Marius Buning

Postdoctoral Fellow (Aug 2017-Okt 2017)


Marius Buning’s research interests focus on the origins of intellectual property law; the relationship between science and technology; how experiment bears upon theory; and the part played by the early modern state in defining these respective fields. In 2013 Marius defended his PhD thesis at the European University Institute in Florence. His thesis examined the history of patent law in relation to the development of early modern science. Focusing on the Dutch Republic between 1581–1621, Marius reconstructed the legal background to the patents system, the social construction of patent procedures, and the ways in which new inventions were tested. He argued that the institution of a patent system was an integral part of early modern state formation and that it provided a distinct "working model" for how to arrive at truth claims through the use of experimental method. 

Marius was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Amsterdam (2006), a Visiting Fellow at the History of Science department of Harvard University (2010) and a student representative at the History Department of the European University Institute (2012). He has an ongoing interest in the Digital Humanities and is currently involved in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450–1900), a Cambridge-based collaborative research project to create a digital archive of primary sources on copyright. 



Privileged Knowledge: The Politics of Print in the Early Dutch Republic


Spaces of Exchange of Objects and Knowledge


Selected Publications

Buning, M. (2017). Promoting technical knowledge: printing privileges and technical literature in the Early Dutch Republic. In L. Hilaire-Pérez, K. Vermeir, V. Nègre, & D. Spicq (Eds.), Le livre et les techniques avant le XXe siècle: à l’échelle…

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Buning, M. (2016). Discovering inventions: a short history of inventor’s privileges. In C. Zanetti (Ed.), Janello Torriani: a Renaissance genius, Exhibition catalogue, Cremona – Museum of the Violin, Cremona, 2016, pp. 59-61. (pp. 59-61). Cremona:…

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Buning, M. (2014). Inventing scientific method: the privilege system as a model for scientific knowledge-production. Intellectual History Review, 24(1), 59-70.

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Buning, M. (2014). Between Imitation and Invention. Inventor Privileges and Technological Progress in the Early Dutch Republic (c. 1585–1625). Intellectual History Review, 24(3), 415-427.

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Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

“Simon Stevin and the Logic of Invention”

Conference, "Stevin Inside Out: New Perspectives on Simon Stevin," The Stevin Centre for History of Science and Humanities, Amsterdam

“Conflicting Inventions. Privileges for Invention and the Making of Novelty”

Workshop, "Ownership of Knowledge," MPIWG, Berlin

“Making the New. Privileges for Invention and the Shaping of Originality”

Workshop, "Figures de la propriété intellectuelle XVIe—XXe siècles," University of Geneva, Geneva

“’To the Benefit of the Merchant.’ Patents and Energy Efficiency in the Dutch Golden Age”

Conference, "Mobilising and Using Energy, from Antiquity to the Present Time," Bordeaux-Montaigne University, Bordeaux

“Privileged Languages. Printing Privileges and Translations in the Dutch Republic”

Conference, "Languages of the Book," The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP), Paris

“In Their Likeness”

Workshop, “Creating a Knowledge Society in Globalizing World, 1450–1800,” MPIWG, Berlin in Cooperation with the Staatliche Museeen zu Berlin (SMB)

“Privilege, Print and Profit. The Economy of Printing Privileges in the Seventeenth-century Dutch Republic”

Conference, 7th St. Andrews Annual Book Conference, "Buying and Selling," University of St Andrews

"Regulating the Advancement of Knowledge: Printing Privileges in the Early Dutch Republic”

Colloquium, "Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe," MPIWG, Berlin

“Promoting Technological Knowledge. Printing Privileges and Technological Literature in the early Dutch Republic (ca. 1581-1621)”

Conference, "Le livre et les techniques avant le XXe siècle. À l’échelle du monde," Collège de France, Paris

“Between Imitation and Invention. Inventor Privileges and Technological Progress in the Early Dutch Republic”

Workshop, "Mechanisms for the Circulation of Technology in Pre-industrial Europe," European University Institute, Florence

“Traveling Inventors. Practical Knowledge in European Centres of Power”

Conference, European Society of History of Science (ESHS), Athens

"Invention Privileges in a Global Context. The Importance of Global Trade for the Development of a European System of Invention Privileges”

Workshop, "Europe in the World," Princeton University, New Jersey

“Inventing Scientific Method. The Patent System as a Model for Scientific Knowledge Production”

Conference, "Scientiae," Simon Fraser University, Vancouver

“Proofing inventions: Privilege Drawings and Scale Modeling in the Early Modern Dutch Republic”

Postgraduate Conference, British Society for the History of Science (BSHS), University of Warwick

"From Invention to Experiment. The Privilege System as a Model for Experimental Knowledge Production," panel "Scientific Laws, Legal Science"

Conference, History of Science Society (HSS) Annual Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio

“Privileged Knowledge. Inventions, Privileges, and the Legitimization of Science”

Early Sciences Working Group (ESWG), Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.