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roland wittjeRoland Wittje

Associate Professor
Room No.: HSB 353A
Phone +91 44 2257 4540
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Academic Background:
  • Lecturer in History of Science at the History of Science Unit, Department of Philosophy, University of Regensburg, Germany, 2007 – 2014
  • Dr.Philos, History of Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, 2003
  • Diploma in Physics, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany, 1996
Courses and Teaching Interests:
  • History of science and technology
  • Science and society
  • Science in the 20th century
  • Historiography and methodology in history of science and technology
  • Material culture and scientific practice
Research Interests:
  • History of the physcial sciences and engineering of the late 19th and 20th century
  • Global history of science and technology
  • History of scientific collections, research technology and scientific practice
  • History of science education and technical training
  • History of acoustics
Professional Activities:
  • Vice-president of Universeum, European association for academic heritage (
Current Projects:


List of publications
Monographs and edited collections
  • R. Wittje (2016a). The Age of Electroacoustics: Transforming Science and Sound 1863 - 1939. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2016. For book click here.
  • Laetitia Maison, Sofia Talas and R. Wittje, eds (2013). Shaping European University Heritage: Past and Possible Futures. Transactions of The Royal Norwegian Society of Science and Letters 2013/3.
  • Peter Heering and R. Wittje, eds (2012a). Guest editors of the Thematic Issue: The History of Experimental Science Teaching, Science & Education 21 (2012): 151–270.
  • Peter Heering and R. Wittje, eds (2011). Learning by Doing: Experiments and Instruments in the History of Science Teaching. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011.
  • Bodil Børseth, Jon-Arild Johansen and R. Wittje, eds (2007). Etterklang – vitenskap, musikk og massemedia in elektroakustikkens tidsalder [Reverberations – Science, Music and Mass Media in the Age of Electroacoustics]. Trondheim: Tapir Uttrykk, 2007.
  • R. Wittje and Ola Nordal (2005). Universitetshistoriske samlinger ved NTNU [University history collections at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology]. Forum for kunnskapshistorie – skrifter no. 4. Trondheim: Tapir akademisk forlag, 2005.
  • R. Wittje (2003a). Acoustics, atom smashing and amateur radio – Physics and instrumentation at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in the interwar period. Dr.philos thesis at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Trondheim: NTNU Open, 2003 (
Peer-reviewed articles
  • R. Wittje (2016b). Concepts and significance of noise in acoustics: Before and after the Great War. Perspectives on Science 24/1 (2016): 7–28.
  • R. Wittje (2013a). The Electrical Imagination: Sound Analogies, Equivalent Circuits, and the Rise of Electroacoustics, 1863 – 1939. Osiris 28: Music, Sound, and the Laboratory from 1750 to 1980 (2013): 40–63.
  • R. Wittje (2013b). The Garching Nuclear Egg: Teaching contemporary history beyond the Linguistic Turn. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A 44/4 (2013): 683–689.
    Per-Odd Eggen, Lise Kvittingen, Annette Lykknes and R. Wittje (2012). Reconstructing iconic experiments in electrochemistry: Experiences from a history of science course. Science & Education 21 (2012): 179–189.
  • Peter Heering and R. Wittje (2012b). An Historical Perspective on Instruments and Experiments in Science Education. Science & Education 21 (2012): 151–155.
  • R. Wittje (2007a). Nuclear physics in Norway, 1933 – 1955. Physics in Perspective 9/4 (2007): 406–433.
  • R. Wittje (2004a). A proton accelerator in Trondheim in the 1930s. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 35/1 (2004): 115–152.
Other articles and book chapters
  • R. Wittje (2016c). Ferdinand Trendelenburg. In Neue Deutsche Biographie. Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
  • R. Wittje (2016d). Selection criteria for recent material heritage of science at universities. In Enhancing University Heritage-Based Research, edited by Gudrun Wolfschmidt. Hamburg: Nuncius Hamburgiensis, 2016: 273–276.
  • R. Wittje (2011). Simplex sigillum veri: Robert Pohl and Demonstration Experiments in Physics after the Great War. In Learning by Doing: Experiments and Instruments in the History of Science Teaching, edited by Peter Heering and R. Wittje. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011: 317–348.
  • R. Wittje (2010a). Reading Artifacts: Historische Sammlungen und innovative Konzepte in der Lehre [Reading Artifacts: Historical collections and innovative concepts in academic teaching]. In Universitätsmuseen und -sammlungen im Hochschulalltag: Aufgaben – Konzepte – Perspektiven, edited by Cornelia Weber and Klaus Mauersberger. Berlin: Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, 2010: 79–86.
  • R. Wittje (2010b). XXth century scientific heritage at universities: Experiences and perspectives. In Patrimoine scientifique et technique – Un projet contemporain, edited by Catherine Ballé, Catherine Cuenca and Daniel Thoulouze. Paris: La documentation Française, 2010: 253–258.
  • Sébastien Soubiran, Marta C. Lourenço, R. Wittje, Sofia Talas and Thomas Bremer (2009). Initiatives européennes et patrimoine universitaire. La Lettre de l’OCIM 123 (May – June 2009): 5–14.
  • R. Wittje and Wolfgang Engels (2008a). What went on in the Laboratory? Replicating the Early Hertz Experiments. In Heinrich Hertz (1857 – 1894) and the Development of Communication, edited by Gudrun Wolfschmidt. Norderstedt bei Hamburg: Nuncius Hamburgiensis, 2008: 196–197.
  • R. Wittje (2007b). Teknisk akustisk forskning i mellomkrigstida [Technical acoustics in the interwar period]. In the exhibition catalogue Etterklang – vitenskap, musikk og massemedia in elektroakustikkens tidsalder, edited by Bodil Børseth, Jon-Arild Johansen and Roland Wittje. Trondheim: Tapir Uttrykk, 2007: 22–31.
  • R. Wittje (2006). The foundation of N.T.H. in 1910 in international context. In Perspectives on Scandinavian science in the early twentieth century, edited by Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze and Henrik Kragh Sørensen. Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi I. Mat.- Nat. Klasse, Skrifter og avhandlinger Nr. 1. Oslo: Novus forlag, 2006: 111–132.
  • R. Wittje (2004b). The use of centrifuges and ultracentrifuges in medical, chemical and microbiologic laboratories – A short history. Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 81 (2004): 20–25.
  • R. Wittje (2003b). Centrifuge and ultracentrifuge. Published in The Oxford companion to the history of modern science, edited by John L. Heilbron. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003: 135–136.
  • R. Wittje (2002). Local factors of the Van de Graaff generator project at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in the mid 1930's. Proceedings / XVIII International Scientific Instrument Symposium, Moscow-St. Petersburg, Russia, 20 – 25 September 1999. Moscow: Scientific Publishing Center "Engineer", 2002: 131–145.
  • Haakon Olsen and R. Wittje (2001). Kjernefysikk i Norge – Arven fra Johan Holtsmark og Roald Tangen [Nuclear physics in Norway – The legacy of Johan Holtsmark and Roald Tangen]. Fra Fysikkens Verden 63/1 (2001): 22–24.
  • R. Wittje (2000a). On the beginnings of nuclear physics in Norway – The Van de Graaff proton accelerator at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in the 1930s. Det Kgl. Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Forhandlinger 2000: 166–180.
  • R. Wittje (2000b). Heinrich Hertz und die Einbettung von experimenteller Tätigkeit in theoretische Konzepte [Heinrich Hertz and imbedding experimental practice in theoretical concepts]. In Instrument – Experiment: historische Studien, edited by Christoph Meinel. Berlin, Diepholz: Verlag für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik, 2000: 180–191.

