Horst Kant

Visiting Emeritus Scholar (Jan 2020-Dec 2023)

Horst Kant is a physicist and historian of science. He received his physics diploma at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 1969. In 1978, he was a scientific researcher. He founded Dieter Hoffmann in 1978 as a working group on physics history in the physical society of the GDR, which Kant headed until 1990. He worked at the Institute for Theory, History, and Organization of Sciences at Hubert Laitko in the Academy of Sciences of the GDR.

Horst Kant has been at the MPIWG since 1995. He is mainly concerned with the history of natural sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, for example with an early history of radioactivity and nuclear fission (Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, Werner Heisenberg in the Second World War), Soviet physics history, physics history in Berlin and physical history institutions.

He is a member of the Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftschaftsforschung Berlin. Since 2014 he has been a member of the Leibniz Association of Sciences in Berlin and since 2016 deputy secretary of the class of natural sciences and engineering sciences.


No current projects were found for this scholar.

Albert Einstein—Chief Engineer of the Universe (Exhibition 2005)


Selected Publications

Kant, Horst (2022). “Research and Use of Nuclear Energy — Its Ambivalence(s) in Historical Context.” In The Responsibility of Science, ed. H. Mieg, 107–139. Cham: Springer.

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Kant, Horst, and Norbert Mertzsch (2021). “‘Ein wissenschaftlich-technisches Meisterwerk’: einige Anmerkungen zur Frühgeschichte der Elektronenmikroskopentwicklung.” Leibniz Online 43 (June).

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Kant, Horst (2021). “Fritz Straßmann: Mitentdecker der Atomkernspaltung und Gründungsdirektor des Instituts für Anorganische Chemie und Kernchemie der JGU.” In 75 Jahre Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Universität in der demokratischen…

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Kant, Horst, and Gerhard Pfaff (2021). “Vorwort.” In Von den Mühen der Ebenen und der Berge in den Wissenschaften. Kolloquium zu Ehren von Hans-Otto Dill, Peter Knoll, Hubert Laitko und Dietmar Linke am 10.09.2020, ed. H. Kant and G. Pfaff, 9–13…

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News & Press

Visiting Scholar Horst Kant for Tekk Tv on Henri Becquerel and the discovery of radioactivity


Visiting Scholar Horst Kant quoted in article on the beginning of the Atomic Age