People

Ursula Klein

Affiliated Scholar (Feb 2020-Dec 2025)

Prof. Dr.

Ursula Klein is a historian of science associated with the MPIWG and adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Konstanz. She was the leader of an independent research group (1998–2004) and a group leader (2004–2020) at the MPIWG. From 1996–1998 she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University and from 1997–1998 a senior resident fellow at the Dibner Institute (MIT, Cambridge). In 2007 the University of Vienna offered her the chair for history and philosophy of science (which she declined). She is a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher/Leopoldina (since 2008), and a member of AcademiaNet. In 2016 she received the HIST Award for Outstanding Achievement in the History of Chemistry sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

She is a member of the editorial boards of AmbixAnnals of Science, Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Centaurus, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, and Hyle.

In 2000 she achieved her habilitation in philosophy at the University of Konstanz, where she also completed her PhD in philosophy in 1993 (summa cum laude; dissertation award of the district of Konstanz). In 1979 she took the Higher State Exam in chemistry and biology at the Free University of Berlin, and from 1980–1988 she was a teacher of chemistry and biology.

  

 

 

Current Projects

A Cultural History of Chemistry
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Epistemic Configurations: The Formation of Anthropocene Knowledge
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History of Earth System Science
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Anthropocene Formations
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Material Practices: The Anthropocene Earth in Formation
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Completed Projects

"Useful Sciences," State Bureaucracy, and Industrialization in Prussia (ca. 1760–1830)
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Historia Experimentalis
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Materials in the History of Science and Technology
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Expertise in Industrial Europe
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Technoscience
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Selected Publications

All Publications from PuRe

Klein, Ursula (2021). Experten in der Corona-Krise und Geschichte. Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte : Preprint 505. Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte. https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/sites/default/files/P505_0…

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Klein, Ursula (2021). “Auch Wissenschaftler denken praktisch.” Die Zeit online, April 16, 2021. https://www.zeit.de/2021/16/politikberatung-coronavirus-wissenschaft-experten-geschichte.

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Klein, Ursula (2020). Technoscience in History: Prussia, 1750–1850. Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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Klein, Ursula (2020). “Science, Industry, and the German Bildungsbürgertum.” Annals of Science 77 (3): 366–376. https://doi.org/10.1080/00033790.2020.1748228.

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News & Press

VerbundJournal by Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. interviews Affiliated Scholar Ursula Klein

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Affiliated Scholar Ursula Klein in Die Zeit on experts in the corona crisis and history

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Research Scholar Ursula Klein quoted in Süddeutsche Zeitung on Alexander von Humboldt

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