Verlag für Geschichte
der Naturwissenschaften
und der Technik

Archetypes of Sex

Overview | TOC | Preface | Links

 (2024) (2024)

Andreas Deutsch
Archetypes of Sex
Unmasking Algae’s Innocence, the Nathanael Pringsheim Revolution
about 250 pp, ca. 140 mainly colored photographs, original drawings, and schemes, paperback, ca. 28,00 €
ISBN 978-3-86225-143-8
(Will be released on September 15, 2024)


Algae have played a crucial role in shaping our planet’s atmosphere, as they transform CO2 into the oxygen we breathe. They contribute to building a sustainable future by aiding in the fight against climate change, providing new energy sources and essential resources for nutrition. NATHANAEL PRINGSHEIM (1823–1894), a pioneer of modern botany and a contemporary of Charles Darwin, revolutionized the understanding of biology. In his research on algae, Pringsheim revealed that sexuality was a fundamental principle even in organisms previously classified as “lower” life forms.

This book offers readers:

  • exciting insights into the development of modern biology illustrated through Pringsheim’s fascinating life and scientific achievements,
  • the first-ever account of the Pringsheim family, persecuted in the Third Reich, and their contributions to the natural sciences,
  • an enthralling narrative of the challenging journey to establish the first German marine biology research station on the island of Helgoland,
  • an appealing showcase of large-scale artistic interpretations of microscopic worlds, created by Pringsheim, also a master of scientific illustration
  • and last but not least, new perspectives on algae research, which is more relevant today than ever before.

ANDREAS DEUTSCH, theoretical biologist and extraordinary professor at TUD Dresden University of Technology, is a distant relative of Nathanael Pringsheim.

German edition

Overview | TOC | Preface | Links