Two George Sarton Medals Awarded


George Sarton was a Belgian scholar, who is considered to be the founding father of the field of the history of science. In honor of its alumnus, Ghent University has been awarding George Sarton Medals to prominent researchers since the late 1980s. Robert K. Merton, himself a PhD student of Sarton at Harvard University, was the first recipient of this medal.

The Covid-epidemic endangered this tradition during the past years, but we happily could award two George Sarton Medals at the end of April 2023. The medals were awarded to Prof. Rudolf Stichweh of the University of Bonn (Germany) and Prof. Björn Wittrock of the University of Uppsala (Sweden) for their important contributions to the history and sociology of science.

Rudolf Stichweh lectured on this occasion on “Sociology in the System of Scientific Disciplines”; Björn Wittrock spoke on the topic of “Unexpected Affinities: Social Science and Global History, 1910-2020”. The texts of both presentations as well as the laudations by Raf Vanderstraeten will be published later this year in the journal Sartoniana (see

The medalists, Prof. Stichweh (left) and Prof. Wittrock, with the chair of the Sarton committee, Prof. Rubens, behind them (right).  Picture by Allan Souza Queiroz.