Lara Keuck

Research Group Leader (Apr 2021-Jun 2026)


Lara Keuck is a historian and philosopher of medicine. At the MPIWG she leads an independent Max Planck Research Group on Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences. Lara graduated in molecular biomedicine at Bonn University with a Diploma thesis in virology at the Robert Koch Institute in 2008. She then participated in a German-French PhD program in History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine at the University Medical Center Mainz and the Philosophy Department of the École normale supérieure in Paris, and completed her dissertation Towards an Epistemology of Medical Classification Systems in 2012. Her research was awarded the 2012 Prize for Philosophy in Psychiatry of the German Association of Psychiatry DGPPN. 

In 2012–15, Lara held postdoctoral positions at the MPIWG and at the Institute of Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin, where she worked on a project on blurred boundaries, from which grew a book on vagueness in psychiatry. The ETH Zurich awarded her a Branco Weiss Fellowship in 2015, the funding from which was used to establish a junior research group Learning from Alzheimer’s Disease: A History of Biomedical Models of Mental Illness, which she led from 2015–21 at the Department of History of HU Berlin. Lara has also been a short-term visiting scholar at Princeton University, University of Exeter, and Université de Bordeaux. In 2020 she was elected to Die Junge Akademie, the young academy of Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Lara has lectured in medicine, philosophy, and history, and has collaborated with scientists and scholars across these fields, in particular on meta-methodological questions and on the uses of history and philosophy in biomedicine.

About the Research Group



Commoning Biomedicine: Networking Decentralized Collections of Oral Histories


The History of Lucid Dreaming Research: An Interdisciplinary Oral History


Translating Validity in Psychiatric Research


Validation and Regulation in the Sciences of Health


Validation at the Borderline


Encounters between Medicine, Literature, Philosophy, and their Circulation in Public Debates


Epistemologies of Heritable Disease Classifications in the Early 1950s


Selected Publications

Keuck, Lara K., and Katrin von Lehmann (2021). “‘Ich kann es nicht denken, ich muss es tun’: Entwicklung künstlerischer Praxis im Austausch mit der Wissenschaftsgeschichte, ein Gespräch. ‘I cannot think it, I have to do it’: On the Development of…

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Keuck, Lara K., and Katrin von Lehmann (2021). “„Ich kann es nicht denken, sondern ich muss es tun.“ Entwicklung künstlerischer Praxis im Austausch mit der Wissenschaftsgeschichte. Ein Gespräch zwischen Lara Keuck und Katrin von Lehmann im März 2021…

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Keuck, Lara K. (2020). “A Window to Act? Revisiting the Conceptual Foundations of Alzheimer’s Disease in Dementia Prevention.” In Preventing Old Age and Decline? Critical Observations on Aging and Dementia, ed. A. Leibing and S. Schicktanz, 19–39…

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Keuck, Lara K., and Alfred Freeborn (2020). “The Limits of Biomarkers. Contemporary Re-Phrasings of Canguilhem.” In Vital Norms: Canguilhem’s “The Normal and the Pathological” in the Twenty-First Century, ed. P.-O. Méthot, 346–367. Paris: Hermann.

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Features and Digital Resources

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Remembering, differently? Ander(e)s Erinnern in Künsten und Wissenschaften. Wissenstadt Berlin 2021.

Organisiert von Lara Keuck und Michael Bies. Clärchens Ballhaus (Spiegelsaal), Auguststraße 24, 10117 Berlin 

7. Offenes Forum Geschichte der Lebenswissenschaften.

Organisiert von Lara Keuck, Birgit Nemec, Johannes Schuckert und Hanna Worliczek. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Institut für Geschichte der Universität Wien.

Historicizing Validity: Scoping Alzheimer’s Disease

Laboratoire d'Excellence DistAlz, Espace éthique Ile-de-France, Équipe de Recherche en Éthique et Épistémologie

Praktiken der Validierung: Zur Methodengeschichte der Biomedizin

Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, LMU München

Provenance and validity: on retrospective diagnosis and biomedical history

CIRCUS, University of Uppsala, SWE

“Scope Validity in Medicine” (invited panel)

American Philosophical Association

Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Oral History/Wissenschaft und Demokratie, 1989/90

Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, HU Berlin

News & Press

New Max Planck Research Group to focus on practices of validation in the biomedical sciences


Research Group Leader Lara Keuck co-organizes Wissensstadt Berlin event: "Remembering, differently?"


Research Group Leader Lara Keuck made co-editor of History of Science and Humanities journal