Science very much determines the way the world can be conceptualised. Scientific knowledge – broadly conceived – informs people, organisations and governments and influences their strategies and actions. The history of science therefore should be conceived as a history of the evolution of scientific cultures. It studies the production of knowledge as the result of the continuous battle between rivalling scientific claims and of the constant interplay between scientists and the wider cultural domains of which they form a part. At the same time science cannot be understood without a detailed study of its content, methodology and concepts. Our focus area distinguishes itself by its emphasis on the history and philosophy of all academic disciplines. Our aim goes beyond deepening and broadening the understanding of the nature and methods of the sciences and the humanities. Critical reflection on the foundations of science, the structures of its dissemination and the function of its rhetoric should result in government policies that are better informed and better implemented.