Phillip H. Roth

photo by Jana Hambitzer

I am a postdoctoral researcher and the coordinator for events at c:o/re. I studied Political Science and History at the TU Dresden and hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of Bonn. Before joining c:o/re, I was Fellow in Residence at the Kolleg Friedrich Nietzsche in Weimar, research associate in a BMBF-funded project on stem cell governance at the University of Duisburg-Essen and part of the DFG research group Practicing Evidence – Evidencing Practice in Bonn, respectively. In Spring 2024, I was a visiting research fellow at NYU’s College of Arts & Science.

In my dissertation, I used a conceptual history approach and discourse analysis to unearth medicine’s forgotten identity as an academic discipline. I examined how the research culture of “scientific medicine” emerged and formed in the early 19th-century German university and how it later transitioned to and differentiated in the American context. There, it turned into the science policy category “biomedicine” in the post-war era, encompassing a wide range of experimental research in biology and medicine. Currently, I’m developing a book/habilitation project, which will be a media history of preprints in high-energy physics. I’m interested in tracing how an originally informal and casual means of sharing notes and manuscripts with peers in the 1940s gradually turned into a formalized practice and serious bibliographic format that today fulfils substantive communicative functions in the field. For this purpose, I investigate the establishment of different systems to catalog, index, and distribute preprints at the libraries of accelerator laboratories in Europe and the USA (CERN, DESY, and SLAC). Other interests of mine include the agency and mediality of scientific software and how the current coronavirus crisis has changed our understanding of pandemics under the conditions of digital communication and virality.

Selected Publications

Roth, P. H., Alin Olteanu, Ana María Guzmán Olmos, Stefan Böschen (eds.) (2024). Making Media Futures. Machine Visions and Technological Imaginations (Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture). London: Routledge (forthcoming).

Roth, P. H. (2023). 4 Disziplinen und Kulturen der Wissenschaft. In D. Kaldewey (Ed.), Wissenschaftsforschung (pp. 75–92). De Gruyter.

Roth, P. H. (2022). Medicine as Science: The Making of Disciplinary Identity from Scientific Medicine to Biomedicine (Vol. 22). Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG.

Roth, P. H., & Bruni, T. (2022). Participation, Empowerment, and Evidence in the Current Discourse on Personalized Medicine: A Critique of “Democratizing Healthcare.” Science, Technology, & Human Values, 47(5), 1033–1056.

Roth, P. H., & Gadebusch-Bondio, M. (2022). The contested meaning of “long COVID” – Patients, doctors, and the politics of subjective evidence. Social Science & Medicine, 292, 114619.

Roth, P. H. (2021). Metascientific language and the changing identities of modern science: Désirée Schauz: Nützlichkeit und Erkenntnisfortschritt. Eine Geschichte des modernen Wissenschaftsverständnisses. Metascience, 30(3), 349–352.

Selected Talks

“Preprints, PDFs, and Technologies of Idealization in Scientific Publishing”, SHARP annual online conference Affordances and Interfaces, 26.–29. June 2023.

“Preprint Culture. Towards the History of an Information Genre in Late-Modern Science”, c:o/re Lunch Talks, 21. June 2023.

“How Formats Imagine Publics in Science. On the Materiality of Scientific Communication”, joint conference of RRC and c:o/re Nowhere(to)land, FIW, University of Bonn, 14.–16. June 2023.

“Media Technologies and Material Configurations of Scientific Communication” (with Alin Olteanu), 4S/ESOCITE international conference Reunion – Recuperation – Reconfiguration, Cholula Mexico, 7.–10. December 2022.

“Towards a Plurality of Scientific Communication. Working out Media, Infrastructure and Scientific Life”, joint-workshop c:o/re & Seminario de Tegnologías Filosóficas (FFyL, UNAM) Varieties of Science: Patterns of Knowledge, UNAM, Mexico City, 5.-6. December 2022.

“Scientific Communication in the Software Age. Sorting out Materiality, Community and Infrastructure”, c:o/re Workshop New Horizons in the Social Study of Science and Software, Käte Hamburger Kolleg Aachen: Cultures of Research (c:o/re), 8.–9. November 2022.

“The Entanglement of Models and Software. Tools and Representations in Computational Chemistry” (with Alexandre Hocquet, Frédéric Wieber, Alin Olteanu), IACS 4 international conference Semiotic Complexities. Theory & Analysis, RWTH Aachen University, 15.–18. Juni 2022.

“Understanding Pandemics in an Age of Networks” (with Alin Olteanu), c:o/re Workshop The Use of Networks in the Humanities and Social Sciences – Model, Metaphor, Method, Käte Hamburger Kolleg Aachen: Cultures of Research (c:o/re), 30. Mai–1. Juni 2022.

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