Brigitte Van Tiggelen outdoor portrait, smiling

Brigitte Van Tiggelen

Director, International Affairs

Brigitte Van Tiggelen is the Science History Institute’s director of international affairs, working from the Institute’s office in Paris. Trained as both a physicist and a historian, she started her career in the history of chemistry with a PhD devoted to the Chemical Revolution in the southern Low Countries (roughly present-day Belgium and Luxembourg).

She is the coeditor of Women in Their Element: Selected Women’s Contributions to the Periodic System (2019), a volume that brings together more than two decades of research and publication of the life and work of women in science.

Since 2017, she has served as chair of the Commission on the History of Chemistry and the Molecular Sciences, which promotes the field inside the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. After two terms as the head of the Historical Division of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), she now leads the Selection Committee for the EuChemS Historical Landmark Awards inaugurated in 2018.


  • Neville Fellow, 20062007
  • Allington Fellow, 20082009
  • Société de Chimie Industrielle Fellow, 2010–2011

More from Brigitte Van Tiggelen

Chemistry World: Ida Noddack and the Trouble with Element 43

Royal Society of Chemistry’s magazine talks to the Institute’s Brigitte van Tiggelen about the little-known German chemist.

New York Times: Is It Time to Upend the Periodic Table?

The Institute’s Brigitte Van Tiggelen is quoted in this article on Mendeleev’s chart and the variations proposed in the 150 years since.

Making the Process

By 1790 chemistry was the up-and-coming science. The products of chemistry—industrially useful salts, acids, and alkalis—would soon be measured not by the ounce (or the gram) but by the ton.