The currently existing Working Group on the History of Geosciences was founded in 1990 from the Working Group on the History of Geosciences in the East of Germany (1976-1989) and a working group of the same name in the West of the Republic (1984-1989). Formally, it is affiliated with the German Geological Society – Geological Association (DGGV). It also functions as the German section of the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) of the IUGS.
The AKGGW sets itself the task of strengthening and developing the scientific profile of activities and research on the history of geosciences in Germany. According to its self-conception, the history of geology is by no means limited to the celebration of institute anniversaries and round birthdays, but makes an important contribution to the self-conception of geological research today. Geological history adds a necessary historical dimension to geoscientific thinking.
At the same time, the working group offers young scholars a platform through which they can present their research results to an appropriate professional body.
Research on the history of ideas or on structures of scientific culture illustrate the influence that traditions of thought and traditional structures have on contemporary science. Biographically oriented research approaches, on the other hand, show the dependence of science on the researchers’ personal horizon of experience, which is shaped by the social, cultural, and historical environment.
These mostly unconscious factors often become recognizable and understandable only in retrospect from a historical perspective. Thus, the history of geology certainly sees itself as a sub-discipline and auxiliary science of the geosciences.
The working group publishes a newsletter annually, under the title “Geohistorische Blätter”, with selected articles and current information on the history of geosciences such as conference reports, reviews, obituaries as well as a specialized bibliography on the history of geosciences.
Every two years the working group meets for a session in the context of a workshop or a conference. Most recently, the AKGGW held its workshop in 2013 at the Jura Museum in Eichstätt.