AG Wissenschaftsgeschichte

The AG Wissenschaftsgeschichte, currently convened by Anna Echterhölter, Sebastian Felten, and Nils Güttler, meets for a Jour Fixe, normally on the third Monday of the month, from 3-5 pm. Members and invited guests discuss their own research based on pre-circulated work in progress. [more]

intercom Verlag

The FSP Wissenschaftsgeschichte cooperates with the two book series „Aether“ and „cache“, published by intercom Verlag. Æther and cache have specifically been developed for the purposes of teaching and collective research projects. Three book projects are currently in the making: „Queer Vienna“, „Verwaltete Umwelt“, and „Radical Health“. The scholar-lead publishing initiative „intercom Verlag“ is a platform for the design, development and implementation of new, independent publication formats in the humanities - with a focus on science and technology. One key emphasis is on hybrid publications (print/online) [more]. Nils Güttler is co-founder and part of the editorial team.

Queer Vienna

Students and staff at the University of Vienna conduct supervised archival research at QWIEN Centre for Queer History Vienna and publish their findings in the international open-access journal ÆtherWhat tools, sites, forms of communication, and technologies constitute the counter-knowledge that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people have developed to understand themselves and communicate to others? [more]

Verwaltete Umwelt

The volume "Verwaltete Umwelt" (managed environments) explores the history of the environmental sciences in the 20th century – between state administrations, academic research, and grassroots activism. The history of the managed environment is a history on the meso level, i.e. a history of regions and infrastructures. The project is carried out in cooperation by Nils Güttler, Mareike Vennen (Landesarchiv Berlin) and Christian Reiß and will be published in the series "cache" from winter 2023/24.

Radical Health

In contemporary times of proliferating neoliberalization, augmenting socio-economic disparity, environmental degradation, and political struggles around identities and belonging, health and well-being are becoming increasingly fragile. Not least, COVID-19 illustrates how intimately entangled economic, ecological, social, cultural, and political factors can be, and how they affect people’s living environments, health, and health care provision. The publication project will be published in the series "cache" and is based on contributions to the conference of the same name (2021), which was organized by: the Medical Anthropology Working Group (German Anthropological Association DGSKA), Association for Anthropology and Medicine (AGEM), Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin.

ERC Starting Grant: Administration of Mineral Resource Extraction in Central Europe, 1550-1850

Sebastian Felten
The extraction of mineral resources has sharply increased over the past hundred years, and the ongoing transition to "green energy" means increased future demand for minerals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. ERC project SCARCE "Administration of Mineral Resource Extraction in Central Europe, 1550-1850" examines the history of resource management to better understand long-term consequences of policy decisions by companies and states. Sebastian Felten and his team will analyse thousands of archival documents about mining in pre-industrial Central Europe, using automated text recognition and a new method based on historical epistemology. The aim of SCARCE is to gain a new understanding of capitalist development models, technoscientific innovation and the emergence of modern sustainability thinking. SCARCE will establish how Central Europe compared with mining regions in Iberian America, West Africa, and East Asia.

Units for the Anthropocene

Among the first who calculated resources on a global scale was the Viennese geologist and reformer Eduard Suess. When did the global inventories of nature get dynamised and complex? Which influence did these global statistics have on economic thought of the epoch? From the perspective of resource statistics and adminstrative metrics we look at situations of crisis and scarcity to contribute to a history of units. "Resource Imaginaries" was a first conference held by our working group within the Vienna Anthropocene Network. As members of the Technosphere Conference and the "Anthropocene Markers Project" at the MPIWG Berlin we accompagnied the Anthropocene Working Group during the time of their identification of geological markers. Since 2021 we host a monthly online-seminar on "Anthropocene Histories" together with various partners form UCL, Oxford and Cambridge at the Institute of Historical Research London. [more about the Vienna Anthropocene Network]

History of Bureaucratic Knowledge (MPIWG)

This international working group was initiated by Christine von Oertzen and Sebastian Felten at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin to investigate administrative knowledge production (2017-2020). Bureaucracies have emerged in every corner of the world, seemingly spontaneously, wherever large territories, resources, and populations were to be governed. [more on the group] [results at JHOK 2020]

