Ariane Tanner

Membership:  2019

Member Bio

Ariane Tanner is an independent researcher and writer. She studied history and philosophy at the University of Zurich; for her PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich she specialized in the history of science. Currently she works as a lecturer and is preparing a
book about the history of plankton research and the concept of biomass.
In (online) journals she publishes media critiques and writes about ecological issues. She is involved in performance art.


  • “Imaginary Worlds: The Human-Ocean-Relation in Fantastic Futures of Affluence and Formidable Visions of Unsettledness.” In A Cultural History of the Sea in the Global Age, 1920–2000+, edited by Franziska Torma. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2020 (forthcoming).
  • Thinking with Energy: Holism and the History of Energetics.” Environmental History 24 (Forum: The Environmental History of Energy Transitions, edited by Paul Warde and Ian Miller): no. 3 (2019).
  • Die Mathematisierung des Lebens. Alfred James Lotka und der energetische Holismus im 20. Jahrhundert (Historische Wissensforschung 8), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.
  • “Utopien aus Biomasse. Plankton als wissenschaftliches und gesellschaftspolitisches Projektionsobjekt.” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 40 (special issueLebensraum Meer, edited by Christian Kehrt and Franziska Torma), no. 3 (2014): 323–353.
  • “Publish and Perish. Alfred James Lotka und die Anspannung in der Wissenschaft.” NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 21, no. 2 (2013): 143–170.