The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (MPIWG) was founded in 1994. It is one of more than 80 research institutes of the Max Planck Society. Since its foundation, the MPIWG has dealt with fundamental questions of the history of knowledge from the Neolithic to the present. At the institute, the researchers pursue historical epistemology: They investigate how categories of thought, proof and experience have historically developed in the interaction between the sciences and the cultures that surround them. Their research covers all epochs and continents, ranging from Babylonian mathematics to contemporary neuroscience, from the natural history of the Renaissance to the beginnings of quantum mechanics. The work of the MPIWG scientists forms the basis of a theoretically oriented history of science that looks at scientific practice from a variety of methodological and interdisciplinary perspectives. By analyzing scientific thinking and acting as historical phenomena, the institute creates a level of reflection for current challenges in science.