H. Otto Sibum

Professor at Department of History of Science and Ideas

+46 18 471 14 80
+46 18 50 44 22
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3P
Postal address:
Box 629
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Hans Rausing Professor of History of Science, director of the Office for History of Science, Department of History of Science and Ideas


Otto Sibum’s research covers the history of the physical sciences from the 18th century until present. His studies are dedicated to explore new approaches in social and cultural history of the sciences.

He is Hans Rausing Professor of History of Science and Director of the Office for History of Science at Uppsala University since August 2007. Before he has been Director of Research at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin (1998 – 2007) as well as Research Associate at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, UK (1991-1995). He holds a doctoral degree in physics (Dr.rer.nat.) from Oldenburg University (1989) and the habilitation in history from the TU Braunschweig (2001, habilitation is the German qualification for full professorship). He was awarded best teacher at British Universities for his teaching of history of science at Cambridge University (1992) and has received various prestigious scholarly awards like the Paul-Bunge-Prize (1994) for the best publication in history of science, as well as the scientific excellence grant from the Max Planck Society, Germany (1998). He is a visiting researcher and professor at foreign institutions: Cambridge University, Tel Aviv University, Professeur invite (directeur de recherche) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (2008), visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science (2008, 2009, 2010) and at Si-Mian Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at East China Normal University, Shanghai (2010).

Selected Publications

  • H. Otto Sibum (ed.), The Heavens on Earth. Observatories and Astronomy in Nineteenth-Century Science and Culture (co-editors David Aubin and Charlotte Bigg). Duke University Press 2010
  • H. Otto Sibum, 'Historians and the Study of Material Culture' – AHR Conversation with L. Auslander, Amy Bentley, H. Leor, H. O. Sibum, C. Witmore. The American Historical Review, vol. 114, no. 5, 2009, 1355-1404
  • H. Otto Sibum (ed.), Science and the Changing Senses of Reality circa 1900. Special volume of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 39 (3) Amsterdam...: Elsevier, 2008, 295 - 458
  • Sibum, H. Otto. "What kind of science is experimental physics?" Science, vol. 306 (2004) 60-61

Selected Lectures and Presentations

  • "Craft, Labor and Embodied Knowledge". Social History Seminar, Charlottesville , VA, April 19-23, 2015.
  • "Knowledge Traditions and Science in the Long Nineteenth century (1770 - 1914)", Lichtenberg Kolleg, Göttingen University, May 6th, 2015


Recent publications

All publications





H. Otto Sibum