Alchemy Network

The Network Alchemy, founded in December 2016, has set itself the goal of promoting exchange on the reconstruction of alchemical processes in the early modern period between historians and natural scientists, organising events on the topic and initiating joint projects. Alchemical process regulations of the early modern period will be analysed and the extent to which these processes can be concretely reworked in the laboratory will be investigated. Problems and opportunities of such a reconstruction will be discussed.

The key questions are:
How do we recognise disruptions in alchemical texts? Do the disruptions reveal the point at which practicality is abandoned to make way for theory and speculation? 
What criteria were used to purchase formulas? Do these criteria change over time?
In alchemical reactions, phenomena are often described that are not observed when working under today's conditions (pure substances, stoichiometrically calculated input quantities, temperatures kept constant, etc.) or are considered insignificant by a modern-day experimenter. 
Assuming, however, that these were real observations, experimental confirmation will be sought in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the process.
According to which criteria did an alchemist judge the success of an experiment or a substance production?



  • Dr Gerhard Görmar (Leipzig)
  • Dr Alexander Kraft (Berlin)
  • Assoc. Professor Dr Hartmut Kutzke (Oslo)
  • Dr Sarah Lang (Graz)
  • Dr Thomas Moenius (Inzlingen)
  • Professor Dr Lawrence Principe (Baltimore)
  • Dr Berit Wagner (Frankfurt)
  • Claudia Weiß (Halle)
  • Dr Rainer Werthmann (Kassel)
  • Dr Christian-Heinrich Wunderlich (Halle)
  • Professor Dr Holger Zaunstöck (Halle)



Conferences and workshops


  • Institute of Art History at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main together with the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library
  • Saxony-Anhalt State Office for the Preservation of Monuments, Halle
  • State Museum of Prehistory, Halle



Holder of the professorship Wissenskulturen der Europäischen Neuzeit
(Faculty of Philosophy)