- Published on 28 November 2022
The prestigious Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics, awarded each year by the American Physical Society, recognizes outstanding scholarly achievements in the history of physics. Professor Jürgen Renn, Editor of EPJH: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Physics and Archive for History of Exact Sciences receives the 2023 Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics "for contributions to the historiography of modern and early modern science, in particular, studies of Albert Einstein; and for contributing scholarship and taking public stances that directly raise the social relevance of science historiography."
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (MPIWG) and at the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology in Jena (MPIGEA). His research concerns the long-term developments of knowledge in consideration of processes of globalization and the historical dynamics that led to the Anthropocene. In over two decades at the MPIWG, his numerous research projects in knowledge development in relation to different cultures and historical periods have opened up new approaches, especially in the digital humanities. As a preeminent historian of science, Jürgen Renn has authored, co-authored, and edited over 60 books, 140 book chapters, and over 70 articles on topics ranging from the history of mechanics in antiquity and the early modern period to quantum physics and the theory of general relativity. His most recent monograph looks at the role of knowledge in global historical transformations, and explores how this knowledge can help us to confront the complexities of the Anthropocene age. Prof. Renn holds a MSc degree in physics from the Free University of Berlin and a PhD in mathematical physics from the Technical University of Berlin. He has held professorships at Boston University, Tel Aviv University, ETH Zurich, the Free University of Berlin, and the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the International Academy of the History of Science, and was elected Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In recognition of his significant contributions to the history of science, Jürgen Renn has received numerous awards, including The Gustav Neuenschwander Prize, the Francis-Bacon Award and the Medaglia Commandiniana. Most recently, he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University Jerusalem for his contributions to the history and philosophy of science.