Robert Marc Friedman

Professor - History
Image of Robert Marc Friedman
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22854205
Mobile phone 91639068 +47 916 39 068
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Niels Treschows hus 0851 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1008 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Please see the Norwegian webpage for Professional Background, Honors, and related information.

For an up-to-date list of Selected Publication and other scholarly activity registered in CRISTIN, please consult the Norwegian webpage.

Ongoing and Planned Research and Public-Outreach Projects at IAKH

“Banned in Berlin”: a play about Einstein, the general theory of relativity, and the politics of science

Einstein and the Nobel Prize: a follow-up article on my earlier publications, esp. Nature (1981), related to bias against Einstein and his relativity theories in the Nobel Committee for Physics

“Victor Moritz Goldschmidt (1888-1947): Scientist, Immigrant, and Refugee”: a study of Goldschmidt’s major contributions to geochemistry and crystal chemistry as well as of pettiness, envy, and prejudice in Norwegian academic culture.  Support from PROFORSK, Norwegian Research Council

“Lise Meitner and the Struggles of a Moral Researcher” Screenplay for an animation film about  science, gender, and values. Support from Communication Project, The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.

The cultures of Nobel excellence during the early Cold War, focus on the German Federal Republic, in connection with the Project for the History of the Max Planck Society, Max Planck Inst. for History of Science, Berlin.

Tags: History, History of Science, History of Universities, Polar Hiistory, Historical Sociology of Knowledge, Diffusing historical scholarship through dramatization


