Martin Meiske



Martin Meiske

Academic title(s)



Deutsches Museum / Rachel Carson Center, Munich


Research Institute for the History of Science and Technology


Research Assistant


Museumsinsel 1

Zip code




Visible Email Address

Short biography

Martin Meiske studied history and German philology at the University of Potsdam, including studies abroad at the University of Zurich and University of Bern (Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research). Between 2010 and 2015 he was a research assistant at the chair for cultural history at the University of Potsdam. Within the framework of the FP7-IRSES-Project “WORLDBRIDGES—Philosophy of History and Globalisation of Knowledge: Cultural Bridges between Europe and Latin America,” he visited Buenos Aires for four months as a Marie Curie Fellow. He joined the Rachel Carson Center as a doctoral candidate in 2015 and became a research assistant at the Deutsches Museum in 2016. In April 2017 he was doctoral fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.

His PhD project “The Birth of Geoengineering. Large-Scale Engineering Projects in the Early Stage of the Anthropocene” examines a global selection of infrastructure projects that serve as a lens to historicize Geoengineering. It explores the alteration of the upper lithosphere through analyzing and comparing projects, like the piercing of the Alps for railway tunnels, the construction of sea canals like the Panama Canal, and huge dam constructions on both sides of the Atlantic between 1850 and 1950. He argues that these Geoengineering projects fueled the reflections and histories of control over nature, the hope of cheap energy for everyone, but also of failed investments, and deadly catastrophes, and that they serve as historical learning space, which informs today’s debate about Geoengineering the Climate.

Martin is currently preparing an edited volume (together with Eike-Christian Heine) entitled “Scientific Bonanzas—Infrastructures as Places of Knowledge Production“, which is planned to be published in the series “Intersections: Histories of Environment, Science, and Technology in the Anthropocene” at University of Pittsburgh Press.

Recent publications

Exploring the Earth through its Anthropogenic Scars. Geology and the Construction of the Panama Canal. In Scientific Bonanzas: Infrastructures as places of knowledge production, eds. Eike-Christian Heine and Martin Meiske (submitted, under review; University of Pittsburgh Press; forthcoming 2019).
The Birth of Geoengineering, or meeting Clio on the Yangtze, blog entry on “Seeing the Woods” – a blog of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, 23 July 2015.

Role in Tensions of Europe


Research interests

Mobilty, Energy, Waste and Reuse, Environment, Knowledge Networks