Joachim Schummer's research while affiliated with Aalborg University and other places

Publications (87)

Article
Obwohl die Chemie seit Jahrhunderten im Zentrum öffentlicher Debatten steht, ist sie bisher kaum Gegenstand professioneller ethischer Reflexion. Das unterscheidet sie von Medizin, Biologie und Technik, zu denen es ethische Forschung und Lehre an Universitäten gibt. Aber ohne Ethik wird chemische Forschung leicht nutzlos oder gar gefährlich.
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The paper reappraises the operational definition of elements, adopted in the late eighteenth century, by investigating both epistemic discontinuities and continuities within the broader epistemological and cultural context. The first part points out the radical disruption that the operational definition implied for most of science, which consisted...
Article
span>If you expect a Nobel prize winner being a crank who can think of nothing but his subject, then read Roald Hoffmann's The Sume and Not the Sameand test your hypothesis. This book is about chemistry, to be sure-but in the broadest scope including sociology, psychology, ethics and philosophy of chemistry.</span
Article
span>Chemistry is by far the most productive science concerning the number of publications. A closer look at chemical papers reveals that most papers deal with new substances. The rapid growth of chemical knowledge seriously chailenges al1 institutions and individuals concerned with chemistry. Chemistry documentation following the pnnciple of compl...
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Die Chemie und ihre Vorläufer wurden zu allen Zeiten als Teufelswerk kritisiert. Der Beitrag liefert eine kurze Geschichte der Chemieverteufelung, von der biblischen Erzählung der gefallenen Engel im 3. Jahrhundert v. Chr. über Alchemie, Faust-Legende und die literarische Figur des verrückten Wissenschaftlers bis zur jüngsten Debatte über die künst...
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Der Beitrag führt in fünf Schritten in die Dokumentation des Workshops „Chemie und Gesellschaft in der Chemieausbildung: Bedarf, Angebote, Umsetzung“ ein. Im historischen Rückblick werden zunächst Fehler und Versäumnisse der reinen Chemiefachausbildung aufgezeigt. Es folgt ein Überblick über Empfehlungen nationaler und internationaler Organisatione...
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Die folgenden Materialien sind als Hilfestellung gedacht, um die Integration von „Chemie und Gesellschaft“ in der universitären Lehre anzuregen und umzusetzen. Sie zeigen, welche Maßnahmen ergriffen werden können (Thesenpapier), welche Lehrformen möglich sind (Modelle), welche Inhalte vermittelt werden können (Modul) und wo man weitere Literatur un...
Book
Zwischen Faszination und Verteufelung: Chemie in der Gesellschaft Chemie! Als Schulfach wird sie von wenigen geliebt und von vielen gefürchtet. Im Alltag ist sie allgegenwärtig, unverzichtbar und doch häufig Gegenstand gesellschaftlicher Kontroversen. Wie sich die Kluft zwischen Ansehen und Bedeutung der Chemie überbrücken lässt, ist die Leitfrage...
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In this paper I first point out the pluralist constitution of science in general and of chemistry in particular and then argue that it is inevitable for epistemological reasons. Once methodological pluralism is accepted, many mainstream philosophical debates that are based on methodological monism become futile, of which I discuss “laws of nature”,...
Article
This paper investigates the role of aesthetic values in chemical research with regard to the sensual qualities of materials; microscopic structures with a particular focus on symmetry; molecular representations in supramolecular chemistry; chemical experimentation; and mathematical modeling in chemical engineering and physical chemistry. I argue th...
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Full-text available
Although the notion of God as the legislator of nature was already known in the Jewish-Christian tradition, the modern concept of laws of nature was established only in the seventeenth-century mechanical philosophy of nature, particularly by Descartes and Newton, and remained largely confined to that tradition before it became seriously questioned...
Article
Nanotechnology has from its very beginning been surrounded with an aura of novelty that calls for a philosophical analysis. In order to do so, I first try to clarify the different meanings of the concept of novelty. This helps us understand that many paradoxes and fallacies dominate ordinary discourses on novelty, which any serious approach needs t...
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Full-text available
After lecturing at the Second Mathematical Chemistry Workshop of the Americas , organised by Guillermo Restrepo and José L. Villaveces in Bogota (Colombia) in July 2010, Joachim Schummer, editor-in-chief of HYLE--International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry (HYLE), discussed with Restrepo the possibility of editing a special issue of HYLE devo...