  • "Nobel physics prize in perspective." Nature, 292 1981. 793-798.
  • Appropriating the Weather: Vilhelm Bjerknes and the Construction of a Modern Meteorology.
    Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1989; 1993.
  • The Expeditions of Harald Ulrik Sverdrup: Contexts for Shaping an Ocean Science. La Jolla, CA: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1994.
  • "Civilization and national honour: The rise of Norwegian geophysical and cosmic science." Making Sense of Space: A History of Norwegian Space Activities. ed., J. P. Collett. Oslo: Scandinavian Universities Press, 1995. 3-39.
  • Integration and Visibility: Historiographic Challenges to University History. Occasional Papers 1/2000 Forum for University History, University of Oslo, 2000. 49 pp.
  • The Politics of Excellence: Behind the Nobel Prize in Science. New York: Freeman & Times Books, Henry Holt & Co., 2001. 400 pp. Chinese edition: Shanghai, 2005.
  • "La politica culturale del paesaggio celeste: Riflessioni su nuvole, aurora boreale e identità." Natura, cultura, identità: Le università e l'identità europea. ed., G. Pancaldi. Bologna: CIS-Università di Bologna, 2004. 59-78.
  • "Nansenismen" og "Å spise kirsbær med de store". Norsk Polarhistorie, Bind II Vitenskapene. eds., E.-A. Drivenes & H.D. Jølle. Oslo: Gyldendal, 2004. 107-174, 331-420.
  • Remembering Miss Meitner Drama. Göteborgs Stadsteater (2004-2010) og Radioteatern, Sveriges Radio (2004, 2006). Gjestespill, bl.a. Yale University (2009) & Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin (2010). Flere profesjonelle forestillinger på engelsk og italiensk.
  • Ricordando Lise Meitner: Dramma in un atto di scienza e tradimento. Bologna: Edizioni Pendragon, 2005.
  • Becoming Albert Einstein Drama. Forestillinger i Bergen og Oslo, 2005.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). "The Cult of the Nobel: Time for a Change". Georgetown journal of international affairs.  ISSN 1526-0054. . doi:
  • Doel, Ronald E.; Friedman, Robert Marc; Lajus, Julia; Sörlin, Sverker & Wråkberg, Urban (2014). Strategic Arctic science: national interests in building natural knowledge – interwar era through the Cold War. Journal of Historical Geography.  ISSN 0305-7488.  44, s 60- 80 . doi: 10.1016/j.jhg.2013.12.004
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Balancing Act: Drama about Science based on History", In Walter Grünzweig (ed.),  The SciArtist: Carl Djerassi's Science-in-Literature in Transatlantic and Interdisciplinary Contexts.  LIT Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-643-90231-3.  6.  s 63 - 73
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Has the Swedish Academy of Sciences...seen nothing, heard nothing, and understood nothing?" The First World War, Biased Neutrality, and the Nobel Prizes in Science, In Rebecka Letteval; Geert Somsen (ed.),  Neutrality in Twentieth-Century Europe. Intersections of Science, Culture, and Politics after the First World War.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-0-415-89377-0.  Chapter 5.  s 90 - 114
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Introduction: The Aurora in History". Acta Borealia.  ISSN 0800-3831.  29(2), s 115- 118
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Making Sense of the Aurora: A Research Project". Nordlit.  ISSN 0809-1668.  29, s 59- 68 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). Amundsen, Nansen, and the Question of Science: Dramatizing Historical Research on the Polar Heroic. Endeavour.  ISSN 0160-9327.  35(4), s 151- 159 . doi: 10.1016/j.endeavour.2011.08.004
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "'Et forjættende symbol': Aulen,universitetet og folket", I: Patricia G. Berman & Peder Anker (red.),  Edvard Munchs aulamalerier. Fra kontroversielt prosjekt til nasjonalskatt.  Messel Forlag.  ISBN 978-82-7631-116-7.  Kapitel.  s 25 - 45
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Fridtjof Nansen and the University, 1896-1911", In  Fridtjof Nansen Minneforelesninger 50 år.  Novus Forlag.  ISBN 978-82-7099-647-6.  Kapitel.  s 188 - 210
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Science, populist democracy and honour. The 1911 Centenary Celebration of the Royal Fredrick University in Kristiania", In Pieter Dhondt (ed.),  National, Nordic or European? Nineteenth-Century University Jubilees and Nordic Cooperation.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 978 90 04 21694 5.  Chapter 10.  s 267 - 284
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). Making the Aurora Norwegian: Science and Image in the Making of a Tradition. ISR. Interdisciplinary science review.  ISSN 0308-0188.  35(1), s 51- 68 . doi: 10.1179/030801810X12628670445464
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Fridtjof Nansen and the University, 1896-1911". Årbok / Det norske videnskaps-akademi.  ISSN 0332-6209.  (2008), s 361- 385
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). Human frailty etched in gold: Demystifying the Nobel Prize in Science, In Jan Eivind Myhre; John Peter Collett & Jon Skeie (ed.),  Kunnskapens betingelser. Festskrift til Edgeir Benum.  Vidarforlaget AS.  ISBN 978-82-7990-094-8.  Kapittel.  s 146 - 167

