MaxPlanckResearch 3/2012The Science of the Studio
Not only did they create impressive works of art, they also took an interest in alchemy, mathematics and the natural sciences. At the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, researchers headed by Sven Dupré are studying how artists in the early modern era discovered, depicted and circulated new knowledge through their works.
MaxPlanckResearch 2/2012Biology – A Systemic Redefinition?
The terms systems biology and synthetic biology are currently experiencing a boom – something that has already occurred several times in the history of biology. But what do they actually signify in scientific terms? Are they an expression of a far-reaching change within the discipline, or mere promotional buzzwords that simply “fill old wine into new bottles” in order to present it in a more palatable form? An analysis.
MaxPlanckResearch 2/2012The Observer
Curious? Yes, she certainly is. And also obsessed – with books. This combination happily converged in her profession. As Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, US-born Lorraine Daston, whose first name is an anglicized version of Urania, the muse of astronomy, researches the history of observation and experiment. Or, in other words, how data was collated and illustrated in the past.
MaxPlanckResearch 1/2012The Brewers of Babylon
Over 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, fermented cereal juices enjoyed great popularity. The Sumerian inhabitants are considered to have been skilled brewers of beer. But how much did their ancient brews have in common with the beers of today? To answer this question, Peter Damerow, a proto-cuneiform expert at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, studied the annals of ancient Sumer.