20.06.2024 | 04:00 – 05:30

ETROD-June-Session: “Die moderne Chemie als Fortsetzung der Alchemie. Eine wissenschaftshistorische Umkehrung”

Jens Soentgen (Augsburg University)


Dear colleagues,

we are happy to announce the third session of our ETROD cycle on “Chemistry and Society”.

On Thursday, 20 June 2024, 4:00–5:30 pm (CET) sharp – the philosopher and chemist Jens Soentgen (Augsburg University) will revisit the relation between chemistry and alchemy in a talk on “Die moderne Chemie als Fortsetzung der Alchemie. Eine wissenschaftshistorische Umkehrung” (in German).

This contribution will challenge the representation of alchemy as a history of a mistaken path as it is usually constructed in accounts crafted by historians of chemistry. Instead, Jens Soentgen will point out the continuities between alchemy and chemistry – in terms of substances, practices, and guiding principles.

To prepare the discussion we recommend to read the long abstract provided by the author (attached). Even though both the text and the talk are in German, Jens Soentgen is happy to receive and reply to questions in English.

Jens Soentgen studied chemistry and then gained a doctoral degree in philosophy with a thesis on the concept of substance (Das Unscheinbare, Berlin 1997). He is the scientific director of the Environmental Science Centre at the University of Augsburg and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Memorial University in St. John’s, Canada (Newfoundland) as well as at the University of Augsburg. Soentgen is co-editor of the well-known book series “Stoffgeschichten” (“Histories of substances”) and author of several books (and countless papers) in the realm of philosophy, material and environmental history, history of science, and science communication.

To join us online, please use the following link:


Meeting-ID: 650 2098 8539

Kenncode: 639066

If you wish to receive our ETROD invitations directly, please register to our mailing list by sending a mail to etrod@zirs.uni-halle.de.

ETROD is a jointly organized discussion format. Its core team is based at Martin Luther University Halle (Saale). The current cycle is mainly organized by Janine Hauer (Halle) and Ruzana Liburkina (Frankfurt/Main).

We are looking forward to the upcoming talks and discussions.

Janine (Hauer) and Ruzana (Liburkina) for the ETROD organizing team