Tom Diekwisch completed his Ph.D. studies in philosophy with one of Germany’s pre-eminent science philosophers, Professor Peter Janich from the University of Marburg. Janich is one of the fathers of methodical culturalism, a development of the constructivist philosophy of the Erlangen school of philosophy.

As a student of Janich, Diekwisch focused on the impact of science culture in modern molecular biology and how science cultural approaches affect our understanding of the mind-body problem. The approach of methodical culturalism was carried over into two history of science publications related to the model system of the un-opposed molar (Holliday et al. 2005, Luan et al. 2007).

Diekwisch also contributed to a commemorative article in honor of Wolf-Ernst Reif (Smith et al. 2013). His manuscript entitled “Oral Biology and Chicago” is a review about the Chicago Oral Biology Centennial and honors the contributions of the Vienna School of Illinois to the biological orientation of dentistry in America.  


The Vienna Group of Illinois

The Vienna Group of Illinois. Oral Biology as a field of research was largely influenced by a group of Viennese scholars who came to Chicago during the late 1930ies. The photograph shows from left to right member of this distinguished group of clinician-scientists: Maury Massler, Balint Orban, Isaac Schour, Joseph-Peter Weinmann, and Harry Sicher.

Contributions to Journal

  • Diekwisch, T.G.H. (2016).  Oral Biology and Chicago.  Evolution and Development 18, 3-6.  Journal Cover.
  • Smith, M.M., Johanson, Z, Underwood, C., and Diekwisch, T.G.H. (2013). Pattern formation in development of chondrichthyan dentitions: a review of an evolutionary model. Historical Biology 25, 127-142.
  • Luan X, Diekwisch TGH. (2007). Vienna-Chicago: the cultural transformation of the model system of the un-opposed molar. Bioessays 29, 819-830.
  • Holliday, S., Schneider, B., Galang, M.T., Fukui, T., Yamane, A., Luan, X., and Diekwisch, T.G.H. (2005). Bones, Teeth, and Genes: A Genomic Homage to Harry Sicher’s “Axial Movement of Teeth“. World J. Orthodontics 6, 61-70.

Bernhard Gottlieb

Bernhard Gottlieb. While his students emigrated to Chicago, Bernhard Gottlieb, the leader of Vienna’s oral biologists, found a new home at College of Dentistry in Dallas/TX.