(East) European Epistemologies

Together with the working group (East) European Epistemologies (Erfurt/Leipzig) we investigate the eminent contributions to the field of science studies by scholars from Eastern, Southeastern or Central Europe. The sociology of knowledge would be unthinkable without the foundational contributions of scholars like Fleck, Mannheim, Mach and the Polanyi brothers, who wrote from their Eastern European outlooks. The question of political epistemology and politics of truth became a key issue in this circle initiated by Bernhard Kleeberg (Erfurt), Friedrich Cain (Vienna), Karin Reichenbach (GWZO Leipzig), Jan Surman (Prag) and Dietlind Hüchtker (Vienna) please compare the [project website], the lively blog and newsletter HPS CESEE, a special section of the journal Historyka. Studia Metodologiczne 49/2019, or the second annual "Pre- and Postdoc Workshop South/Eastern and Central European Histories of Science and the Humanities" hosted in Vienna [programme]. [more]

The State Multiple II: Practices, Resources and Sites of Planning (2020)

Planning as a research perspective recasts the initial questions of the state in the light of maintenance and care. Our working group meets on a monthly basis to discuss texts and to organize workshops. It brings together scholars from different fields of study, such as the ethnography of accounting, the history of administration, economics and literature, environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the history of bureaucratic knowledge. Current research interests converge in an emphasis on practices. This approach opens up new perspectives on idealized notions of bureaucracy, abstract numbering systems, risk calculation or environmental protection. In this manner we explore modes of environmental or multispecies planning. We aim not only at pointing out the tensions between the planned and not-planned, intended and unintended consequences of planning, but also the temporalities and moods that allow for coping with the inconsistencies of planning in the everyday [more].

How Is AI Changing Science

Since August 2022, the Working Group on the History of Science in Vienna is part of the research project “How is Artificial Intelligence Changing Science?” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation [cf. the project’s website]. In order to provide research on how different disciplines use AI as a tool, three working groups are involved:

Media Studies: The group is located in Bonn with Jens Schröter (PI) and Andreas Sudmann, contributing media archeologies and media ethnographies of selected project partners.
Computer Science: Alexander Waibel has been contributing to subsymbolic AI and artificial neuronal networks from the first hour and contributes to the project, as well as the PhD candidate Fabian Retkowski.
History of Science: At the University of Vienna, Anna Echterhölter and the PhD candidate Markus Elias Ramsauer contribute from the perspective of the social history of quantification. We are focussing on the development of classification and clustering in the social sciences. The first approach uses colonial statistics from German Oceania as a case study. The second case study investigates scientific models at a time in which the use of electronic computers had recently been adapted for the social sciences. More specifically, the PhD Project “The World(s) of Global Modeling (1972-1989)” by Markus Ramsauer analysis these early attempts of multi-sectoral, computer-based modeling as politico-scientific endeavor.

There are frequent online workshops dedicated to exploring the potentials, limitations, risks and ambivalences of AI-based methods in the series "ai\research\explorations", which have topics such as AI & the digital transformation“, "Sequence Models and the Scientific Field".

We are thrilled to announce the publication of our next collective volume, which documents the results of the opening conference at the Sorbonne Center of Artificial Intelligence in Paris: Andreas Sudmann, Anna Echterhölter, Markus Ramsauer, Fabian Retkowski, Jens Schröter, Alexander Waibel (eds.), Beyond Quanitity. Research with Subsymbolic AI. Open Access

Kommission für Geschichte und Philosophie der Wissenschaften

The working group for the comprehensive history of science (Arbeitsgruppe allgemeine Wissenschaftsgeschichte) is one of five working groups comprising the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Commission for History and Philosophy of Sciences (Kommission für Geschichte und Philosophie der Wissenschaften). Research regarding the so-called "Wiener Moderne" ca. 1900 has long been a point of intense scientific interest, but there has been as yet little investigation into infrastructures of knowledge during the late Habsburg monarchy. [more]



Scientific Societies in Vienna (1800-1925)

Formed at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2019, this research group examines (popular) scientific societies in Vienna during the 19th century until the 1920s. Johannes Mattes and his team investigate the unusual size of these associations in Vienna, the scope of their contributions to science and the reliable role they played in society. It was only after the First World War that the tides turned and more radical thoughts were voiced. [more]



Benedictines, State Reform and the Church in Austria, 1720-40

The Pez correspondence for the years 1719 to 1763 is being edited and, simultaneously, the edition will be recast in digital form and merged with the digitized Pez papers and other materials in a virtual research environment. [more]

Social Sciences History

The group convenes at the Institute of Advanced Studies Vienna. With a broad scope on sociology as well as economics, the research platform connects historians of science with social scientists interested in the history of their respective disciplines. [more]

Reassembling the Republic of Letters 1500-1800

The project provides a digital framework for multi-lateral collaboration on Europe`s intellectual history. Thomas Wallnig is active member. It is funded as IS1310 - COST-Action -- European Cooperation in Science and Technology. [more]