Arne Schirrmacher

Heisenberg Fellow, History
Senior Lecturer, History of Science
Humboldt University, Berlin
Technical University of Berlin
CSTMS Research Unit: Office for the History of Science and Technology
Affiliation period: October 2017 -
Degrees PhD Physics, Habilitation History of Science

Research Areas

• history of science display in museums and the concept of interactivity
• history of modern physical sciences
• science communication in the 20th century


Arne had studied natural sciences and philosophy at the universities of Hamburg, Oxford and Munich and came to Berkeley first as a physics postdoc at LBNL. After a stay at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin he was a long-term research scholar at the Deutsches Museum in Munich with projects in history of physics, history of 20th century science communication as well as science and war. He also was a research scholar of the Hilbert Edition project at Göttingen University, as an editor of physics lectures of David Hilbert, and a Principal Investigator in a research group on the history of quantum physics at the Max Planck Institute.

Since 2010 Arne is a senior research scholar at Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften of Humboldt Universität, teaches regularly in the program in Philosophy, Literature, History of Science and Technology at the Technical University in Berlin and has recently served as guest and interim professor in history of science at Regensburg and Berlin.

In 2015 he was elected Heisenberg Fellow by the German Research Foundation.

He was previously affiliated with CSTMS August - December 2011.


Recent Publications
"North-American World's Fairs and the Re-Invention of the Science Museum in the 1960s." In: Behind the Exhibit. Displaying Science and Technology at World's Fairs and Museums in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Elena Canadelli, Marco Beretta, and Laura Ronzon, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, in print.

"Lenard's ether and its vortex of emotions. Between accommodating and fighting modern physics with Äther and Uräther in the German political context." In: Ether and Modernity, ed. by Jaume Navarro, Oxford: Oxford University Press, in print.

"The Scientific Intellectual, a Hostile Milieu, or a Cultural Dispositif? Revisiting the Historiography of Inter-War German Physics and How it Explains Scientific Culture." In: Cultural Hegemony in a Scientific World, Vol. 2: Civil Society and Scientific Culture, ed. by Massimiliano Badino and Pietro Omodeo, Leiden: Brill, to appear.

"Sounds and Repercussions of War: Mobilization, Invention and Conversion of First World War Science in Britain, France and Germany." History and Technology 32 (2016): 269-292.

"Who Made Quantum Theory Popular with Physicists and Beyond? The Solvay Model, a New Center for Quantum Physics, and Science Communication." European Physical Journal Special Topics 224 (2015): 2113-2125.

"Bohr’s Genuine Metaphor: On Types, Aims and Uses of Models in the History of Quantum Theory." In: One Hundred Years of the Bohr Atom, ed. by Finn Aaserud and Helge Kragh, Copenhagen 2015, pp. 111-140.

"Popular Science as Cultural Dispositif: On the German Way of Science Communication in the Twentieth Century." Science in Context 26:3 (2013): S. 473-508.

last updated: October 12th, 2017