People

Alexander von Schwerin

Research Scholar (Nov 2014-Dec 2022)

PD Dr.

Alexander v. Schwerin has been a member of the Research Program on the History of the Max Planck Society (GMPG) since 2014. He received his PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2003 and has since taught at the Technical University Braunschweig, where he served as a Research Scholar and member of the Commission “Geschichte der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1920–1970.” He has held visiting positions in Vienna, Paris, London, Utrecht, and repeatedly in Berlin at the MPIWG (until 2004 with the Research Program “Geschichte der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus,” of the President’s Commission of the Max Planck Society). He teaches History of Science, Technology and Pharmacy at the Technical University Braunschweig.

 

Alexander has published on a range of topics in the history of life sciences, including the history of genetics and eugenics, the use of model organisms in experimental genetics, the emergence of comparative medical genetics (“vergleichende Erbpathologie”), radiation biology, and the history of dangerous substances, risk policy, and regulatory science. He has recently completed a book on Radiation Research. Risk Policy and Biopolicy of the German Research Fund 1920-1970.

Projects

No current projects were found for this scholar.

Mutations and Mutagens. Biological and Risky Things in the Analytics of Biopolitics

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Radiation. Policy and Biology of Governmentally Important Substances

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Selected Publications

Schwerin, Alexander von (2016). “Shaping vulnerable bodies at the thin boundary between environment and organism : skin, DNA repair, and a genealogy of DNA care strategies.” Science in Context 28 (3): 427–464. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0269889715000162.

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Schwerin, Alexander von (2015). Strahlenforschung : Bio- und Risikopolitik der DFG, 1920-1970. Studien zur Geschichte der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft 10. Stuttgart: Steiner.

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Schwerin, Alexander von (2013). “From agriculture to genomics : the animal side of human genetics and the organization of model organisms in the Longue Durée.” In Human heredity in the twentieth century, ed. B. Gausemeier and S. Müller-Wille, 113–125. London: Pickering & Chatto.

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Schwerin, Alexander von (2012). “Mutagene Umweltstoffe : Gunter Röhrborn und eine vermeintlich neue eugenische Bedrohung.” In Das Heidelberger Institut für Humangenetik : Vorgeschichte und Ausbau (1962-2012) ; Festschrift zum 50jährigen Jubiläum, ed. A. Cottebrune and W. U. Eckart, 106–129. Heidelberg: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität.

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Schwerin, Alexander von (2012). “Humangenetik im Atomzeitalter : von der Mutationsforschung zum genetischen Bevölkerungsregister.” In Das Heidelberger Institut für Humangenetik : Vorgeschichte und Ausbau (1962-2012) ; Festschrift zum 50jährigen Jubiläum, ed. A. Cottebrune and W. U. Eckart, 82–105. Heidelberg: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität.

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Schwerin, Alexander von (2009). “Prekäre Stoffe : Radiumökonomie, Risikoepisteme und die Etablierung der Radioindikatortechnik in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus.” NTM 17 (1): 5–33.

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Balz, Viola, Alexander von Schwerin, and Heiko Stoff, eds. (2008). Precarious Matters / Prekäre Stoffe. The History of Dangerous and Endangered Substances in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte : Preprint 356. Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte. http://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/Preprints/P356.PDF.

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Schwerin, Alexander v. (2007). “30 Jahre ‘Geschichte der Gouvernementalität’ und die Notwendigkeit von mehr Geschichte des Wissens.”

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Schwerin, Alexander v. (2004). Experimentalisierung des Menschen. Der Genetiker Hans Nachtsheim und die vergleichende Erbpathologie, 1920-1945. Geschichte der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus 8. Göttingen: Wallstein.

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Baader, Gerhard, Susan E. Lederer, Morris Low, Florian Schmaltz, and Alexander von Schwerin (2005). “Pathways to human experimentation, 1933-1945: Germany, Japan, and the United States.” Osiris 20: 205–231.

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Past Events

Institute's Colloquium

The Commercialization of Science within the Max Planck Society

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News & Press

New Preprints published: Luis Campos and Alexander von Schwerin (eds.), Making Mutations: Objects, Practices, Contexts (No. 393), and Volkmar Schüller, Some Remarks on Prop. VIII Probl. II of Newton’s Opticks Book I Part I (No. 394).