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Learned societies, such as the Royal Society of London and the Dublin Philosophical Society were a central feature of the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. This volume shows that a study of the work and membership of these groups is essential before any realistic assessment can be made of the scientific world at this time. Based on a wide range of manuscript and other sources, this book illuminates, by means of an examination of a particular group of natural philosophers, on problems of general interest to all those concerned with the wider aspects of science in this period.
Originally published in 1967. The origin of the Royal Society has long been obscured by baffling discrepancies in the evidence. This volume investigates its underlying purpose and creation, at the same time uncovering the real nature of its debt to Francis Bacon and its role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century.
In 1883, Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the word "eugenics" to express his dream of perfecting the human race by applying the laws of genetic heredity. Adapting Darwin's theory of evolution to human society, eugenics soon became a powerful, international movement, committed to using the principles of heredity and statistics to encourage healthy and discourage unhealthy reproduction. Early in the twentieth century and across the world, doctors, social reformers, and politicians turned to the new science of eugenics as a means to improve and strengthen their populations. Eugenics advocates claimed their methods would result in healthier, fitter babies and would dramatically limit human suffering. The reality was a different story. In the name of scientific progress and of human improvement, eugenicists targeted the weak and the sick, triggering coercive legislation on issues as disparate as race, gender, immigration, euthanasia, abortion, sterilization, intelligence, mental illness, and disease control. Nationalists eagerly embraced eugenics as a means to legitimize their countries' superiority and racialized assumptions, and the Nazis notoriously used eugenics to shape their "final solution." In this lucid volume, Philippa Levine tackles the intricate and controversial history of eugenics, masterfully synthesizing the enormous range of policies and experiments carried out in the name of eugenics around the world throughout the twentieth century. She questions the widespread belief that eugenics disappeared after World War II and evaluates the impact of eugenics on current reproductive and genetic sciences. Charting the development of such controversial practices as artificial insemination, sperm donation, and population control, this book offers a powerful, extraordinarily timely reflection on the frequent interplay between genetics and ethics. Eugenics may no longer be a household word, but we feel its effects even today.
This volume is part of the definitive edition of letters written by and to Charles Darwin, the most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century. Notes and appendixes put these fascinating and wide-ranging letters in context, making the letters accessible to both scholars and general readers. Darwin depended on correspondence to collect data from all over the world, and to discuss his emerging ideas with scientific colleagues, many of whom he never met in person. The letters are published chronologically: volume 27 includes letters from 1879, the year in which Darwin completed his manuscript on movement in plants. He also researched and published a biography of his grandfather Erasmus. The Darwins spent most of August on holiday in the Lake District. In October, Darwin's youngest son, Horace, became officially engaged to Ida Farrer, after some initial resistance from her father, who, although an admirer of Charles Darwin, thought Horace a poor prospect for his daughter.
A Companion to the History of American Science offers a collection of essays that give an authoritative overview of the most recent scholarship on the history of American science. Covers topics including astronomy, agriculture, chemistry, eugenics, Big Science, military technology, and more Features contributions by the most accomplished scholars in the field of science history Covers pivotal events in U.S. history that shaped the development of science and science policy such as WWII, the Cold War, and the Women's Rights movement
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919, in the wake of the First World War, together with its sister Unions in related natural sciences. It will thus turn 100 years in 2019. Written by a mixed team of insiders and outsiders, this book presents the IAU in the changing context of the historical, scientific and technological development of astronomy during the past 100 years. While much important scientific progress took place already before 1945, the book naturally focuses on the accelerating evolution during the second half of the century. In the past few decades, the previously narrow IAU focus on organising professional astronomy has broadened to include societally relevant activities such as addressing the hazard of asteroid impacts, the planetary status of Pluto in the Solar System, and the hugely successful International Year of Astronomy. Most recently, it is spearheading a combination of science literacy and public outreach. The book will be of interest to professional astronomers as well as an astronomically interested general audience. The book features live personal interviews with as many of the key actors as still possible.
This volume offers a comprehensive history of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), one of the major marine laboratories in the United States and a leader in using marine organisms to study fundamental physiological concepts. Beginning with its founding as the Harpswell Laboratory of Tufts University in 1898, David H. Evans follows its evolution from a teaching facility to a research center for distinguished renal and epithelial physiologists. He also describes how it became the site of major advances in cytokinesis, regeneration, cardiac and vascular physiology, hepatic physiology, endocrinology and toxicology, as well as studies of the comparative physiology of marine organisms. Fundamental physiological concepts in the context of the discoveries made at the MDIBL are explained and the social and administrative history of this renowned facility is described.
How can fundamental particles exist as waves in the vacuum? How can such waves have particle properties such as inertia? What is behind the notion of "virtual" particles? Why and how do particles exert forces on one another? Not least: What are forces anyway? These are some of the central questions that have intriguing answers in Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Unfortunately, these theories are highly mathematical, so that most people - even many scientists - are not able to fully grasp their meaning. This book unravels these theories in a conceptual manner, using more than 180 figures and extensive explanations and will provide the nonspecialist with great insights that are not to be found in the popular science literature.
