Article ID: CBB848570347

Ein Botaniker in der Papiergeschichte: Offene und geschlossene Kooperationen in den Wissenschaften um 1900 (A Botanist in the History of Paper: Open and Closed Cooperations in the Sciences Around 1900) (2020)


The paper uses the example of historical paper research in Vienna around 1900 in order to analyze the dynamics of scientific cooperation between the natural sciences and the humanities. It focuses on the Vienna-based plant physiologist Julius Wiesner (1838–1916), who from 1884 to 1911 studied medieval paper manuscripts under the microscope in productive cooperation with paleographers, archaeologists and orientalists (Josef Karabacek, Marc Aurel Stein, Rudolf Hoernle). The paper examines why these cooperations succeeded and how they developed over time. Here we distinguish between two forms of cooperation: while Wiesner initially worked only reactively, in a “closed cooperation”, he later entered into “open cooperations”, in which both parties defined research questions and methods. This form of cooperation proved particularly successful, but at the same time was especially demanding because, in addition to contributing one’s own skills, it required considerable “interlocking expertise” (Andersen 2016). This was favored because the historical auxiliary sciences were in a phase of upheaval. Wiesner contributed his knowledge of technical microscopy and developed a genuine interest in historical questions, while the humanists were prepared to open themselves to scientific processes and ultimately acknowledged Wiesner as a historian of paper in his own right.

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Authors & Contributors
Kochetkova, Elena
Hlade, Josef
Franco Antonio Mastrolia
Foks, Freddy
Potters, Jan
Entradas, Marta
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Public Understanding of Science
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Il Formichiere
Springer Nature
McGill-Queen's University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Natural science
Scientific collaboration
Paper and paper industry
Arts and humanities
Social sciences
Societies; institutions; academies
Neumann, Günther
Guye, Charles-Eugène
Ritcher, Johan (1925-)
Bucherer, Alfred
Vsesvâtskij, Boris Vasil'evič
Lavanchy, Charles
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
17th century
Soviet Union
Great Britain
Vienna (Austria)
Manila Observatory (Philippines)
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Cambridge. University. Laboratory of Molecular Biology
London School of Economics and Political Science
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina

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