Thomas Morel

Visiting Scholar (Apr 2020-Jul 2020)

Thomas Morel is interested in the social history of mathematical sciences and how practitioners developed their own theories and instruments in the early modern period. Since 2013, he has been working on German-speaking underground surveyors (Markscheider) and published several articles on the topic. Currently, he is writing about the history of surveying and knowledge production in early modern Europe. Thomas Morel received his PhD in History of Science from the university of Bordeaux (2013). He then did his PhD at the Technische Universität Berlin in the frame of the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge. He has been appointed Maître de conférences in Lille (France) in 2015 and also works in the Lens Laboratory of Mathematics (EA 2462).

At the MPIWG he is working on a specific chapter, provisionally entitled “One of Geometry’s Nicest Applications,” and more generally dig into questions about the history of geodesy, measurements, and instrumentation in the eighteenth century.



Morel, T. (2020). De Re Geometrica: Writing, Drawing, and Preaching Mathematics in Early Modern Mines. Isis, 111(1), 22–45.

Morel, T. (2018). Five lives of a Geometria subterranea (1708-1785). Authorship and Knowledge Circulation in Practical Mathematics. Revue d’histoire des mathématiques, 24(2), 207–258.

Morel, T., & Klinger, K. (2018). Was ist praktisch am mathematischen Wissen? Die Positionen des Bergmeisters J. A. Scheidhauer und des Baumeisters C. F. Steiner in der Zeit um 1800. NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin, 26, 267–299.

Morel, T. , & Stoyan, D. (2018). Julius Weisbach’s pioneering contribution to orthogonal linear regression (1840). Historia Mathematica, 45(1), 75–84.

Morel, T.  (2017). Bringing Euclid into the Mines. Classical Sources and vernacular Knowledge in the Development of subterranean Geometry. In Fransen S., Hodson N., & Enenkel K. (Eds.), Translating Early Modern Science (pp. 154–181). Leiden: Brill.


“One of Geometry’s Nicest Applications”: Crafting the Georg-Tiefer Stollen (1771–1799)


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One of Geometry’s Nicest Applications: Digging the Georg-Tiefer Stollen (1771–1799)


The Making of Useful Knowledge