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The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) has published its “Feature Stories" format "Research Topics” since 2008. In this series, researchers present individual contributions of one aspect of their research or present a new project.

Latest Research Topics

No 83
A depiction of oxygen, carbon and water cycles in nature and another with members of a conference raising their hands

The Social Side of a Scientific Breakthrough: Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and the Discovery of Ammonia Synthesis 1830–1930

Ammonia synthesis. Central to the mass production of fertilizer and explosives. It has been billed as the most consequential scientific breakthrough of the twentieth century. Historical perspec...

No 82
Print of Tenga from Hortus Indicus Malabaricus

Hortus Indicus Malabaricus: The Eurasian Life of a Seventeenth-Century “European” Botanical Classic

In the 1650s, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) developed a series of initiatives to better learn the truths of Asian nature. Their extensive information network—merchants, ships’ captains, sa...

No 81
On-site measuring of a sediment core at the GSSP candidate site Crawford Lake

The Anthropocene’s Signal: What the Geology of the Present Beckons for the Future of Research

Which fingerprints of global human activities appear in the geological archive? And how do geologists investigate such an earthly present? This reciprocal pair of questions has been the point o...

No 80
Satellite view of the Rotterdam harbor

Anthropocene Formations: Process Landscapes of Petromodernity

The satellite image above shows the Port of Rotterdam, the biggest harbor in Europe. At Maasvlakte 2, an artificial island just off the coastline, the world’s largest tankers are able to dock. ...


Latest Articles on "The Conversation UK"

No 18
Tatou à trois bandes du Sud (Tolypeutes matacus)

Les voyages du tatou dans les sciences et par les mers

Dans les réserves du muséum d’histoire naturelle du Mans (musée Vert) se trouve un étrange animal venu du passé. Il porte une étiquette ancienne et figure parmi les objets les plus anciennement...

No 17
Dony Wardhana/Unsplash, FAL

Doctors only started measuring body temperature 200 years ago – here’s why

Over the past year, fever thermometers have become omnipresent. Body temperature is taken in front of shops, at airports, even before visiting a museum – often with ultra-modern devices. So-cal...