Hanne Andersen

Hanne Andersen


About me (CV)

As a historian and philosopher of science situated within a Faculty of Science, I am deeply engaged in making history, philosophy and sociology of science relevant to researchers and educators as well as to academic leaders and policy makers.

I was elected member of the European Academy of Sciences in 2018 and corresponding member of l'Academie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences in 2019.


During my career, I have served in a range of leadership positions. An overarching goal for me has to be to increase interactions between history, philosophy and sociology of science as well as  between scholars studying science and practicing scientists, science educators and science policy-makers, and to intensify interdisciplinary and international collaboration.

Reflecting this overarching goal, I have served in leadership positions in scholarly societies for history of science, philosophy of science, and the sciences. Currently, I serve as chair of Section L for History and Philosophy of Science in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and as chair of the Danish National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science. Previously, I have served as EiC of the journal Centaurus - the official journal of the European History of Science Society, and I have served on the steering committees of governing boards of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA). European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA) and Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP)

During most of my career, I have also served in various leadership positions at the universities where I have been employed (see CV). In this capacity, I have continuously aimed at using insights from history, philosophy and sociology of science to inform and improve leadership and policy development within the sector of research and higher education. Vice versa, as a scholar working on the structure and development of 20th and 21st century science, I draw on my experience from university leadership and management when conducting comparative studies of science and its institutions as it develops over time and varies across institutions, countries and cultures.

Finally, as a current member of  member of the Panel of independent experts to facilitate replies to technical questions from the general public on a long-term solution for radioactive waste in Denmark, and a past member of the Danish Committee on Research Misconduct, I aim at making historical and philosophical reflections on the practice and role of science relevant within the scientific community as well as to the public at large.


My primary research focus is on the historical development and structural conditions of 20th and 21st century science, broadly construed. In examining science as it is practiced, I integrate historical and contemporary case studies with analytical tools from philosophy, and with empirical, methodological and theoretical insights from sociology of science, higher education research and from library and information science.

I am currently working on two closely related projects. The one is a historical-philosophical analysis of the overarching systemic forces that has promoted or halted scientific progress from the mid-20th century an onwards, how contemporary epistemic goals and values compare to those of the past, and how tensions and imbalances in the systemic forces can create severe challenges for the scientific endeavor as it develops over time. The other is to develop an account of epistemic sustainability that is thoroughly based on historical as well as contemporary case studies of how changes in scientific practices promote or hinder not only scientific progress per se, but also the regeneration of epistemic skills and competencies across generations as well as the capacity of the scientific community to continuously filter, store and transmit a growing scientific record in posterity. For both projects, an important aim of my research is to provide important input and guidance for ongoing debates in science policy on research organization, research funding, and strategic research planning.

These two current projects build on and synthesize much of my previous historical and philosophical work on interdisciplinarity and expertise, on research integrity, and on academic institutions and scholarly careers.

History and philosophy of interdisciplinarity and expertise

This part of my work examines collaborative and interdisciplinary practices of knowledge production, how these practices have developed in the past and are developing, how they have affected our understanding of disciplines and of expertise over time, and which implications they have and have had for academic education, policy development and research management in the past as well as today. Publications on these topics include:

History and philosophy of scientific malpractice: Negligence, ignorance and distrust

Over the last four decades, scientific misconduct and questionable research practices (QRP) have become topics of increasing concert in science. Based on historical and contemporary case studies, my work analyzes the epistemic implications of negligence and ignorance in science and the processes during which researchers may become aware of and cope with possible breaches to their trust. An overarching aim of this work is to develop a new approach to training in responsible conduct of research (RCR) that focusses less on rules and regulations and more on giving researchers in their roles as collaborators, mentors, and peers adequate tools for detecting QRP and for intervening at an early stage. Publications include:

Academic institutions and scholarly careers

Communication patterns, stratification, incentive structures and reward as well as their development over time are important factors in understanding what drives the development of science through history. This part of my work uses insights from history, philosophy and sociology of science to inform bibliometrics and to create a nuanced understanding of academic career structures. Publications include:

  • Andersen, H. (2023): Publish or Perish, Tierny et al. (eds.): International Encyclopedia of Education, Elsevier, pp. 158-166
  • Andersen, H. (2021): Leading faculty as teachers, in A. Lindgreen, A. Irwin, F. Poulfelt, and T. U. Thomsen (eds.) ‘How to lead academic departments successfully’, London: Edward Elgar, pp. 147-163
  • Contributions to the SAGE Encyclopedia on Higher Education on "Tenure and promotion", "Publish or perish", "General education", and "Research ethics: Conduct and misconduct", 2020.
  • Andersen, H. (2019): Can scientific knowledge be measured by numbers?, in McCain, K. & Kampourakis, K. (ed.): What is scientific knowledge? : An introduction to contemporary epistemology of science. Routledge, s. 144-159.

Research leadership

I have been PI of the research project "Philosophy of Contemporary Science in Practice" which was funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities as part of the program for Female Reseach Leaders; co-team leader (together with Team leader Marcel Weber) of Team B: The life sciences in the ESF research network "The Philosophy of Science in a European Persepctive" ; and PI (together with co-PIs Samuel Schindler and Peter Sandøe) of the Danish Research Network for Philosophy of Science (funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities from 2011 to 2015). 

Additional information on my research

A list of my publications can be found by pressing "Publications" above. 

Titles and dates for my conference presentations can be found under the menu "Activities" (press ... above)

Link to my Google Scholar Profile.

My full CV can be found here.


Situated in a Faculty of Science, a large part of my teaching is to introduce science student to history and philosophy of science and to show them how historical and philosophical literacy is an important ingredient of scientific proficiency. Hence, my aim is to give them a nuanced their understanding of their profession and how it has developed, and to enable them to identify and analyze the various kinds of epistemological and ethical problems that they may encounter in their future role as scientists and to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of different solutoins.

I have taught and co-taught history and philosophy of science to students in biochemistry, chemistry, dentistry, geology, human biology, medicinal chemistry, medicine, nanoscience, physics, and public health.

I supervise projects and theses on the structure and development of 20th and 21st century science, on research integrity and its history, and on the use of history and philosophy of science in science education.

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