About Nicolai


Nicolai Publishing & Intelligence has its origins in the traditional publishing house Nicolai Verlag, founded in 1713 in Berlin as the Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Back then, in years of radical economic, social and political changes, the doctrines of the Enlightenment attracted a great deal of interest throughout the country. The efforts of Friedrich Nicolai, the son of the founder, were an important driver of this interest.

Our roots, dating back to the Age of Enlightenment, today give us the strong foundation to support our transformation into Nicolai Publishing & Intelligence. Our publishing house embeds Friedrich Nicolai’s enlightened values in the here and now, into the technical and political turning points of today’s world. Our mission is to shape public contemplation and forethought by encouraging openness, courage and curiosity in increasingly complex times.

By driving public contemplation that counteracts a longing for simple or fast solutions we make it possible to discuss the fundamental questions and fears of the 21st century. This includes a forum that taps leading thinkers and science writers from different positions in order to provide perspective and direction in times of democratic crisis. We believe that sharing multiple points of view and ways of thinking invites debate, sharpens perspective, and allows for sound reasoning.

When it comes to our books, we also encourage a discursive exchange of opinion with all of our publications. We publish authors that recognize the correlations among ideas, moments in history that demand reflection and promote the power of imagination. Not surprisingly, these authors often deliver resiliant solutions for our times.

Christiane zu Salm
Nicolai Publishing & Intelligence


The Nicolai Concept

»Give systematic thought
to future conditions.«

Friedrich Nicolai, 1733–1811

As a publisher, Friedrich Nicolai used his influence to promote criticism. He demanded impartiality, sober scholarschip, and above all, intrepidity.

In today’s digital age, we are holding dear to those core values dispite the passage of time that shaped our founder’s work as a publisher. He insisted on the public use of reason, upon noncomformity and on tolerance. These core values fit today’s times as well.



»Admire nothing.
Fear nothing.«

Friedrich Nicolai, 1733–1811



As a company that provides scientifically based information and discourse, we strive for our books to offer a narrative that develops parameters, which open up a new way of thinking about our times. It is important that our authors help readers connect varied contexts of an argument and therefore also bring up controversial positions, risking to broach far-reaching ones.

We invite leading thinkers and science writers to participate in a diversified social discourse. Why? Because we want to engage in a comprehensive, meaningful dialogue with our readers – one in which they examine the new realities of our times from a different perspective. For this reason, we as a publishing house curate relevant themes.

Books – to us – are an expression of an author’s mental processes. To read demands a respite from all else, a conscious denial of the distractions of our times. We appreciate the ability to read books without hurry and independently of any other media.

Nicolai Publishing & Intelligence published its first program – consisting of 18 books – in autumn 2018.



Academic and scientific thought make important contributions by recognising, describing and exploring the challenges of our times.

Finding answers in ever more complex times increasingly demands stronger interdisciplinary strategies.

Nicolai Intelligence identifies and draws the connections for its subscribers across multiple disciplines.

We believe in the combination of brains & data and we make it easy for you to concentrate on the connections and issues that matter to you.