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Between mathematics, the deductive science par excellence, and chemistry, which has long been the epitome of the experimental laboratory science, the epistemological differences can hardly be overestimated. The first part of this special issue on 'Mathematics and Chemistry' (HYLE, vol. 18, no. 1) has focused on general aspects and the early history...
Article
This paper argues that mathematical chemistry (MC) cannot just imitate mathematical physics (MP) but needs to develop its own interdisciplinary approach to avoid predictable obstacles. Although Kant's dictum that chemistry does not lend itself to mathematical treatment was already refuted during his own lifetime, any useful combination of mathemati...
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Full-text available
The appearance of three scientific journals devoted to mathematical chemis-try, the foundation of an academy of mathematical chemistry, various books on the subject as well as regular conferences all testify to the establishment of an international community of mathematical chemistry since the mid-20 th century and a new subdiscipline, according to...
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Nicht erst seit Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts stehen »Neue Technologien« im Fokus der Öffentlichkeit. Von der Kernenergie über die Mikroelektronik bis hin zur Bio- und Nanotechnologie und dem Internet scheinen sie die Möglichkeitshorizonte moderner Gesellschaften zu definieren. Die Debatten um »Neue Technologien« erlauben deshalb Einblick in zentrale...
Article
This paper investigates the development of nanotechnology from three different points of view: (1) as a new technology, (2) as social dynamics, and (3) as an ideology. It argues that nanotechnology is not a new technology but a new social dynamics guided by programmatic ideas and situated at the interface between science and the public. Rather than...
Chapter
Although chemistry is by far the largest scientific discipline according to any quantitative measure, it had, until recently, been virtually ignored by professional philosophers of science. They left both a vacuum and a one-sided picture of science tailored to physics. Since the early 1990s, the situation has changed drastically, such that philosop...
Chapter
Since nanotechnology has been touted to bring about the next industrial revolution, the talk about nanotechnology has considerably shifted towards the future.
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Populäre Bilder von Wissenschaft werden von Druck- und elektronischen Medien verbreitet. Sie gehören zum Alltagswissen. Wo kommen sie her und wie werden sie gemacht? Gibt es Beziehungen zwischen den Bildern, die in den Wissenschaften produziert werden, und dem Bild, das sich die Öffentlichkeit von Wissenschaft macht? Wenn ja, wie lassen sich diese...
Article
Aesthetic values are difficult to define and to identify in engineering activities for several reasons. One reason is that the professional aesthetics discourse is narrowly focused on the fine arts including literature, such that, particularly for many Anglo-Saxon aestheticists, aesthetics has become equivalent to the study of the fine arts or art...
Article
This chapter explores the ideas and emotions about the creation of life from the earliest times to the present. It argues that both fascination and abhorrence regarding the creation of life have a common religious basis. It illustrates that there were no basic philosophical, scientific, ethical, or theological objections to spontaneous generation o...
Article
We are used to considering engineering ethics largely a critical enterprise. By pointing out ethical issues and by raising concerns about a technology, ethicists usually criticise rather than promote the technology in question. Of course, from a utilitarianist perspective, an ethicist might come to the conclusion that a certain technology is better...
Article
1. Einleitung Die literarische Figur des verrückten Wissenschaftlers ist heute vor allem über Filme bekannt. Tatsächlich hat Hollywood diese Figur, die auf Englisch mad scientist genannt wird, seit sei- nen Gründungstagen mit zahlreichen Filmen zu einem eigenen Genre entwickelt: Ein älterer Mann mit zerzaustem Haar, Laborkittel und Brille arbeitet...
Chapter
In this paper we investigate the most important visual stereotypes of chemistry as they occur in current portraits of chemists, depictions of chemical plants, and images of chemical glassware and apparatus. By studying the historical origin and development of these stereotypes within the broader context of the history of art and science, and by app...
Book
Popular associations with chemistry range from poisons, hazards, chemical warfare and environmental pollution to alchemical pseudoscience, sorcery and mad scientists, which gravely affect the public image of science in general. While chemists have merely complained about their public image, social and cultural studies of science have largely avoide...
