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Prof. Dr.

Ursula Klein

Year of election: 2008
Section: History of Science and Medicine
City: Berlin
Country: Germany
CV Ursula Klein - Deutsch (PDF)


Ursula Klein is known for her work on “paper tools” and modes representations in the history of the laboratory sciences. She is the first historian of science who showed that chemical formulae, introduced By Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1813/14, had path-breaking heuristic functions in the process of the formation of modern organic chemistry (carbon chemistry) from the late 1820s until the early 1840s.

More recently, she has been working on the history of “applied sciences” or “technosciences.” The systematic and stable interconnection of scientific and technological research into an “applied science,” or “technoscience,” is usually considered to be the outcome of the twentieth century. By contrast, Klein’s new research project studies stable intersections of scientific and technological practices, along with scientific-technological experts, in a much earlier period, namely from the late seventeenth until the early nineteenth century. Central to her research is the historical analysis of experiments and of the material culture of early modern laboratories established at apothecary’s shops, the mining and metallurgical business, porcelain manufactories and arsenals as well as at universities and scientific academies; a specific focus is on eighteenth-century Prussia.


  • since 2007 Extraordinary Professor at Universität Konstanz
  • 2005-2007 Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science Berlin
  • 2000 Habilitation at Universität Konstanz
  • 1998-2004 Head of an independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science Berlin
  • 1995-1997 Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science Berlin
  • 1993 Dr. phil. at Universität Konstanz

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2016 HIST Award for outstanding achievements in the history of chemistry, sponsored by the American Chemical Society
  • seit 2008 Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina
  • Mitglied von AcademiaNet




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