Press releases of Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF)

Learning from Historical Instruments and Methods

Peter Heering Awarded Paul Bunge Prize

Professor Dr. Peter Heering, Professor of Physics and its Didactics at Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF), has been awarded this year's Paul Bunge Prize. Heering has received the prize in honor of his life's work, in particular for his work on replicating historical experiments.

Leading proponent of historically accurate reproductions of experiments

The award statement explains, "Peter Heering is regarded as one of the leading proponents for historically accurate reproductions of experiments. In his work, he uses original materials and avoids modern substitutes. Through his 'experimental history of science,' Heering reconstructs lost skills and combines historical and pedagogical approaches. He demonstrates a profound understanding of the complexity involved in using and handling materials. His insights have repeatedly contributed to understanding historical instrumental methods, showing how they can be relevant for teaching and scientific application."

Appreciation for his work and research achievements

"I'm very pleased with the recognition my work has received from international peers, as reflected in this award," stated Prof. Dr. Peter Heering. "Of course, this is also an acknowledgment of the efforts of the colleagues and students with whom I have worked, both here and - previously - in Oldenburg and Munich. I hope this appreciation for our research efforts will help ensure that the research approach represented by our institute continues to be practiced in Flensburg in the future."

History of Sciece

Peter Heering completed his degree in physics and chemistry for high school teaching at the University of Oldenburg (now Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg) with his first state examination in 1990. After receiving his doctorate in Oldenburg in 1995, he passed his second state examination in 1996. Subsequently, Heering held various positions, eventually becoming an Academic Councilor for Physics at the University of Oldenburg, with a focus on teacher training. Concurrently, in 2006, he received his Habilitation in the history of science at the University of Hamburg. Since 2009, he has been a professor of Physics and its Didactics at Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF). Heering is a member of numerous professional societies and is the managing director of the Institute for Physics and its Didactics at EUF.

Two award recipients

This year, the Paul Bunge Prize was awarded to two individuals: Peter Heering and Dr. Rebekah Higgitt from National Museums Scotland (NMS), UK. Both were honored for their outstanding contributions and commitment to the history of scientific instruments.

Paul Bunge Prize

The Paul Bunge Prize is jointly awarded by the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh) and the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry (Deutsche Bunsen-Gesellschaft für Physikalische Chemie, DBG). The prize is endowed with a total of 7,500 Euros, with Peter Heering and Rebekah Higgitt each receiving a Paul Bunge Prize of 3,750 Euros. The award ceremony took place on March 22, 2024, during the GDCh Division of History of Chemistry conference in Giessen, where both recipients gave lectures on their work.