Article
Based on bibliometric methods, this paper describes the global institutionalization of nanotechnology research from the mid-1980s to 2006. Owing to an extremely strong dynamics, the institutionalization of nanotechnology is likely to surpass those of major disciplines in only a few years. A breakdown of the relative institutionalizations strengths...
Article
Within the space of less than a decade, nanotechnology has emerged as a major technological theme not only across most of the science and engineering disciplines, but also across most of the world, including in many developing countries in Asia, South America, and Africa. Because they have identified great economic potential, or simply because they...
Article
This paper traces the historical roots of the "mad scientist," a concept that has powerfully shaped the public image of science up to today, by investigating the representations of chemists in nineteenth-century Western literature. I argue that the creation of this literary figure was the strongest of four critical literary responses to the emergen...
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book review of Philip Ball: "Elegant Solutions: Ten Beautiful Experiments in Chemistry"
Article
This chapter first analyzes the different meanings of and interests in ‘societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology’ by such diverse groups as science fiction authors, scientists and engineers, policy makers and science managers, business people, transhumanists, the media, and cultural and social scientists. Based on the mutual semantic imp...
Book
Nanotechnology is an emerging and rapidly growing field whose dynamics and prospects pose many great challenges not only to scientists and engineers but also to society at large. This volume includes the state-of-the-art philosophical, ethical, and sociological reflection on nanotechnology, written by leading scholars from the humanities and social...
Article
According to ‘standard histories’ of nanotechnology, the colorful pictures of atoms produced by scanning probe microscopists since the 1980s essentially inspired visions of molecular nanotechnology. In this paper, I provide an entirely different account that, nonetheless, refers to aesthetic inspiration. First, I argue that the basic idea of molecu...
Article
This paper argues that the extraordinary excitement about nanotechnol-ogy, including exaggerated hopes and fears, first emerged in the US, because it is deeply rooted in the specific religious tradition of that country. Virtually absent in Europe, mainstream Christian fundamentalism in the US has always had a particu-lar relationship both to the fu...
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Full-text available
Societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology have become a hot topic of public debates in many countries because both revolutionary changes and strong public concerns are expected from its development. Because nanotechnology is, at this point, mostly articulated in visionary and futuristic terms, it is difficult to apply standard methods of...
Article
There is a rapidly growing public interest in nanotechnology such that people increasingly buy various books to inform themselves about nanotechnology. This paper tries to measure the public interest focus on nanotechnology and its relation to the public interest in other fields of knowledge by applying a new method. I combine formal network analys...
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The bibliography includes scholarly publications in the philosophy, sociology, and history of nanoscience and nanotechnology (nano STS) as well as selected reports.
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editorial of Substances versus Reactions
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This paper first describes the recent development that scientists and engineers of many disciplines, countries, and institutions increasingly engage in nanoscale research at breathtaking speed. By co-author analysis of over 600 papers published in “nano journals” in 2002 and 2003, I investigate if this apparent concurrence is accompanied by new for...
Article
Great expectations and promises rest on interdisciplinarity in nanoscale research. Yet, although many science and engineering disciplines actually began to engage in this field, it is only poorly understood what interdisciplinarity actually is and what factors hinder and promote it. Part I provides an introduction to interdisci-plinarity, its cogni...
Article
If nature is by definition the object of the natural sciences, then the dichotomy ‘natural’ versus ‘chemical’, held by both chemists and nonchemists, suggests an idiosyncrasy of chemistry. The first part of the paper presents a selective historical analysis of the main notions of nature in chemistry, as developed in early Christian views of chemica...
Article
This paper analyzes four controversies in the 19th century life sciences: the nature of fermentation, the nature of infectious diseases, the generation of life from inanimate matter, and vitalism. All these controversies appear to concern chemical versus biological explanations, suggesting that reduction of biology to chemistry was the common under...
Article
This paper analyzes four controversies in the 19th century life sciences: the nature of fermentation, the nature of infectious diseases, the generation of life from inanimate matter, and vitalism. All these controversies appear to concern chemical versus biological explanations, suggesting that reduction of biology to chemistry was the common under...