View all works in Cristin

  • Brookshire, Bethany & Friedman, Robert Marc (2017, 02. oktober). "Explainer: The Nobel Prize. How the Olympics of Science Got Its Start". [Internett].  Science News for Students.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2017). "Birkeland Jubileum: Historie forfalskning i merkevarebyggings navn?".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2017, 16. februar). "Det er ingen tvil om at Jacob Bjerknes pekte ut mål for atombomben. Men jeg tviler på om han visste hva han var med på".  Dagbladet.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2017). "How Nobel favorites have fared". Physics today.  ISSN 0031-9228.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2017). "Hvorfor Birkeland valgte Haldde?".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). 'Banned in Berlin': Harmonizing academic scholarship and dramatic theatricality..
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). "Close but no Nobel: The scientists who never won" Nature: News. Nature.  ISSN 0028-0836. . doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.20781
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). "Creating a Visual Language for the Aurora: An Introduction".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016, 21. desember). "Dei beskjedne heltane". [Tidsskrift].  Forskerforum - internett utgave.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016, 07. desember). "Die ewig Nominierten". [Radio].  Deutschlandfunk.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). "Henry Moseley and the politics of Nobel excellence".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). "History of Science on Stage: Beyond Hyperbole and Academic Appropriations".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2016). "Transcendence".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015). "Dramatizing the history of science: Strategies, consequence, and why it matters".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015). "Making Sense of the Aurora: A Report from the Research Front".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015, 19. april). "Politisk radikal Einstein på scena: Historieprofessor Robert Marc Friedman lagar teater av vitskap. Snart er han aktuell med teaterstykket «Transcendence», som viser nye sider av Einsteins relativitetsteori.". [Internett].
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015). "Transcendence: Einstein, Kafka and Planck vs Time, Space and Conventions".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015). "Transcendence: Relativity and Its Discontents".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015). "Transcendence: Relativity and Its Discontents".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2015, 25. november). "Wie bringt man Einstein auf die Bühne?".  Der Tagesspiegel.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2014). Keynote Lecture: "Contextualizing Science: Migration of Knowledge and Peoples (With Special Attention to Prague)".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2014). Keynote Lecture: "Staging Science: Beyond Hyperbole and Academic Appropriations".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2014). "Lectura de un imaginado monologo einsteiniano".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2014). "Remembering Miss Meitner".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2014). "Re-thinking the Nobel Science Prizes".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2014, 15. mai). "Science on stage, fully rehearsed".  Times Higher Education (London).
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2013). "Balancing Acts: Drama about Science based on History".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2013, 12. juni). "Frozen in the ice - polar research then and now". [Internett].  ScienceNordic.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2013). "Harald Ulrik Sverdrup: Another Kind of Polar Hero".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2013). "På gjensyn med Vilhelm Bjerknes".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Amundsen vs Nansen" Forestilling med bl.a. Hallvard Holmen og Gard Eidsvold spilles på forskjellige teater og kulturhus i Nord-Norge, Sørlandet og Østlandet; Litteraturhuset i Oslo. Manus skrevet av RMF; urfremføring ved Hålogaland Teater des 2011.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Amundsen, Nansen, and the Question of Science: Dramatizing Historical Research on the Polar Heroic".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Do Nobelovy medaile se vrylo mnhoho lidksych slabosti". Dějiny a současnost : kulturně historická revue.  ISSN 0418-5129.  34(10), s 22- 25
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Environmental science during the Cold War: The need and opportunity for trans-national, multi-disciplinary collaborations".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012, 30. januar). "Et skuespill om Amundsen og Nansen". [Radio].  NRK P-2 Ekko.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "From the research front to centre stage: Scholarship and artistry in dramatizing history of science".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Imperfect Excellence: The Nobel Prizes and the European Periphery".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). Introduction: The Aurora in History. Acta Borealia.  ISSN 0800-3831.  29(2), s 115- 118 . doi: 10.1080/08003831.2012.732280
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012, 12. oktober). "Is the Nobel Prize a Boys Mostly Club?". [Radio].  National Public Radio; Washington, D.C..
