People

Philipp Nicolas Lehmann

Research Scholar (Sep 2014-Aug 2017)

PhD

I gained my PhD in History from Harvard in 2014. In my work, I combine themes and approaches from the history of science and technology with global environmental history, revealing the link between anxieties about environmental decline and designs to survey and control nature in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I am also preparing a book manuscript based on my dissertation research. Changing Climates: Deserts, Desiccation, and the Rise of Climate Engineering, 1870–1950 examines the impact of nineteenth-century discussions about climate change and desiccation on large engineering projects in desert regions. It demonstrates that the debate over the variability of global climatic conditions was a product of both internal academic and transnational political developments, and shows that the perceived threat of advancing desert conditions found a popular and technocratic expression in a long line of climate engineering designs from the Sahara to the Eurasian steppes.

Projects

Experiencing the Global Environment

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History of Bureaucratic Knowledge

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Data That Travel: Climates between Africa, Europe, and the Globe

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From Herodotus to Global Circulation

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Selected Publications

Camprubí, L., & Lehmann, P. N. (Eds.). (2018). Experiencing the global environment [Special Issue]. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Part A, 70.

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Lehmann, P. N. (2018). Average rainfall and the play of colors: colonial experience and global climate data. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 70, 38-49. doi:10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.05.007.

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Camprubí, L., & Lehmann, P. N. (2018). The scales of experience: introduction to the special issue 'Experiencing the global environment'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 70, 1-5. doi:10.1016/j.shpsa.2018.05.003.

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Lehmann, P. N. (2015). Whither climatology? Brückner's climate oscillations, data debates, and dynamic climatology. History of Meteorology, 7, 49-70.

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Feature Story

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

“Moving Problems: An Environmental Perspective on Immigration and Internal Migration in German Africa”

University of Cambridge, U.K.

“Good Trees, Bad Trees: Colonial Debates on the Climatic Impact of Forests”

Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), Seattle, U.S.A.

“Sensing Weather, Creating Climate: German Colonial Meteorology and the Dawn of Global Climatology”

KTH Stockholm, Sweden

“Standardizing African Rain: Training, Technologies, and Practices in Colonial Meteorology”

Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Albuquerque, U.S.A.

“Engineering a New Continent: Hydropower and Climate Modification in the Atlantropa Project”

Fishbein Workshop in the History & Philosophy of Science, University of Chicago, U.S.A.