, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 359-377

First online:

The Academy and the Engineering Sciences: An Unwelcome Royal Gift

  • Wolfgang KönigAffiliated withInstitut für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte, Technische Universität Berlin Email author 

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On 19 March 1900, at the bicentenary celebrations of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Kaiser Wilhelm II established three new fellowships in engineering sciences. This was in many aspects an unwanted gift, and one which tested the Academy’s relationship between pure and applied science. In the context of contemporary struggles between traditional and modern knowledge, this paper shows how the Academy confronted the newly emerging engineering sciences, and how it resolved a potential challenge in ways that ensured its continuing autonomy.