University Research Chair awarded prestigious prize from Robert Bosch Foundation

Monday, December 11, 2017

Congratulations to Professor Alice Kuzniar, University Research Chair and professor of German and English for receiving the Hans-Walz Research Prize in recognition of her work on the history of homeopathy and her book, The Birth of Homeopathy Out of the Spirit of Romanticsm, published by the University of Toronto Press in spring 2017. Professor Kuzniar was honoured at a champagne reception held on December 1 at the Bosch Villa in Stuttgart - with a cellist playing Bach.

In her award-winning book, Professor Kuzniar asserts that the alternative medical practice of homeopathy is a phenomenon rooted in its time. She illustrates this by examining the founding principles of the practice and their parallels with the cultural zeitgeist of late 18th-century Germany, the time of early German Romanticism. The Birth of Homeopathy is the first publication in English that makes a rigorous, scholarly investigation of the cultural context of the phenomenon and its inventor. Read more about Prof. Kuzniar’s research and the book.

Alice Kuzniar speaks to audience
Alice Kuzniar speaks to jury members and others at the December 1 Hans-Walz Research Prize award ceremony in Stuttgart, Germany.

“The honour of accepting a prize from one of Europe's leading charitable foundations is, for me, a meaningful recognition of the significance of the history of ideas to the medical field,” said Prof Kuzniar.

The bi-annual Hans-Walz Research Prize is internationally recognized and supports research into the history of homeopathy. It is awarded by the Institute for the History of Medicine, which belongs to the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Robert Bosch Foundation), and is supported by its affiliate, the Hans-Walz Foundation. Jury members were the director of the Robert Bosch Foundation Institute for the History of Medicine, Robert Jütte, the deputy director, Martin Dinges, head of the Department of Health of the Robert Bosch Foundation, Bernadette Klapper, and head emergency physician at Berlin's Charite hospital, Michael Teut.

Hans Walz was a friend of Robert Bosch and his first CEO, explains Prof. Kuzniar.  The foundation is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company and has managed the philanthropic bequest of company founder Robert Bosch for over 50 years. The Foundation still holds about a 92 percent of Robert Bosch GmbH's capital stock of €1.2 billion.

The research for the The Birth of Homeopathy Out of the Spirit of Romanticsm was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Lois Claxton Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fund, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.