Winner of the 2018 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title! PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS EDITIONS "This is a brilliantly clear introduction (and indeed reframing) of the history and philosophy of science in terms of worldviews and their elements.... In addition, the book is incredibly well-informed from both a scientific and philosophical angle. Highly recommended." Scientific and Medical Network "Unlike many other introductions to philosophy of science, DeWitt's book is at once historically informative and philosophically thorough and rigorous. Chapter notes, suggested readings, and references enhance its value." Choice "Written in clear and comprehensible prose and supplemented by effective diagrams and examples, Worldviews is an ideal text for anyone new to the history and philosophy of science. As the reader will come to find out, DeWitt is a gifted writer with the unique ability to break down complex and technical concepts into digestible parts, making Worldviews a welcoming and not overwhelming book for the introductory reader." History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, vol. 28(2) Now in its third edition, Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science strengthens its reputation as the most accessible and teachable introduction to the history and philosophy of science on the market. Geared toward engaging undergraduates and those approaching the history and philosophy of science for the first time, this intellectually-provocative volume takes advantage of its author's extensive teaching experience, parsing complex ideas using straightforward and sensible examples drawn from the physical sciences. Building on the foundations which earned the book its critical acclaim, author Richard DeWitt considers fundamental issues in the philosophy of science through the historical worldviews that influenced them, charting the evolution of Western science through the rise and fall of dominant systems of thought. Chapters have been updated to include discussion of recent findings in quantum theory, general relativity, and evolutionary theory, and two new chapters exclusive to the third edition enrich its engagement with radical developments in contemporary science. At a time in modern history when the nature of truth, fact, and reality seem increasingly controversial, the third edition of Worldviews presents complex concepts with clarity and verve, and prepares inquisitive minds to engage critically with some of the most exciting questions in the philosophy of science.
In this volume Pierre Duhem first gives an overview of 19th century electricity and magnetism. Next, he applies his keen historical, philosophical, and physical intuition to critiquing Maxwell's theories, especially his electromagnetic theory of light and the ad hoc introduction of displacement current, which he considers too much a product of the "esprit de geometrie" than the "esprit de finesse," as Pascal calls it. In this book, Duhem is guided by the principle that a theory that offers contradictions, even if the theory is posed by a genius, needs to be analysed and discussed until a clear distinction can be made between the propositions likely to be logically demonstrated and statements that offend logic and which must be transformed or rejected. Furthermore, Duhem felt, in criticizing such a theory one must guard against narrowness of mind and petty corrections which would make one forget the merit of the inventor; and, more importantly, one must guard against the blind superstition which, for admiration of the author, would hide the serious defects of the work. He is not so great a genius that he surpasses the laws of reason. Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), chairman of theoretical physics at Bordeaux in 1984-1916, is well-known for his works in the history and philosophy of science.
This book offers a collection of texts by Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker (1912-2007), a major German universal scientist who was a pioneer in physics, philosophy, religion, politics and peace research. He started as an assistant to the physicist, Werner Heisenberg, held professorships in theoretical physics (Strasbourg), physics (Goettingen) and philosophy (Hamburg) and was a co-director (with Juergen Habermas) of a Max Planck Institute for Research into living conditions in a world of science and technology in Starnberg. This unique anthology spans the wide scope of his innovative thinking including his philosophical self-reflections, on peace, nuclear strategy, security and defensive defense, on nuclear energy, on the conditions of freedom, on his experience of religion, including poetry from his early youth. Most texts appear in English for the first time and are selected for use in seminars on physics, philosophy, religion, politics and peace research.
Trans seems to be everywhere in American culture. Yet there is little understanding of how this came about. Are people aware that there were earlier periods of gender flexibility and contestability in American history? How well known is it that a previous period of trans visibility in the 1960s and early 1970s faced a vehement backlash right at the time that trans, in the form of what was then termed transvestism and transsexuality, seemed to be so ascendant? Was there transness before transsexuality was named in the 1950s and transgender emerged in the 1990s? Barry Reay explores this history: from a time before trans in the nineteenth century to the transsexual moment of the 1960s and 1970s, the transgender turn of the 1990s, and the so-called tipping point of current culture. It is a rich and varied history, where same-sex desires and identities, cross-dressing, and transsexual and transgender identities jostled for recognition. It is a history that is not at all flattering to US psychiatric and surgical practices. Arguing for the complexity of a trans past and present, Trans America will be a groundbreaking work for the trans community, as well as anyone interested in the history of medicine, sexuality, psychology and psychiatry.
