Prof. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger

Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, born 1946, is a molecular biologist and historian of science. He studied philosophy, linguistics, and biology at the Eberhard-Karl's University in Tübingen and at the Free and the Technical University in Berlin. He did research and teaching in Berlin, Lübeck, Salzburg and Stanford. From 1997 to 2014 he was Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He is a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Science and of the Leopoldina. In 2006, he received an honorary degree from the ETH Zürich. Among his publications are: "Toward a History of Epistemic Things", 1997 (Stanford); "An Epistemology of the Concrete", 2010 (Durham); "On Historicizing Epistemology", 2010 (Stanford), "A Cultural History of Heredity", with Staffan Müller-Wille, 2012 (Chicago). 




The broader research project on which I would like to work at the mecs carries the title "Experimentality". The expression points to the manifold forms and ways that allow, not only in the sciences and the arts, but also in other creative areas of cultural life, to explore the unknown in a controlled fashion. They are not only reflected in "tentative" actions, but also in "tentative" objects. In the sciences, besides preparations - in the life sciences in particular -models and simulations play a more and more increasing role. To determine the experimental character of simulations in more detail is the aim of my work at mecs. I would like to look at how forms of simulation have found their way into molecular biology in the course of its history. I hope that I will be able to profit from the concentrated competence of the colleagues at MECS in this matter.