Susanne Schmidt

Visiting Scholar

Susanne Schmidt is a research fellow of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and Assistant Professor at the Department of History at Humboldt University. Susanne researches the history of the cognitive, behavioral and social sciences. At Stanford, she investigates the history of the marshmallow test, the definitive procedure for assessing self-control in children, who are given one marshmallow right away—or two if they wait. Her book The Marshmallow Test: Candy, Race, and Personality in Social Science will trace the marshmallow test from its fist instalments in the 1950s to current debates about replicability, looking at studies conducted in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Susanne’s book, Midlife Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2020) provides the first historical study of the controversial concept of midlife crisis, which gained traction as a feminist idea in the United States in the 1970s before it was redefined by psychologists and psychiatrists. Susanne received her Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge in 2018. She was an Assistant Professor (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) in Global History at Free University Berlin (2018–20) and Tandem Fellow in History of Knowledge & Knowledge Cultures at the German Historical Institute and Georgetown University, Washington, DC (2019–20), and a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, and the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University. Susanne received the first-book award of the German History of Science Society (GWMT) and the prize for the best article published in N.T.M. (both 2021) and a Career Development Award at the Berlin University Alliance (2021–22); her research has been supported by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation), Max Weber Foundation, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Kurt Hahn Trust, and others.

You can find out more about her work here.

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