The Invention of Nature:
Alexander von Humboldt’s New World
Abendvortrag zu den historischen Kulturwissenschaften
Referentin: Andrea Wulf (London)
Summary: Humboldt was daringly adventurous and the most famous scientist of his age. He created the way we understand nature today. Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted harmful human-induced climate change. He turned scientific observation into poetic narrative, and his writings inspired poets like Wordsworth and Goethe but also politicians such as Jefferson. Darwin would have not boarded the Beagle without Humboldt, and it was Humboldt’s influence that shaped Thoreau’s Walden. Humboldt was, as his contemporaries said, the ‘Shakespeare of Science’.