Stories

Portrait

The Humboldt Code

He was an obsessive networker, a daredevil and a marketing genius. The reports on his travels and adventures earned him star status. Today, on the 250th anniversary of his birth, the Prussian scholar is still revered. On the secret of an eternal idol.

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Interview

“Everybody’s star”

Whether as a discoverer, Romantic, Atlanticist, climate prophet or working class hero: there isn’t just one Humboldt, but lots of them. Historian of science, Nicolaas A. Rupke, has investigated how the various images of Humboldt have come about.

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Quotes

If Humboldt were on Twitter today

He liked to formulate succinct sentences and deliver punch lines. He took a stand against slavery, colonialism and environmental destruction. What stance would Humboldt take on current issues? We present his quotes in a new light.

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Expedition

Humboldt’s Travels

Alexander von Humboldt left the shores of Europe for the first time in 1799. His country of embarkation was Spain and his destination the ‘New World’. Insights into Humboldt’s great American voyage from 1799 to 1804.

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Interview

“The sensual Humboldt is yet to be discovered”

In his new biography, historian Andreas W. Daum puts Alexander von Humboldt’s life in the context of a revolutionary age marked by major upheaval. In our interview, the Humboldt Research Award winner explains the contradictions of Humboldt as a political animal and identifies some of the gaps still left to explore in the life of the widely travelled scientist.

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