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Stephanie Hood

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Research Topics Series

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) has published its format “Research Topics” since 2008. Every six to eight weeks, researchers present individual contributions of one relevant aspect of their research or present a new research project. “Research Topics” appear on the home page of the Institute’s website and in a printed version available in the MPIWG’s entrance hall. The online version makes the latest research easily available and offers links to sources, databases, audiovisual material, publications, authors, and partner institutions. Published in German and English, the collection of Research Topics gives a representative picture of the ways in which research is conducted at the Institute. Copies can be ordered in brochure form through the Institute's press contact.

No 77

Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences

In 2021, the validity of Covid-19 tests became an issue of political and public concern. Can we rely on tests to re-open schools, shops, and museums while the pandemic is still in full swing? S...

No 76
Drawing of paper sheets flying through the exhibition.

Leonardo's Intellectual Cosmos

The intellectual cosmos of Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) is seemingly inexhaustible. It echoes the diversity and cultural abundance of the Renaissance, which he embodies in all its facets like ...

No 74
Engraved Frontispiece to John Palmer

Learning by the Book: Manuals and Handbooks in the History of Science

How do practitioners—of any form of specialized knowledge—learn technical skills, and how do they find knowledge deemed as solid and secure?

No 73
Chapter from al-Māturīdī’s Kitāb al-Tawḥīd

Knowing the Unobservable: Analogies and Analogical Reasoning in Premodern Islamic Theology

Premodern Islamic theologians frequently employed analogies and analogical reasoning in their works—making comparisons between one thing and another for the purpose of explanation, clarificatio...

No 71

Local Gazetteers Research Tools (LoGaRT): A Digital Resource for Researching Chinese History

Starting in the tenth century, Chinese officials—based on guidelines from the central administration—began to periodically collect data on local geographic, social, and economic conditions in t...

No 70

The Mask—Arrayed: An Interdisciplinary Project on the Materiality of a Covid-19 Icon

“The Mask—Arrayed” explores the material, technological, and cultural aspects of the most iconic artifact of the Covid-19 crisis: the face mask. In this interdisciplinary essay project, an inte...

No 69
Collage of recent global news headlines on the topic of China and science. Source: Yu-Fen Lai.

China in the Global System of Science

The global system of science has seen the unprecedented rise of one particular world region over the past two decades: the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become the largest producer of sc...

No 68
Map of Korean Demilitarized Zone. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, “Korea Demilitarized Zone” (CIA: Washington, D.C, USA. 1969)

Ecologizing the Korean Demilitarized Zone: Fields, Animals, and Science during the Cold War

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 250-kilometer long and four-kilometer wide buffer zone, was created after the armistice of the Korean War in 1953. One of the most globally recognized mil...

No 67
Humanly Impossible. Herbert Bayer (self-portrait)

The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene

The new volume "The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene" presents a new way of thinking about the history of science and technology, one that offers a gran...

No 66
the sphere

De Sphaera: Epistemic Communities Shaping Scientific Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

"De Sphaera" is a university textbook compiled by Johannes de Sacrobosco that was used in European universities for around 400 years, beginning in the first half of the thirteenth cen...

No 64

Twenty-Four Years of the History of Rationality

A navigator fixes a course by the stars; a weaver strings a loom with an intricate pattern of colors and shapes; a city official discerns a link between a certain well and the outbreak of an ep...

No 63

Elephant Ivory, Zoos, and Extinction in the Age of Imperialism (1870s–1940s)

Elephants are some of the most widely displayed animals in zoos, circuses, and wildlife sanctuaries across the world. Their wild populations in Africa and Asia, however, are at risk of extincti...

No 62

The Mississippi Project: Disclosing the Anthropocene in the American Heartland

If the Anthropocene truly marks a new geological epoch, then traces must be present everywhere. Geologists are searching layers of lake sediments, ice cores, and corals for stratigraphic eviden...

No 60

ISMI: A 21st-Century Resource for Accessing Islamic Scientific Manuscripts

The Islamic Scientific Manuscript Initiative (ISMI) started more than ten years ago with a mission to make accessible information on all Islamic manuscripts in the exact sciences, whether in Ar...

No 59

Experience in the Premodern Sciences of Soul & Body ca. 800–1650

Between ca. 800–1650, the Aristotelian sciences of soul and body and Galenic-Avicennian medicine spread from the Islamic World to Europe, to the Americas, and to East Asia. Most histories propo...

No 58

Epidemics in Context: Cholera and Plague in North Africa (1798–1919)

Plague, cholera, and fevers have historically disrupted the commercial and geopolitical fabrics of port cities. In her project, Postdoctoral Fellow Edna Bonhomme examines how Alexandria, Tripol...