Juan-Andres Leon Gomez

Visiting Scholar (Feb 2017-Jan 2023)


Juan-Andres Leon joined the Research Program on the History of the Max Planck Society (GMPG) in 2016. Juan-Andres studied physics and history before completing his PhD in the history of science with a dissertation titled “Citizens of the Chemical Complex,” in which he explored the world of science philanthropy in Imperial and Weimar Germany and its impact in the applied sciences, physics, mathematics, and astronomy. His work lies at the intersection of social and environmental history, and focuses on the transition from personal and philanthropic support networks toward national science organizations such as the Max Planck Society, as well as multinational scientific initiatives such as Atoms for Peace, CERN, and a multitude of astronomical observatories. Parallel to his academic trajectory, Juan-Andres has pursued a museum career that focuses on modern scientific instrumentation and computing.

Together with Luisa Bonolis, he co-authored a forthcoming book on the history of astronomy, astrophysics, and space research in the Max Planck Society (Brill 2021). 

Since 2019, Juan-Andres has been collaborating with the Department I group “Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene,” with a particular interest in pointing out the methodological and conceptual origins of the Anthropocene in the early Space Age. A workshop contribution in 2021 and related publications will follow. 

During the period 2021–2023, these efforts and collaborations formed part of his ongoing research program on the intersections between nuclear, space-, and Earth research. 

Juan-Andres currently alternates between Newcastle, England and Berlin, Germany. 


Selected Publications

Bonolis, L., & León Gómez, J. A. (2020). Gravitational-Wave Research as an Emerging Field in the Max Planck Society: The Long Roots of GEO600 and of the Albert Einstein Institute. In A. S. Blum, R. Lalli, & J. Renn (Eds.), The Renaissance of…

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