Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn

Direktor des Max-Planck-Instituts für Wissenschaftsgeschichte

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn holds a Ph.D. in mathematical physics and is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (since 1994). Additionally he is Honorary Professor the Humboldt University Berlin (since 1995) and the Free University Berlin (since 2006) as well as Adjunct Professor for Philosophy and Physics at Boston University (since 1998).
His research focuses on structural changes in systems of knowledge, particularly in the natural sciences, and includes projects on the relativity revolution, the history of quantum physics as well as the history of Chinese and Jesuit science. Professor Renn is a former fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin and since 2005 elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In the same year he was scientific head of the international exhibition “Albert Einstein – Engineer of the Universe”. In 2011 he has been awarded the science prize “Premio Anassilaos International “. He is co-editor of Science in Context and the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science and has recently edited a volume on the history of the globalization of knowledge.
His most important publications include:
Renn, Jürgen, and Peter Damerow. The Equilibrium Controversy. Guidobaldo del Monte’s Critical Notes on the Mechanics of Jordanus and Benedetti and their Historical and Conceptual Background. Sources 2, Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge. Berlin: Edition Open Access, 2012. Renn, Jürgen (ed.).The Genesis of General Relativity (Vols. 1–4), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 250. Dordrecht: Springer 2007.
Renn, Jürgen. Auf den Schultern von Riesen und Zwergen: Einsteins unvollendete Revolution. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH 2006. (English translation forthcoming)
Renn, Jürgen (with Peter Damerow, Gideon Freudenthal, Peter McLaughlin). Exploring the Limits of Preclassical Mechanics. A Study of Conceptual Development in Early Modern Science: Free Fall and Compounded Motion in the Work of Descartes, Galileo, and Beeckman. New York: Spinger, Revised and expanded edition 2004. Renn, Jürgen, Tilman Sauer, and John Stachel. “The Origin of Gravitational Lensing. A Postscript to Einstein’s 1936 Science Paper.” Science 275, no. 5297 (1997): 184–186.