Advertisement

Theory in Biosciences

, Volume 126, Issue 4, pp 165–175 | Cite as

Introduction to the autobiography of Julius Schaxel

  • Christian ReißEmail author
  • Susan Springer
  • Uwe Hoßfeld
  • Lennart Olsson
  • Georgy S. Levit
Editorial Notes

Personal notes, such as laboratory notebooks or, as in this case, an autobiography, are among the most seductive sources for the historian of science. They promise insights only rarely granted in the course of historiographical research and, at the same time, pose severe problems, when it comes to critical assessment of the sources. Whereas on the one side autobiographies offer a look into the author’s mind, there is on the other side the problem that they are always written in retrospect and with a specific motivation concerning their content.

Keeping this in mind, Schaxel’s autobiography represents a fascinating insight into an important but almost forgotten figure in the history of early 20th century biology. As Nick Hopwood has previously shown for his scientific-political activities (Hopwood, 1997) and Christian Reiss now shows for his scientific agenda (Reiss, this issue), Schaxel was a very ambivalent figure, in whose biography central themes of early 20th century science and...

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Reiß
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan Springer
    • 2
  • Uwe Hoßfeld
    • 3
  • Lennart Olsson
    • 4
  • Georgy S. Levit
    • 3
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany
  2. 2.JenaGermany
  3. 3.AG BiologiedidaktikFriedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJenaGermany
  4. 4.Institut für Spezielle ZoologieFriedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJenaGermany

Personalised recommendations