The Halle Orphanage as Scientific Community: An Interview

Kelly J. Whitmer’s new book offers a history of science set in the Halle Orphanage, a building that was founded in the middle of the 1690s in the Prussian city of Halle by a group of German Lutherans known as Pietists. Whitmer understands this orphanage as a scientific community, thereby countering a tendency to approach the history of science in a way that treats science and religion and distinct and oppositional endeavors, and problematizing previous ways of understanding the space as an enclave of Pietists who were “enthusiastically opposed to rational approaches to knowing the natural world, and to science and the Enlightenment more generally.” We spoke about it for the New Books in STS podcast, and you can listen to that conversation here!