You are here: Home People Chair in Science and … Prof. Dr. Veronika Lipphardt

Prof. Dr. Veronika Lipphardt

STS stripe


Veronika Lipphardt has worked on the history of the life sciences in the 20th century, particularly history of physical anthropology and human population genetics, in their political, social and cultural contexts. She is currently writing a book on human population genetics in the second half of the 20th century (Working Title: Narratives of Isolation, Patterns of Diversity. Human Population Genetics, 1950s-2000s).

From 2006 to 2009, she was a researcher in the BMBF-funded Collaborative Research Projct "Imagined Europeans. The Scientific Construction of Homo Europaeus" at Humboldt University Berlin, studying life scientists' imaginations of the "European" from the 18th century until today.

From 2009-2015, she was director of an Independent Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, focusing on 'Histories of knowledge about human variation in the 20th century'. Simultaneously, from 2011-2015, she also was Professor at the Free University, Berlin (Wissensgeschichte; Geschichte der Lebenswissenschaften).

Veronika Lipphardt studied history, biology, musicology, and social sciences in Vienna, Potsdam, Berlin, and Freiburg. After finishing her MA equivalent in 2000 (history/biology), she gained working experiences in several academic institutions, including the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences (Tübingen). In 2006, Veronika Lipphardt took her PhD in History of Science at Humboldt University, Berlin. In 2008, she published a book about German-Jewish physical anthropologists and geneticists and how they contributed to the scientific debate about the so-called "Jewish race" between 1900 and 1935.

Research areas

History of the Life Sciences, History of Physical Anthropology, Human Population Genetics, Science & Technology Studies, Population Genetics in the 21st century, "Genetic History", History, Sociology and Anthropology of Knowlegde

Research projects

Veronika Lipphardt's current research tackles Genetic History and Population Genetics today. In summer 2016, she has started with a new DFG-funded research project that investigates how population geneticists frame certain populations. Furthermore, she is interested in the role of narratives and interpretations in the life sciences, in narratives of economic growth in public and academic discourses, in the relationship between academia and the media, as well as in responsibility and leadership in academia.


Veronika Lipphardt is co-initiator of the multidisciplinary initiative "Wissenschaftliche Initiative zu Erweiterten DNA-Analysen".
As an elected member of Die Junge Akademie (2010-2015), Veronika Lipphardt co-initiated the "Dialog Plattform Vereinbarkeit von Wissenschaft und Familie".
Member of the Board of Trustees "Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum".


A list of publications can be downloaded here.

Open Letter on critical approaches to Forensic DNA Phenotyping (FDP) and ‘Bio-Geographical Ancestry’ (BGA). The investigation of the murder of a University of Freiburg student has contributed to calls for the use of controversial techniques for analyzing DNA. You can download our response to these calls, which urges caution, here.


Prof. Dr. Veronika Lipphardt
Room 01026
Tel. +49 (0)761 203-4415

Office hours

(Summer Semester 2020)

During the semester break:

October 21, 2.00 - 4.00 p.m.
Please register in advance (per e-mail) with Silvia Stößer:


Silvia Stösser
Room 01031a
Tel. +49 (0)761 203-67628