimer’s Disease: A History of Biomedical Models of Mental Illness, which she led from 2015–21 at the Department of History of HU Berlin. Lara has also been a short-term visiting scholar at Princeton University, University of Exeter, and Université de Bordeaux. In 2020 she was elected to Die Junge Akademie, the young academy of Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Lara has lectured in medicine, philosophy, and history, and has collaborated with scientists and scholars across these fields, in particular on meta-methodological questions and on the uses of history and philosophy in biomedicine.

About the Research Group



Commoning Biomedicine: Networking Decentralized Collections of Oral Histories


Health Beyond Medicine


Identity in Histories of Science, Medicine, and Heritage


The History of Lucid Dreaming Research: An Interdisciplinary Oral History


Translating Validity in Psychiatric Research


Validation and Regulation in the Sciences of Health


Validation at the Borderline


Encounters between Medicine, Literature, Philosophy, and their Circulation in Public Debates


Epistemologies of Heritable Disease Classifications in the Early 1950s


Selected Publications

Demazeux, Steeves and Lara K. Keuck (2023). “Comment peut-on être précis les yeux fermés?” In Promesses et limites de la psychiatrie de précision: enjeux pratiques, épistémologiques et éthiques, ed. C. Gauld, S. Demazeux, and É. Giroux, 201–230…

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Keuck, Lara K. and Kärin Nickelsen (2022). “Introduction: Embracing Ambivalence and Change.” Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 45 (3): 291–300.

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Chen, Esther (2022). Politics of Sources Meets the Practices of the Librarian: An Interview with Esther Chen. Interview by Lara K. Keuck and Kärin Nickelsen. Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 45 (3): 508–516.…

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Hendriksen, Marieke, Christian Joas, Lara K. Keuck, Dominik Knaupp, Fabian Krämer, and Kärin Nickelsen, eds. (2022). Histories of Ethology: Methods, Sites, and Dynamics of an Unbound Discipline. Special issue, Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 45…

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Features and Digital Resources

Upcoming Events

Institute's Colloquium

Work in Progress Screening—Patient Activism in the Public Sphere: Re-Editing and Reassessing the Contribution of Documentary Film and Reportage to the Duogynon Campaigns


Past Events

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Validity in the Biomedical Sciences: A Relational Epistemology

University of Oslo

The Science Studies Colloquium Series
Steeves Demazeux and Lara Keuck: Three challenges to validity in psychiatric research

Quelles philosophies pour la psychiatrie ? Colloque international, Centre Broca, Paris

7. Offenes Forum Geschichte der Lebenswissenschaften.

Organisiert von Lara Keuck, Birgit Nemec, Johannes Schuckert und Hanna Worliczek. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Institut für Geschichte der Universität Wien.

Remembering, differently? Ander(e)s Erinnern in Künsten und Wissenschaften. Wissenstadt Berlin 2021.

Organisiert von Lara Keuck und Michael Bies. Clärchens Ballhaus (Spiegelsaal), Auguststraße 24, 10117 Berlin 

Historicizing Validity: Scoping Alzheimer’s Disease

Laboratoire d'Excellence DistAlz, Espace éthique Ile-de-France, Équipe de Recherche en Éthique et Épistémologie

Praktiken der Validierung: Zur Methodengeschichte der Biomedizin

Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, LMU München

Provenance and validity: on retrospective diagnosis and biomedical history

CIRCUS, University of Uppsala, SWE

“Scope Validity in Medicine” (invited panel)

American Philosophical Association

Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Oral History/Wissenschaft und Demokratie, 1989/90

Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, HU Berlin

Nachrichten & Presse

Sonderausgabe: On Epistemic Times: Writing History 25 Years after Synthesizing Proteins in the Test Tube


Lara Keuck sprach mit der Pharmazeutischen Zeitung über Wahrheit und Wissen in der Wissenschaft


Lara Keuck wurde zum Mitglied des ALLEA-Vorstands 2022–2024 gewählt