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Remembering Miss Meitner" Gjestespill ved Liseberg Teater, Göteborg, i forbindelse med European Physical Society møte om atom fysikk. 11.07.2012.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012). "Remembering Miss Meitner: History, Memory, and the Future of Physics".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2012, 12. oktober). "Why do Nobel Prizes Reign Supreme?". [Internett].  Physics Central: American Physical Society.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Amundsen vs Nansen".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Icy shadows: American Cold-War concerns and the shaping of Norwegian polar research policy".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). Keynote Lecture. "Marie Curie's 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: The Politics of Excellence".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). Keynote Lecture. "The Politics of Excellence: The Meaning of the Nobel Prizes in Science".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Making Sense of the Aurora: Themes from a Collaborative Project".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Mytedannelse om forskningens betydning [om Kr. Birkeland]". Apollon : Forskningsmagasin for Universitetet i Oslo.  ISSN 0803-6926.  (2), s 22- 23
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Nansenismen".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Om å dramatisere historisk forskning".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011, 15. januar). "På sporet etter Amundsen".  Dagsavisen.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2011). "Regionality and multi-disciplinarity: Visions for new collaborative ideals in history of science".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Arctic visionaries: The case of Harald Ulrik Sverdrup".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Balancing Act: Reflections on Drama about Science Based on History".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010, 11. april). "Dramatisk stykke om Lise Meitner spilles i Oslo". [Radio].  NRK P2 Søndagsavisa.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010, 10. mars). "Dramatisk svik" (om "Remembering Miss Meitner").  Uniforum.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). Keynote Lecture. "Disciplinary dynamics in the geophysical and cosmic sciences: Interdisciplinary agendas and disciplinary fragmentation in Norway.".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Making the Aurora Norwegian".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Making the aurora Norwegian".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Meitner".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Meitner: Kvinnen, Fysikken, Sviket" Gjestespill fra Göteborgs Stadsteater. Chateau Neuf. 11-12.04.2010.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "Minns Ni Fröken Meitner" Göteborgs Stadsteater. 07-08.04.2010 & 01-02.10.2010.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "On the relations between (history of) science and drama.".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). Review of "Weather by Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology" by Kristine C. Harper. Isis (Chicago, Ill.).  ISSN 0021-1753.  101(1), s 257- 258
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). Seeing Science: The Sight/Insight of Scandinavian Art. ISR. Interdisciplinary science review.  ISSN 0308-0188.  35(1), s 5- 6 . doi: 10.1179/030801810X12628670445347
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2010). "The Meaning of Meitner in Sweden: Concluding Remarks".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Antarktistraktaten 50år: Hvordan Norge ble med det gode selskapet".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Balancing Act: Reflections on drama about science based on history".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Collections, spaces, and disciplinary growth in a politicized university: Oslo, 1870-1920".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Experts call for Nobel prize to be revamped.". New scientist (1971).  ISSN 0262-4079.  (2728), s 6- 7
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Human frailty etched in gold: Demystifying the Nobel prizes".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Human frailty etched in gold: The meaning of Nobel excellence in science.".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Is the Nobel Prize in Chemistry still relevant?". Analytical Chemistry.  ISSN 0003-2700.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Making the Aurora Norwegian: Science, Narratives and Images".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Making the aurora Norwegian: Cultural politics of the northern lights as national icon and research tradition.".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Making the aurora Norwegian: Cultural-political reflections".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Making the aurora Norwegian: The cultural politics of a national research tradition and icon.".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Making the aurora Norwegian: The cultural-politics of the northern lights as icon and research specialty".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). 'Minns ni fröken Meitner' Göteborgs Stadsteater, 14-18.04.2009.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Minns ni fröken Meitner" Göteborgs Stadsteater, 15-17.10.2009.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). Putting 'dannelse' in context - perspectives from history of science and universities. Innlegg i "Dannelsesdebatt: Kritikk av den rene dannelse".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2009). "Remembering Miss Meitner." New Theatre, Yale University, USA. 16 & 17.01.2009. Gjestespill fra Göteborgs Stadsteater. 145 personer hver forestilling.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2008). "Balancing acts: Drama about science based on history".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2008). "Erinnerung an Fräulein Meitner".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2008, 02. januar). "How noble are the motives behind awarding the Nobel Prize?".  The Scotsman.
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2008). Keynote lecture. "Text, context, and quicksand: Reflections on the use of the Nobel-science-prize archives".
  • Friedman, Robert Marc (2008, 06. juni). "Late studenter? Utenlandske professorer mener norske studenter bør møtes med høyere forventninger.".  Morgenbladet.

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Published Dec. 14, 2010 2:36 PM - Last modified Feb. 26, 2018 1:41 PM


  • V.M. Goldschmidt: Scientist, Immigrant, Refugee