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Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn


Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte

Boltzmannstraße 22, D-14195 Berlin

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn


Fellow | BIFOLD

Chair, Section of Humanities and Social Sciences | Max Planck Society

Honorary Professor for History of Science | Freie Universität Berlin

Adjunct Professor for Philosophy and Physics | Boston University

Honorary Professor for History of Science | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Director | Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

An early pioneer of the Digital Humanities and the Open Access Movement, Jürgen Renn is a co-initiator of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities launched by the MPG in 2003 and, together with his colleagues, has created the Edition Open Access platform for open access publication. He has also been responsible for numerous major exhibitions on the history of science, from Albert Einstein—Chief Engineer of the Universe to Archimede. Arte e scienza dell’invenzione.
Jürgen Renn is honorary professor for History of Science at both the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Freie Universität Berlin. He has taught at Boston University, at the ETH in Zurich, and at the University of Tel Aviv. He has held visiting positions in Vienna, Bergamo, Pavia, and at CalTech. He is a member of the Leopoldina as well as of further national and international scientific and editorial boards. In 2011 he won the Premio Anassilaos International. In 2014, he won the ESHS Neuenschwander Prize and the Premio Internazionale Marco & Alberto Ippolito and was awarded the Max Planck Communitas Award and the Francis Bacon Award. From 2017–2019, Jürgen Renn served as Chairperson of the Humanities Sciences Section of the Max Planck Society. His most recent publication is The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene (forthcoming in 2020, Princeton University Press).

2014 Premio Internazionale “Marco & Alberto Ippolito”
2014 Francis Bacon Prize
2014 Max Planck Communitas Prize
2014 ESHS Gustav Neuenschwander Prize
2011 Premio Anassilaos International 2011
1998 PIRELLI International Award

  • Structural changes in systems of knowledge in the natural sciences
  • Longitudinal studies of the emergence and development of mechanical thinking
  • Studies into the transformation of classical into modern physics
  • Transversal studies of the globalization of knowledge

  • Various national and international scientific advisory boards
  • Editorial boards and commissions
  • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
  • Board of Directors of the Berliner Antike Kolleg
  • Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
  • AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)