An engraved illustration of emisson theory, from Johannes Zahn, System der visuellen Wahrnehmung beim Menschen, published in 1687.


Department of History of Science and Ideas

Research at the Department

The Department is Sweden’s leading research environment within the field, and internationally renowned for its research. The Department is home to some fifty teachers and researchers, including about ten doctoral students.

The Higher Seminar forms a central part of the Department's research culture. This includes both weekly work-in-progress seminars dealing with ongoing projects, and invited guest speakers who present current research. The Department regularly hosts national and international workshops and conferences, and initiate various other forms of collaboration. Under Research Areas, you will find areas in which the department's research staff has particularly strong competence.

Research Profile

A common feature underpinning research undertaken at the Department is the historical investigation of the interplay between ideas and science in the constitution of modern society. The formation and circulation of knowledge about nature, the human body, economy, society and culture are of central concern, as is the history of political ideologies, modern doctrines and subjectivities. Environmental and global history are strongly emerging areas. Our research in these areas spans a broad range of chronologies and geographies, with a focus on modern and contemporary Western and Northern Europe in global perspective.


The image at the top of the page is an early modern illustration of emission theory – the hypothesis that visual perception is accomplished by eye beams. From Johannes Zahn, System der visuellen Wahrnehmung beim Menschen (1687).

Last modified: 2023-02-09