We know that wizards and witches publish books, but most books we encounter are rather old. I'm wondering if wizards and witches employed at academies like Hogwarts (or in other places) perform research in the sense of modern academic research in the sciences and other fields. There must be modern magical historians and certainly sociologists and zoologists etc, e.g. Newt Scamander researches magical beasts and is writing a book about them. My questions are,

  • Does the wizarding world have a formal publication/peer-review system for magical research akin to modern academia (i.e. not just book publications, which most authors in academia will only do once or twice, normally later in their career after publishing many papers)?

  • Is there any active research into the "science of magic", e.g. are there people who theorize about the nature and laws of magic in the way that physicists have theories for the laws of physics? Is there research into the mechanics of magic (such as how it works or what incantations actually do or what a wand physically affects) or its applications (such as the invention of new spells or potions) in an academic context (i.e. not businesses inventing new novelty magics for retail like the Weasley twins)?

  • 5
    There doesn't seem to be any organised scientific research into magic happening in the world of Harry Potter. Probably the closest thing we see is magiczoology or the study of the effects of various substances (such as Dragons Blood).
    – Valorum
    Jun 9, 2019 at 22:47
  • 2
    Dumbledore and the 12 Uses of Dragon's Blood comes to mind
    – NKCampbell
    Jun 9, 2019 at 23:02
  • 1
    I think that the teachers most likely don't discover new topics themselves, they rather use the knowledge of those whose job it is to discover new topics to have an extensive knowledge of what they teach.
    – Ginge
    Jun 9, 2019 at 23:33
  • 2
    Prof Binns is famous for not contributing anything new.
    – Valorum
    Jun 9, 2019 at 23:34
  • 7
    Hogwarts is a school, not an university. We don't know about the existance of a wizarding university. The wizarding world is much smaller, so even if they want, they wouldn't produce enough papers to warrant a regular publication. Jun 10, 2019 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


Wizarding world seems to have this kind of publication and some sort of "science of magic"

When Harry spends the remainder of his holidays in the Leaky Cauldron during Prisoner of Azkaban, he

liked watching the other guests: [...] venerable-looking wizards arguing over the latest article in Transfiguration Today

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ch4 The Leaky Cauldron, p41, first American Edition

Later, in Deathly Hallows, we have more insight of what is Transfiguration Today along with other publications:

Several of [Dumbledore's] papers found their way into learned publications such as Transfiguration Today, Challenge in Charms and The Practical Potioneer.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch2 In Memoriam, p21, first American Edition

A bit later in the same book, we have a bit more details :

Several years later, however, the author sent an owl to Albus at Hogwarts, having been favorably impressed by his paper on trans-species transformation in Transfiguration Today

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch18 The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, p256, first American Edition

From the wording, it seems that those three publications are the Nature of the wizards; people can submit articles and they seem to be reviewed. The wording also implies that articles (at least in Transfiguration Today) concerns new areas of magic or ground-breaking advances.

Finally, it seems that this kind of "fundamental research" exists in every field (emphasis mine):

"The potion that Professor Snape has been making for me is a very recent discovery"

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ch18 Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, p244, first American Edition

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.