Philipp Lehmann

History of Science, University of California, Riverside

Philipp Lehmann joined the History Department at the University of California in Riverside in 2017. After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2014, he worked as a Research Scholar in Department II at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where he co-directed the Research Groups “Experiencing the Global Environment” and “Knowledge Practices in Bureaucracies.”

His monograph, “Desert Gloom Desert Glory: From Climate Change to Changing Climates” will be published in 2021. It traces he development of early ideas of global environmental change and examines their links to both climate engineering projects and theories of cultural and societal decline in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Philipp Lehmann has published in a variety of journals, among them the American Historical Journal, German History, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science.

During his time at the HIAS, Philipp Lehmann will work on “Data That Travel: Climates Between Africa and Europe.” The project examines the co-construction of local and global climatic concepts at the turn of the twentieth century through a history of data gathering efforts in the German colonies in Africa. The research focuses particularly on the questions of what kind of information both African and European practitioners collected and relayed to Europe, and how these data were selected, filtered, and translated to serve as the material for both visual representations of world climates on maps and for models of large-scale, or even global, climatic phenomena.

His collaboration partner is the cultural anthropologist Prof. Dr. Silke Göttsch-Elten, member of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg and, until 2018, Professor at Kiel University.

Philipp Lehmann‘s HIAS-Fellowship is provided by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Hamburg.


Philipp Lehmann


Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Birthe Kundrus, Professor for Social and Economic History/Social History at Universität Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Silke Göttsch-Elten, Volkskundlerin, Cultural anthropologist, member of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg and, until 2018, prof. at Kiel University.