Article
Although chemistry is by far the largest scientific discipline according to any quantitative measure, it had, until recently, been virtually ignored by professional philosophers of science. They left both a vacuum and a one-sided picture of science tailored to physics. Since the early 1990s, the situation has changed drastically, such that philosop...
Article
By comparing chemistry to art, chemists have recently made claims to the aesthetic value, even beauty, of some of their products. This paper takes these claims seriously and turns them into a systematic investigation of the aesthetics of chemical products. I distinguish three types of chemical products - materials, molecules, and molecular models -...
Article
Unlike other branches of science, the scientific products of synthetic chemistry are not only ideas but also new substances that change our material world, for the benefit or harm of living beings. This paper provides for the first time a systematical analysis of moral issues arising from chemical synthesis, based on concepts of responsibility and...
Article
Due to the rapid development and ubiquitous impact of modern technology, many people feel that nature is in danger of becoming extinct. From the 13th century until today, philosophers and theologians have been seeking advice from Aristotle to define both nature and technology in a way that the former restricts the latter. In this paper, I reconside...
Article
Chemistry is by far the most productive science concerning the number of publications. A closer look at chemical papers reveals that most papers deal with new substances. The rapid growth of chemical knowledge seriously challenges all institutions and individuals concerned with chemistry. Chemistry documentation following the principle of completen...
Chapter
This paper presents an epistemological approach to the investigation of material properties that is opposed to both phenomenalistic epistemology and recent linguistical and ontological accounts of matter/mass terms. Emphasis is laid on the inherent context dependence of material properties. It is shown that, if this is taken seriously, some deep ep...
Article
The paper shows epistemological, methodological and ontological peculiarities of chemistry taken as a classificatory science of materials using experimental methods. Without succumbing to standard interpretations of physical science, chemical methods of experimental investigation, classification, reference, theorizing, prediction and production of...
Article
Part I presents a quantitative-empirical outline of chemistry, esp. preparative chemistry, concerning its dominant role in today's science, its dynamics, and its methods and aims. Emphasis is laid on the poietical character of chemistry for which a methodological model is derived. Part II discusses standard distinction between science and technolog...
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The number of chemical substances is considered as a cumulative measure of the cognitive growth of preparative chemistry. During the past 200 years there is approximately exponential growth without saturation. Separate analysis of organic and inorganic chemistry suggests at least a two-phase model either. Detailed discussion of the results (conside...
Article
Chemistry, as today's most active science, has increased its substances exponentially during the past 200 years without saturation. To get more insight why and how chemists produce new substances, a content analysis of 300 communications to theAngewandte Chemie of the years 1980, 1990, and 1995 is carried out regarding aims and methods of preparati...
Article
The paper shows epistemological, methodological and ontological peculiarities of chemistry taken as a classificatory science of materials using experimental methods. Without succumbing to standard interpretations of physical science, chemical methods of experimental investigation, classification, reference, theorizing, prediction and production of...
Article
This paper presents an epistemological approach to the investigation of material properties that is opposed both to phe- nomenalistic epistemology and recent linguistical and ontological accounts of matter/mass terms. Emphasis is laid on the inherent context dependence of material properties. It is shown that, if this is taken seriously, some deep...

Citations

... Science models do not address how knowledge constructed but only as human reasoning how we think about the world [28]. They made the basic analysis of the condition, possibilities, and limits of our knowledge for gaining processes, that may lead in linguistically view on nature is [29]. Therefore, scientific models are never the same with reality usually, own only some of the characteristics of the real thing [30]. ...
... These models equip historians with a tool to convey rigorous, evidence-based narratives of what occurred in the past and how those events shaped today's chemistry. 46 They can also be used to explore 43 Interesting thoughts about how chemistry curricula should cope with the rapid growth of chemical knowledge are found in [160]. 44 Agents' behaviour may include memory or hysteresis, path-dependence, non-markovian behavior, or temporal correlations [163]. ...
