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Blumenbach's Scientific Achievements

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840) was Professor of Medicine and Natural History at the University of Göttingen. One of the leading exponents of the revolutionary change of the geo-biological concept of the world at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century, his long life bridged the biology of Carl von Linné on the one hand and Charles Darwin on the other. Blumenbach’s works exemplarily show the interactions between the life sciences, the humanities and the social sciences of his day. His oeuvre is a key to our understanding of Europe’s scientific culture of the late Enlightenment and the Romantic period.

Göttingen’s university quarter in Blumenbach’s days, looking westward.
Lithography from about 1830 by Friedrich Besemann (1796–1854), coloured. To the right of the towerless former Dominican Church (Paulinerkirche) can be seen the building that housed the Academic Museum. Blumenbach himself lived in the Neustadt, one block further west from the university quarter.