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L. & A. Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science PAS


Name: L. & A. Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science PAS

Address: ul. Nowy Świat 72, room A09
00-330 Warszawa, Poland



L. & A. Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences was created in 1954 and has hitherto been a leading Polish research unit specializing in the History of Science, Education and Technology. The Institute has a long tradition of outstanding Copernican studies and can pride itself on the publishing series on the history of education from the 18th through 20th centuries. The Institute was also the initiator of the collaborative project on the bibliography of medieval books and book fragments in Polish collections. The researchers affiliated with the Institute are members of numerous national and international scientific organizations (such as the European Society for the History of Science, ICOHTEC, International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science, Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences), and they have been awarded grants from various institutions. The Institute organizes thematic seminars and conferences and publishes academic journals, monographs and dictionaries.

Disciplines:  history of science, history of exact sciences, history of natural sciences, history of education, history of technology, history of social sciences, history of medicine, science studies, philosophy of science, history of the book

Fields of activity

  • History of Education and Anthropology of Culture - history of education at all levels, history of academic institutions, history of Polish schooling abroad, history of the intellectual life, Polish-European scientific and cultural relations, musical education on the Polish lands in the 19th and 20th centuries, history of homeschooling
  • History of Humanist and Social Thought – 20th-century intellectual movements, history of historiography, history of biographical writing, Polish-Soviet scientific relations, ideological and cultural influences in architecture and urban planning
  • History of Natural and Medical Sciences – history of natural collections on the Polish lands, history of pharmacy, history of bromatology, history of medicine in the interwar period, development of medical sciences in Poland
  • History of Exact Sciences – history of astronomy, history of mathematics, history of chemistry, history of physics
  • History of Technology – history of engineering, history of inventiveness, history of industry, history of communication, history of industrial architecture, history of military technology
  • Science Studies – philosophy of science, science policy, bibliometrics, tools for scientific communication, digital humanities, history of science bibliographies
  • Old and Rare Book Studies – history of manuscripts and book collections, transmission of biblical texts in the Middle Ages, history of intellectual culture (especially in the Middle Ages)

Latest achievements:

  • The Polish team (led by Prof. Jarosław Włodarczyk) participates in the international project of the critical edition of Johannes Hevelius’s correspondence (under the auspices of Union Académique International and Académie Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences, in cooperation with Brepols Publishers).
  • Jarosław Włodarczyk and Dr Barbara Bienias have introduced Edward Gresham, the author of the treatise Astrostereon (1603), to the world scientific discourse. Their research, which redefined our knowledge of astronomy and the reception of Copernicanism in early modern England, resulted in a series of articles published in prestigious journals (The British Journal for the History of Science, Journal for the History of Astronomy, and Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A).
  • A 14-volume publication on the Commission of National Education (2018) edited by Prof. Kalina Bartnicka (financed by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities);
  • A 5-volume biographical Dictionary of Polish (and affiliated with Poland) Scientists, Inventors, and Pioneers in Natural, Exact and Technical Sciences. Polish Contribution to the Studies of Nature and Technology (2015-2019) edited by Prof. Bolesław Orłowski (financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education).

Research facilities: library, publishing house

Contact person (for the institute)

Dr Barbara Bienias
Assistant Professor
+48 22 65 72 836