Jews and Sciences in German Contexts 978-3-16-149121-4 - Mohr Siebeck
Jewish Studies

Jews and Sciences in German Contexts

Case Studies from the 19th and 20th Centuries
Ed. by Ulrich Charpa and Ute Deichmann

[Juden und Wissenschaften in deutschen Kontexten. Fallstudien aus dem 19. und 20. Jahrhundert.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-149121-4
Published in English.
The authors of the articles collected here analyze the role of German-speaking Jews in modern science and relate to their cultural, religious, and social situation. They discuss the sensitive question of the specificity of the approaches of Jewish scientists from the early 19th to the 20th century.
In contrast to other studies related to German-Jewish scientists the emphasis of this volume is on their work. The autors examine the relationship between the cultural, religious, and social situation of German Jews on the one hand and their scientific activities on the other. They document general tendencies as well as individual cases of research that are appropriate for discussing the sensitive question of the specificity of the approaches of Jewish scientists. This volume aims to draw attention to the debate on the relationship of Judaism to academic research, from the early 19th century theorising on science and Judaism, to the controversies on 'Jewish' physics, mathematics etc. in the 1920s and 30s. It comments on the general phenomena of disproportionate representation and uneven disciplinary distribution of German-Jewish academics and analyzes some cases of highly esteemed as well as questionable research work and to suggest socio-political explanations. The authors characterize anti-Semitic attitudes specific in academia, particularly as they affected the advancement of scientific work. All case studies deal with more than one of these topics. The interdisciplinary approach makes it possible to establish similarities in research practices across disciplines and to compare achievements within and among various fields. Most of the contributors focus on achievements, corresponding research practices and determining factors of different kinds including the role of anti-Semitic attitudes in academia.
Survey of contents
I. Introduction by the Editors: Problems, Phenomena, Explanatory Approaches
II. Research practices, achievements, contexts
Ute Deichmann: Empiricism and the Discreteness of Nature. Ferdinand Cohn (1828–1898), the Founder of Microbiology – Anthony S. Travis: German-Jewish Chemists and Raphael Meldola. The 1906 Celebrations for the Discovery of the First Aniline Dye – Moritz Epple: An Unusual Career between Cultural and Mathematical Modernism. Felix Hausdorff (1868–1942) – Ute Deichmann: 'I Detest His Way of Working'. Leonor Michaelis (1875–1949), Emil Abderhalden (1877–1950) and Jewish and non-Jewish Biochemists in Germany
III. The impact of religious and ideological attitudes
Raphael Falk: Three Zionist Men of Science. Between Nature and Nurture. Salaman, Bychowski, Bodenheimer – Ulrich Charpa: Aaron Bernstein's 'nächster großer Reformator'. Einstein, Reform Judaism, and the Fries School – Nurit Kirsch: Genetic Studies of Ethnic Communities in Israel. A Case of Values Motivated Research Work – Yael Hashiloni-Dolev: German and Israeli Attitudes towards Reproductive Genetics and the Effect of Religion
IV. Anti-Semitism in academia
Aharon Loewenstein: Dogmatic and Pragmatic Physics. Stark on Aryans, Jews and White Jews in Physics (appendix: Johannes Stark, »The Dogmatic and Pragmatic Spirit in Science«, 1938) – Ruth Sime: No Return: Jewish Émigrés and German Scientists after World War II
V. Simone Wenkel: Prosopographical Data: An Overview

Ulrich Charpa Research Professor at the Leo Baeck Institute in London and Professor of Philosophy at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Ute Deichmann Research Professor at the Leo Baeck Institute in London; director of the Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and group leader, history of the biological and chemical sciences project, University of Cologne.


The following reviews are known:

In: Das Historisch-Politische Buch — 55 (2007), S. 328 (Marina Sassenberg)
In: Journal of Jewish Studies — 59 (2008), S. 158–160 (Geoffrey Cantor)
In: Reference & Research Book News —
In: Zeitschr.f.Geschichtswissenschaft — 56 (2008), S. 761–763 (Aleksandra Pawliczek)
In: H-Soz-u-Kult — (Veronika Lipphardt)