We are pleased to announce the 2016 winner of the Richard Susan Prize for the best essay published on Goethe’s contributions to the sciences and on Goethe in the history of science. (See a list of previous award winners here.)
Jocelyn Holland, “Observing Neutrality C. 1800,” Goethe Yearbook 23 (2016): 41-57.
This is a disciplined, far-reaching investigation into the concept of neutrality in three disciplines: science, politics, and literature. Scientific discussions of neutral, that is, non-acidic or basic, chemicals connect here with political debates and reshape future readings of Goethe’s insistence on avoiding prejudices. Jocelyn’s work on “neutrality” or “Unparteilichkeit” has also given us tremendous literary insights into Wilhelm Meister’s Lehrjahre, especially the schöne Seele, but still more widely expands into other works.