... Die Chemie in der Geschichte überhaupt sichtbar zu machen, einen essentiellen Kern der chemischen Identität herauszuarbeiten und gegenüber der physikalisch und biowissenschaftlich dominierten Wissenschaftsgeschichte gesondert 27 Siehe: (Janich und Psarros, 1994;Janich und Psarros, 1996;Janich und Psarros, 1998). 28 Siehe: (GDC h, 2015;Griesar, 2004b;Mauskopf, 1993;Mittelstraß und Stock, 1992;Reinhardt, 2001a;Renn, 1998;Janich und Rüchardt, 1996;Weitze et al., 2017). 29 Siehe exemplarisch: (Bensaude-Vincent, 1998;Bertomeu-Sánchez et al., 2008b;Callapez et al., 2005;Buchler, 2011;Janich, 1998;Laszlo, 2007;Münch und Baier, 2012;Palló, 2008;Reinhardt, 2001b;Ruthenberg und van Brakel, 2008;Thomas, 2012). ...
... This is a challenge for curriculum developers and teachers. It might also be a chance to promote a more balanced view on chemistry between its mostly negative image in the past [35] and chemistry's current endeavor to become a sustainable science. Finally, reform is needed in educational standards and national curricula with the associated culture of exams to incorporate aspects of the philosophy and practice of GSC to provide learners with a contemporary picture of modern chemistry. ...
... In this way, the account is complementary to research where computational implementation is the aim of model construction (Webb et al. 2019). Lastly, it is expected that alternative logics may be required as modeling targets vary, so the account is a supporting instance of methodological pluralism (Schummer 2015). The plurality of models the account produces is consistent with the contemporary trend in computational pharmacology of managing system complexity through multi-model paradigms (Amaro and Mulholland 2018). ...
... El entramado epistemológico de estos conceptos en la matriz de la química es sumamente complejo, ya que unos son dependientes de los otros y viceversa. Por ejemplo, Schummer (2004) se pregunta si la química se encarga de estudiar cosas o procesos; es decir, estudia sustancias químicas o, más bien, reacciones químicas: "¿Es una reacción química definida por el cambio de ciertas sustancias? O ¿Son las sustancias definidas por sus reacciones químicas características? ...
... Porém, não se quer dizer que não haja compreensões reducionistas em química ou que elas sejam impróprias ou excêntricas. De acordo com Joachim Schummer (1997), os programas fisicalistas procuram reduzir o comportamento do objeto e os fatores contextuais para as chamadas interações fundamentais: força eletromagnética, gravitacional e nuclear forte e fraca. Além do mais, esses programas, ou projetos de pesquisa, buscam uma teoria da interação unificada. ...
... 157-166;Ryberg 2003;Wolpe 2006). More helpful then are accounts that recognize scientists' ethical responsibilities (Brown 1971, Coulson 1966, Douglas 2003, Forge 2008, Hildebrand 1955, Hoffmann 1995, Jacob & Walter 2005, Kovac 2007/2015, Lonsdale 1955, Mitcham & Siekevitz 1989, Fischhoff 2014, National Research Council 2014, Weeramantry 1987, 3 including those which address the synthesis of new compounds (Schummer 2001), the dissemination of results (Hoffman 2008), noting or failing to note hazards (Jacob & Walters 2005), and other consumer safety and environmental impacts of chemicals. 4 Chemists and engineers are responsible for the outcomes of any work to which they in soundness of mind freely contribute, either as individuals or members of a larger organization. ...
... Researchers developing the representation of biological sequences must avoid the pitfall of empirical ignorance [17], that is they must be in close touch with the experimentalists producing sequences and with the technologies involved. Falling into numerological considerations is always a risk, especially when the number of representations grows. ...
... Instead, chemical (macro-)properties should be explained (cf. Scerri & McIntyre, 1997;Chalmers, 2006;Schummer, 2006;Hendry, 2010;Silva et al., 2018): (1) capturing features in the macro as "emergents" of the ways in which submicro parts interact; (2) moving from whole to part and vice versa without reduction and understanding the asymmetric relationships; (3) avoiding the use of the sophisticated philosophical notion of chemical causality and presenting instead the model-based idea of "accounting for"; and (4) recognising the dynamic and context-constrained character of the interactions between substances (understood as a theoretical category devised to "follow" chemical change). Using these ideas from the philosophy of chemistry, we conceptualise the problem of macro-submicro relations in chemistry education as an "ontological" problem of how to relate part (which is submicroscopic and theoretical) and whole (which is macroscopic and phenomenological) with the use of intermediate, hybrid entities, such as "chemical substance", which permits modelling at the macro level without the need of submicro entities. ...