Helmut Krauch

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Helmut Krauch

Helmut Krauch (born May 2, 1927 in Heidelberg -Schlierbach; † October 14, 2010 Heidelberg) was a German chemist, systems analyst , conceptual artist , professor of systems design and sociologist .

life and work

Krauch studied chemistry at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and received his doctorate from Richard Kuhn in 1955. In 1956 he went to the USA as a scholarship holder of the National Science Foundation , where he worked as a research assistant at Yale University and at the Brookhaven National Laboratory , New York.

In 1958 he worked for the nuclear reactor construction and operating company in Karlsruhe , which was close to the university , was involved in the "Karlsruhe Chemical Society" and founded the interdisciplinary study group for systems research (SfS) at the competing Heidelberg University .

In 1962 he joined the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, California. From 1965 to 1969 he worked at the Stanford Research Institute and as a visiting professor at the University of California on experimental and empirical studies of planning and decision-making processes.

In 1968 he completed his habilitation in Göttingen for experimental sociology and the sociology of science. From 1970 he headed several systems analysis projects in government and administration, including in the Federal Chancellery .

From 1972 until his retirement in 1992 he was professor for system design at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and a member of the board of directors of the Scientific Center for Environmental Systems Research at the University of Kassel .

In the Heidelberg study group, Krauch and his colleagues developed the Maieutic system analysis method, which, based on the example of the Socraticmidwifery ”, combines an integration of the internal perspective of actors with the external perspective of the systems researcher. The process of knowledge is organized in a dialogical process, whereby Krauch also developed the first approaches to a “ computer democracy ”, which should involve larger sections of the population in important decisions. The first course was set for the technology assessment , which was continued by Krauch's employees.

Helmut Krauch's interests and work were interdisciplinary. In addition, Krauch was always an active designer who not only pursued technical projects, but also pursued artistic interests, such as the 1995 exhibition of concept art in the documenta -Halle Kassel.


Helmut Krauch was the second youngest son of Carl Krauch . He was married twice, his first marriage to the cartoonist Marie Marcks , and had four children.

Publications (excerpt)

  • Helmut Krauch, Werner Kunz reactions in organic chemistry , Hüthig-Verlag Heidelberg 1961 - 6th edition 1997.
  • Helmut Krauch, Werner Kunz Name Reactions in Organic Chemistry , Hüthig-Verlag Heidelberg 1961
  • Organized research . Neuwied 1970.
  • Research Policy Priorities . Munich 1970.
  • Computer democracy. Düsseldorf 1972.
  • Beginning Science Policy Research in Europe: The Study Group for Systems Research, 1957–1973 In: Minerva (journal) , Volume 44, Number 2, pp. 131–142
  • The firebellum of privy councilor Bosch 1st edition . Kassel 2007.


  • Andrea Brinckmann : Scientific policy advice in the 1960s. The Study Group for Systems Research, 1958 to 1975 . Berlin 2006.
  • Gotthardt Bechmann et al. (Ed.): Systems research - political advice - public education. Contributions by and in the context of Helmut Krauch . Kassel 2009.
  • Coenen, Reinhard; Simon, Karl-Heinz (ed.): Systems research - policy advice and public education: Contributions by and in the context of Helmut Krauch and the study group for systems research . Kassel: University Press 2011 Book information and table of contents

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Results in> Richard Kuhn, Helmut Krauch: About Kumulene VIII); Reduction of acetylene, diacetylene and triacetylene glycols with tin (II) chloride; Cumulenes with only two aromatic substituents. In: Chemical Reports. 88, 1955, p. 309, doi : 10.1002 / cber.19550880302 .
  2. W. v. Eggers Doering and H. Krauch: The Tropylium Ion. In: Angewandte Chemie. 68, 1956, p. 661, doi : 10.1002 / ange.19560682102 .
  3. Helmut Krauch: Dust phase reduction of iron ores. In: Chemical Engineer Technology - CIT. 30, 1958, p. 693, doi : 10.1002 / cite.330301103 .
  4. H. Krauch: About chemical nuclear reactors. In: Angewandte Chemie. 74, 1962, p. 218, doi : 10.1002 / anie.19620740618 .
  5. ^ Klaus-Peter Hoepke: History of the Fridericiana. KIT Scientific Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-3-866-44138-5 , pp. 130ff ( limited preview in the Google book search).