Special Chair

Ernst Homburg

Dr. Ernst Homburg (1952) is Professor of ‘History of Science and Technology, and their mutual relationships’, at Maastricht University, a chair endowed by the Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT). His research and publications focus on the interface between science and technology, and the interaction between business and universities.

He studied chemistry (MSc) in Amsterdam, and was connected to the universities of Groningen (1978-1979), Nijmegen (1979-1993) and Eindhoven (1990-1993). Early 1993 he graduated in history at Radboud University Nijmegen with a dissertation on the rise of the German chemical profession, 1790-1850. In 1993 he joined Maastricht University as assistant professor, and was appointed Professor in 2002.

From 1989 to 2003 he co-edited the SHT-book series on the History of Technology in the Netherlands in the 19th (Tin19) and 20th (Tin20) centuries, for which he wrote chapters on the chemical industry. Furthermore, he published widely on (the history of) the chemical profession, technical education, textile printing, and the environment.

From 1993 to 1997 he was a member of the steering committee of a European project on the History of Chemistry 1789-1939. He was president of the Dutch Society for the History of Medicine, Mathematics, Science, and Technology ‘GeWiNa’ (1995-1998), council member of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (since 1996), member of the executive committee of ICOHTEC (1997-2007), and chairman of the European Working Party on the History of Chemistry (2003-2009). From 2000-2010 he was book reviews editor of Ambix.

He chaired the chemistry editors of the 8-volume New Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York, 2007). His most recent books are Groeien door kunstmest: DSM Agro 1929-2004 (Hilversum 2004) and, with Lodewijk Palm, De geschiedenis van de scheikunde in Nederland 3: De ontwikkeling van de chemie van 1945 tot het begin van de jaren tachtig (Delft 2004). At present, he is writing a book the 150-years history of the Belgian Solvay company to be published by CUP, together with Nicolas Coupain and Kenneth Bertrams.


Prof. Dr. E (Ernst) Homburg
Maastricht University
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
PO Box 616
6200 MD Maastricht
The Netherlands
Visiting Address: 
Grote Gracht 90-92
6211 SZ Maastricht
Room B1.18
Phone: +31-(0)43-388 3314
Fax: +31-(0)43-388 4917
Private Phone: +31-(0)43-409 4462