Henning Schmidgen
The Virtual Laboratory

The Virtual Laboratory (VL) is an ambitious digitalisation project dedicated to the history of the life sciences in the nineteenth century. Participating in this project located at Department III of the MPIWG (Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, director) are historians of science and computer scientists in close co-operation. Its thematic emphasis is on the laboratory work performed by physiologists like Claude Bernard (1813-1878) and Emil Du Bois-Reymond (1818-1896) and by psychologists like Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920). The objective pursued by the project is to establish a virtual research station for historically processing those forms of knowledge addressed in today's public using such terms as "bio-engineering" and "molecular biology".

The intention of the project is to use advanced computer technology to erect an interactive platform for history of science research. Because this platform functions both as an archive for materials and as a research tool, it will challenge scholars to develop of new forms of historical work.

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