Institute Welcomes Journalist in Residence Merlin Wassermann

profile picture of Merlin Wassermann in front of a brick wallThe Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is thrilled to welcome Merlin Wassermann as Journalist in Residence from February to March 2024.

Merlin Wassermann is a freelance journalist based in Munich, Germany. He holds a master's degree in history with a special focus on the history of science. His work focuses on a historical and sociological approach to mental health as well as local measures to reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate climate change. He has written for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Frankfurter Allgemeine SonntagszeitungSpektrum: Gehirn und GeistPsychologie HeuteHohe Luft, and—last but not least—Der Postillon.

During his residency, he is based in the Max Planck Research Group “Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences” (led by Lara Keuck). Here he is researching the question of the “primacy of interpretation” in medical practice and research: Under which circumstances did medical professionals get to interpret symptoms, diseases, and difference in patients? To which degree did patients retain this prerogative? And how did they negotiate their competing interests at different points in time?

The Institute is pleased to be able to facilitate international journalistic cooperation through its Journalist-in-Residence program. The initiative seeks to support journalists writing about the history of science, develop new formats for the discipline, and open up dialogue between the media and researchers in the field.