Research

Changing object semantics: from hybrid corn to transgenic corn

The focus of this project lies on the "language" of biofacts, and the analysis of changing semantics of corn. One key aspect is the question of how this crop changed its meaning through different discourses and practices (e.g. transition from the laboratory to the field) and in a historical perspective. The aim of historicizing corn is to open up perspectives of diachronic comparison, and to identify the continuities and breaks of this history. One question aims at understanding the ways of how genetic engineering changed well-established ideas on the interrelationship of nature and technique. see website: http://www.biofakte.de/

Habilitation project: Germany`s Seven Seas: Marine Biology and Ecological Imperialism during teh Long Twentieth Century

This research project aims to reexamine the emergence of marine biology as global environmental science from the last third of the nineteenth century to the end of the Cold War Era. This narrative about German marine biology moves beyond a straightforward history of science and is influenced by the approach of ecological imperialism and investigations of how "environmental awareness" emerged historically through colonial and post-colonial encounters with the sea. Case studies examine scientific field work, cultural imagination, and economic overexploitation as different paths leading to a more complex understanding of global environments and environmentalism.