Petra Gentz-Werner

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Petra Gentz-Werner (born in 1951) is a German biochemist, science historian and author.[1] She grew up in Berlin where she attended the Heinrich-Hertz-Gymnasium from 1966-1970 and studied biology in Leipzig. She received her doctorate in biochemistry in 1980 from the University of Halle in the field of metabolism research. For her dissertation she wrote about the metabolism of pesticides in plant protection. In 1982, she began to study the history of science and medicine, earning a degree from Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1991. She has taught at both Humboldt-University[2] in Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin. Since 1999 she has been a member of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Gentz-Werner has published four books on the life and work of the German biochemist Otto Heinrich Warburg (1883-1970), one of which was reviewed in Nature.[3] She has also written two scholarly books about Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), one about the international organizing required for Humboldt to write his five volumes of Kosmos — Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung, as well as one about Humboldt's cooperation with German and international artists. In 2018, Gentz-Werner also published a book about the friendship between Alexander von Humboldt and the Italian painter Emma Gaggiotti-Richards.

In addition to her many scholarly articles and books on science, Gentz-Werner has also written a number of general nonfiction books on the history of science and medicine and art history. She has also published books of poetry and prose. Some of her scholarly articles were co-authored by her longtime partner and colleague, F. L. Holmes, who died in 2003. She has presented her research at conferences in many different countries, including the United States, Australia, England, France, and the Netherlands.


  • Naturwahrheit und ästhetische Umsetzung, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2013
  • Darwin, Berlin: Osburg, 2009.
  • Roter Schnee oder die Suche nach dem färbenden Prinzip, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-3-05-004432-3 Search this book on Logo.png.,(Reihe: Beiträge zur Alexander-von-Humboldt-Forschung; 28).
  • Der Fall Feininger, Leipzig : Koehler und Amelang 2006, ISBN 978-3-7338-0341-4 Search this book on Logo.png..
  • Der Heiler: Tuberkuloseforscher Friedrich Franz Friedmann; Recherche eines medizinischen Skandals, München; Berlin : *Koehler und Amelang 2002, ISBN 3-7338-0319-1 Search this book on Logo.png..
  • Vitamine als Mythos: Dokumente zur Geschichte der Vitaminforschung, Berlin : Akademie-Verlag 1998, ISBN 978-3-05-003305-1 Search this book on Logo.png.,(Briefsammlung) Reihe: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften: Berichte und Abhandlungen / Sonderband;3.
  • Otto Warburg: Von der Zellphysiologie zur Krebsforschung, Berlin : Verlag Neues Leben 1988, ISBN 3-355-00789-7 Search this book on Logo.png..


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