Joachim Schummer Homepage

Research Topics in Aesthetics

My interest in this area is focused on the role of visualization and aesthetics in science, both regarding research heuristics and research values, and the difference between science and art. In addition, I occasionally write about art.


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Books and Editions

Aesthetics and Visualization in Chemistry, Special Issue of Hyle: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, Vol. 9, 2003 [co-editor with Tami Spector].


“Aesthetic Values in Chemistry”, Rendiconti Lincei - Scienze Fisiche e Naturali, 25 (2014), 317-325.

“Molecular Aesthetics: Blind Alleys and Fertile Soils“, in: Peter Weibel & Ljiljana Fruk (eds.): Molecular Aesthetics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013, pp. 155-161.

"Aesthetic Values in Technology and Engineering Design" (with Bruce MacLennan & Nigel Taylor), in: Anthonie Meijers (ed.): Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences, (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 9) Elsevier, 2009, pp. 1031-1068.

"Visuelle Populärbilder und öffentliche Selbstbilder der Wissenschaft" (Visual Popular Images and Public Self-Imaes of Science), in: Bernd Hüppauf & Peter Weingart (eds.), Frosch und Frankenstein: Bilder als Medium der Popularisierung von Wissenschaft, Bielefeld: transcript, 2009, pp. 341-372.

"Das Bild der Wissenschaft in Piktogrammen" (The Image of Science in Pictograms), Gegenworte (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften), 20, 2008, 67-69.

"Popular Images versus Self-Images of Science: Visual Representations of Science in Clipart Cartoons and Internet Photographs" (with Tami Spector), in: Bernd Hüppauf & Peter Weingart (eds.), Science Images and Popular Images of Science, London-New York: Routledge, 2007, pp. 69-95.

"The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science" (with Tami Spector), Hyle, 13 (2007), 3-41 (reprinted in: Joachim Schummer, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent & Brigitte Van Tiggelen (eds.): The Public Image of Chemistry, Singapur: World Scientific, 2007, pp. 213-257).

"Symmetrie und Schönheit in Kunst und Wissenschaft", in: Wolfgang Krohn (ed.), Ästhetik in der Wissenschaft, Hamburg: Meiner, 2006, pp. 59-78 (special issue of Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft).

“Gestalt Switch in Molecular Image Perception: The Aesthetic Origin of Molecular Nanotechnology in Supramolecular Chemistry”, Foundations of Chemistry, 8 (2006), 53-72..

“Chemistry in Art: Introduction to the Virtual Art Exhibition”, Hyle, 9 (2003), 3-7, 225-232 (with Tami I. Spector).

"Aesthetics of Chemical Products: Materials, Molecules, and Molecular Models", Hyle, 9 (2003), 73-104.

“Color field painting als ‘reine Malerei’: Die Etablierung der Kunstkritik im Modernismusentwurf”, in: G. Reising (ed.): Farbe, Felder, Philosophy. Ein ästhetischer Dialog, München (Chorus) 2000, pp. 23-39.

“‘Natürliche Konstruktionen’ – Neuere Versuche zur Entparadoxalisierung in Philosophie, Naturwissenschaft und Ästhetik”, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, 42 (1997), 215-225.

“Zur Semiotik der chemischen Zeichensprache: Die Repräsentation dynamischer Verhältnisse mit statischen Mitteln”, in: P. Janich, N. Psarros (Eds.): Die Sprache der Chemie, Würzburg (Königshausen & Neumann) 1996, pp. 113-126.

“Ist die Chemie eine schöne Kunst? Ein Beitrag zum Verhältnis von Kunst und Wissenschaft”, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, 40 (1995), 145-178.


“Three Types of Images in Science: Diagrams, Visual Documentations, Decorations”, ESF­EMBO Symposium on Bacterial Networks (BacNet15), Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain, 9-14 May 2015.

“Epistemological Limits of Microscopic Precision”, Workshop on Visualizing the Invisible: Microscopic Processes in the Laboratory, Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany, 18-19 October 2007.

“From the phenomenological shape of crystals to the mathematical theory of symmetry: a history of the crystallographic concept of form”, Form als Prinzip, Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, 15-16 December 2005.

“Making Molecules Look Like Machines”, Imaging NanoSpace, ZIF, University of Bielefeld, Germany, 11-14 May 2005.

“The Visual Image of Chemistry”, Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 23 March 2005 (with Tami Spector).

“The Visual Image of Science”, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, 16 March 2005.

“Chemistry in Art: A Virtual Exhibition”, Aethetics of Science, ZIF, University of Bielefeld, Germany, 17-19 February 2005.

“The Visual Image of Chemistry”, The Public Image of Chemistry, Conference of the IUHPS/DHS Commission on the History of Modern Chemistry, Paris, France, 17-18 September 2004 (with Tami Spector).

“The Aesthetic Origin of Nanotechnology in Supramolecular Chemistry: Gestalt Switch in Molecular Image Perception”, Imaging and Imagining NanoScience and Engineering”, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, 3-7 March 2004.

“Aesthetic Potentials of Chemical Products: Substances, Molecules and Molecular Models”, College at Holzen, Germany, 12 December 1997.

“Aesthetic Potentials of Chemical Products: Substances, Molecules and Molecular Models”, The Deviation via Art, Workshop of the Program ‘Chemistry and Humanities’ of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, Wolfenbüttel Library, Germany, 1-2 March 1997 (invited).

Last update: 30.07.2017