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Kopernik Galileo Galilei Wladyslaw Natanson Albert Einstein Thomas S. Kuhn

Main information

Michał Kokowski, Instytut Historii Nauki PAN

Graduated in three fields:

  • Fundamental Problems of Technology (AGH, 1986);
  • Physics (UJ, 1987);
  • Philosophy (PAT, 1998).

Since 15 September 1991, he works in the Department for the History of Exact and Natural Sciences and Technology in the Institute for the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences — since 17 January 2013 as Professor, Habilitated Doctor ("profesor doktor habilitowany" in Polish terminology.

He is a Member of:

  • Commission on the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (from November 20, 2018 he is the Chairman of this Commission in the 2018–2021 term),
  • Commission of Philosophy of Sciences of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences,
  • European Society for the History of Science,
  • International Academy of the History of Science.

He was a participant of:

  • International Congresses of History of Science,
  • International Congresses of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science,
  • International Conferences of the European Society for the History of Science.

Futhermore, he organised in Cracow (Poland) several conferences on the history of science, including:

He published, among others, in:

  • Physical Review B,
  • Solid State Communications,
  • Theoria et Historia Scientiarum,
  • Zagadnienia Filozoficzne w Nauce,
  • Kwartalnik Historia Nauki i Techniki,
  • Organon,
  • Zagadnienia Naukoznawstwa,
  • Prace Komisji Historii Nauki PAU,
  • Studia Historiae Scientiarum.

His general scientific interests are focused on different aspects of history and philosophy of the exact sciences like:

  • detailed mathematical considerations,
  • methodology,
  • philosophy of scientific discovery,
  • the relationships of the exact sciences with humanistic culture (philosophy, theology and arts) and technology.

In particular, he is researching the question of:

  • Wladyslaw Natanson
  • Thomas S. Kuhn’s thoughts
  • the genesis, essence and reception of Copernicus’s achievements.

Moreover, as the only one person in Poland he has got both a doctor degree and a higher one called in Poland "doktor habilitowany" in the field of Copernican studies – see:

In 2005 and 2006 he criticed the current quests for Copernicus's grave, because of serious lacks in their justification.

In December 2007 he launched Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (edited and typeset by M. Kokowski) in online edition, and in March 2008 their CD-ROM version (ISBN: 978-83-60183-42-7).

In 2009 his monograph Different faces of Nicholas Copernicus  meetings with the history of interpretations (pp. 676) was issued. In 2010, for writing this book, he had been a laureate of The Nicholas Copernicus Scientific Award of the Cracow City Foundation. (The Award is given every five years by the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences.)

In 2010, he organized The Academic Conference "The Nicolaus Copernicus grave mystery. A dialogue of experts" (Cracow, 22–23 February 2010). During the conference, the significant concerns had been raised regarding the alleged final finding of Nicholas Copernicus' remains.

See: the websites of the conference and especially the post-conference peer reviewed collective monograph Tajemnica grobu Mikołaja Kopernika. Dialog ekspertów (pp. 320), released in Polish in December 2012 and its English translation The Nicolus Copernicus grave mystery. A dialog of experts (pp. 314) released in 2015. This monograph contains very important works, particularly those that challenge the correctness of argumentation in favor of the discovery of the grave of Nicholas Copernicus.

Since 22 October 2014 he is the editor-in-chief of the journul Prace Komisji Historii Nauki PAU (Proceeedings of the PAU Commission on the History of Science) and since 25 March 2015, also the secretary of this journal. As a result of the extensive repair work, this journal was included in the list of B journals of bulleted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Polish Republic (it won 9 pts.).

On July 4, 2016, the name of the journal was changed to: Studia Historie Scientiarum.

He is a strong supporter of open science and international cooperation of historians of science, and technological modernization of the Polish humanities.

He advocates against the thoughtless use of bibliometrics in Poland in the evaluation of researchers and scientific journals, which is reflected by, among others, the indiscriminate use of the index citations („impact factor”) and citation databases – cf. his texts on the history of science of science and criticism of bibliometrics / scientometrics.

E-mail Address


Postal Address

Michal Kokowski
Institute for the History of Science
Polish Academy of Sciences
ul. Slawkowska 17
31-016 Cracow

Last modification: 3 December 2018 | © 2007–2018 Webmaster Michal Kokowski