  • Wittje. Karl Willy Wagner. In Neue Deutsche Biographie. Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
  • R. Wittje. The Electrical Imagination of Sound. In The Oxford Handbook of Sound & Imagination, edited by Mark Grimshaw, Mads Walther-Hansen and Martin Knakkergaard. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • R. Wittje. Interview with Johannes-Geert Hagmann: Recent Scientific Heritage at Universities. In Challenging Collections – Approaches to Recent Scientific and Technological Heritage, Artefacts: Studies in the History of Science and Technology; X, edited by Alison Boyle and Johannes-Geert Hagmann. Washington DC: Smithsonian Scholarly Press.
  • R. Wittje. Kriterien für das Sammeln aus der Zeitgeschichte – Die Auswahlkriterien der Universeum Working Group on Recent Heritage of Science [Criteria for collecting from contemporary history – The selection criteria of the Universeum Working Group on Recent Heritage of Science]. In Zwischen Kellerdepot und Forschungsolymp: Dokumentation der Diskussionspanels der 7. Sammlungstagung vom 17.–19. September 2016 an der TU Bergakademie Freiberg, edited by Jörg Zaun and Kirsten Vincenz. Dresden: Kustodie TU Dresden.
  • Paolo Brenni and R. Wittje (2016). The Speaking Arc and the Singing Arc. Produced with Antonio Chiavacci at the Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica in Florence, Italy. Posted on the YouTube channel of the Fondazione:
  • R. Wittje and Wolfgang Engels (2008b). Replicating the Early Hertz Experiments – Experimental Lecture. Part of the documentary film Allein mit der Natur – Heinrich Hertz: Experiment und Theorie, produced by Agnes Handwerk and Harrie Willems. DVD, self- published by Agnes Handwerk (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Book Reviews
  • R. Wittje (2016e). Paired book review: Silke Fengler and Carola Sachse (eds). Kernforschung in Österreich. Wandlungen eines interdisziplinären Forschungsfeldes 1900–1978, and Silke Fengler. Kerne, Kooperation und Konkurrenz. Kernforschung in Österreich im internationalen Kontext (1900–1950). Isis 107/3 (2016): 666–668.
  • R. Wittje (2014). Book review: Chen-Pang Yeang. Probing the Sky with Radio Waves: From Wireless Technology to the Development of Atmospheric Science. Isis 105/3 (2014): 665–666.
  • R Wittje (2013c). Book review: David Pantalony. Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig's Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth Century Paris. Annals of Science 70 (2013): 131–133.
  • R. Wittje (2010c). Book review: Klaus Hentschel (Editor). Unsichtbare Hände: Zur Rolle von Laborassistenten, Mechanikern Zeichnern und Amanuenses in der physikalischen Forschungs- und Entwicklungsarbeit. Isis 101/1 (2010): 196–197.
  • R. Wittje (2008c). Book review: Myles W. Jackson. Harmonious triads: physicists, musicians and instrument makers in nineteenth-century Germany. Nuncius 23/1 (2008): 177–178.
  • Falk Müller and R. Wittje (2001). Book review: B. Finn (ed). Exposing Electronics. The British Journal for the History of Science 34/4 (2001): 480–481.