ABSTRACT

One of the co-founders of the International Association of eoretical and Applied Limnology, August ienemann, was quick to recognize the interrelationship between politics and science and between industry and the state in the sphere of ecological research. He sought to make use of it not only in conceptual terms but also as a tool for institution building. ienemann wanted limnology to be seen as a ‘bridging science’ (Brückenwissenschaft ) and to be recognized for ‘its great cultural signi cance for our times’.1 ienemann borrows the notion of a ‘bridging science’ from a text that was programmatic not just for limnology as an ecological science. Th e Structure of Wholes (Die Struktur der Ganzheiten) was written by philosopher Wilhelm Burkamp (1929) and is repeatedly referenced by ienemann. What seems capture ienemann’s imagination in particular is Burkamp’s characterization of the new sciences as problem-based, methodological and factually structural wholes. is supports his own conception according to which the unique character of limnology is grounded in ‘the [research] object and in the methods’.2 According to Burkamp, ‘the isolation or closure of sciences is a danger that can be mitigated by the numerous interspersed marginal and bridging sciences’.3 It is in the following paragraph that Burkamp elaborates on the new sciences as problem-based activities that form structural entities with ‘particular methods and perspectives’.4 ienemann refers to precisely this conception by proposing that a science like limnology could be one of those new interspersed ‘partial sciences’: ‘ e young science grows out of the ambition to address explicitly the external relations that became stunted in the old sciences’.5