This volume is put together in honor of a distinguished historian of science, Kostas Gavroglu, whose work has won international acclaim, and has been pivotal in establishing the discipline of history of science in Greece, its consolidation in other countries of the European Periphery, and the constructive dialogue of these emerging communities with an extended community of international scholars. The papers in the volume reflect Gavroglu's broad range of intellectual interests and touch upon significant themes in recent history and philosophy of science. They include topics in the history of modern physical sciences, science and technology in the European periphery, integrated history and philosophy of science, historiographical considerations, and intersections with the history of mathematics, technology and contemporary issues. They are authored by eminent scholars whose academic and personal trajectories crossed with Gavroglu's. The book will interest historians and philosophers of science and technology alike, as well as science studies scholars, and generally readers interested in the role of the sciences in the past in various geographical contexts.
With a history spanning more than 150 years, the Science Museum has an unparalleled collection. Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries is home to the most significant medical collections in the world and brings the incredible collections of Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum Group together for permanent display. This calendar is an intriguing selection of the most interesting objects being showcased. Informative text accompanies each work and the datepad features previous and next month's views.
This book is open access under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence. The making of British bioethics provides the first in-depth study of how philosophers, lawyers and other 'outsiders' came to play a major role in discussing and helping to regulate issues that used to be left to doctors and scientists. It details how British bioethics emerged thanks to a dynamic interplay between sociopolitical concerns and the aims of specific professional groups and individuals who helped create the demand for outside involvement and transformed themselves into influential 'ethics experts'. Highlighting this interplay helps us appreciate how issues such as embryo research and assisted dying became high-profile 'bioethical' concerns in the late twentieth century, and why different groups now play a critical role in developing regulatory standards and leading public debates. The book draws on a wide range of original sources and will be of interest to historians of medicine and science, general historians and bioethicists. -- .
How does the physics we know today - a highly professionalised enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry - link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? What is the path that leads from the old philosophy of nature and its concern with humankind's place in the universe to modern massive international projects that hunt down fundamental particles and industrial laboratories that manufacture marvels? This Very Short Introduction introduces us to Islamic astronomers and mathematicians calculating the size of the earth whilst their caliphs conquered much of it; to medieval scholar-theologians investigating light; to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, measuring, and trying to explain, the universe. We visit the 'House of Wisdom' in 9th-century Baghdad; Europe's first universities; the courts of the Renaissance; the Scientific Revolution and the academies of the 18th century; and the increasingly specialised world of 20th and 21st century science. Highlighting the shifting relationship between physics, philosophy, mathematics, and technology - and the implications for humankind's self-understanding - Heilbron explores the changing place and purpose of physics in the cultures and societies that have nurtured it over the centuries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This volume brings together the letters of the great Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) during his famous travels of 1854-62 in the Malay Archipelago (now Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia). it was these travels which led him to come independently to the same conclusion as Charles Darwin: that evolution occurs through natural selection. Beautifully written, the letters are filled with lavish descriptions of the remote regions he explored, the peoples, and fascinating details of the many new species of mammals, birds, and insects he discovered during his time there. John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker present new transcriptions of each of the letters, including recently discovered letters that shed light on the voyage and on questions such as Wallace's reluctance to publish on evolution, and why he famously chose to write to Darwin rather than to send his work to a journal directly. A revised account of Wallace's itinerary based on new research by the editors forms part of an introduction that sets the context of the voyage, and the volume includes full notes to all letters. Together the letters form a remarkable and vivid document of one of the most important journeys of the 19th century by a great Victorian naturalist.
One of the most enigmatic figures in history, Nostradamus apothecary, astrologer and soothsayer is a continual source of fascination. Indeed, his predictions are so much the stock-in-trade of the wildest merchants of imminent Doom that one could be forgiven for ignoring the fact that Michel de Nostredame, 1503-1566, was a figure firmly rooted in the society of the French Renaissance. In this bold new account of the life and work of Nostradamus, Denis Crouzet shows that any attempt to interpret his Prophecies at face value is misguided. Nostradamus was not trying to predict the future. He saw himself, rather, as 'prophesying', i.e. bringing the Word of God to humankind. In a century marked by the extreme violence of the Wars of Religion, Nostradamus' profound Christian faith placed him among the 'evangelicals' of his generation. Rejecting the confessional tensions tearing Europe apart, he sought to coax his readers towards an interiorised piety, based on the essential presence of Christ. Like Rabelais, for whom laughter was a therapy to help one cope with the misery of the times, Nostradamus saw himself as a physician of the soul as much as of the body. His unveiling of the menacing and horrendous events which await us in the future was a way of frightening his readers into the realisation that inner hatred was truly the greatest peril of all, to which the sole remedy was to live in the love and peace of Christ. This inspired interpretation penetrates the imaginative world of Nostradamus, a man whose life is as mysterious as his writings. It shows him in a completely new dimension, securing for him a significant place among the major thinkers of the Renaissance.
In 1633 the Roman Inquisition condemned Galileo as a suspected heretic for defending the astronomical theory that the earth moves, and implicitly assuming the theological principle that Scripture is not scientific authority. This controversial event has sent ripples down the centuries, embodying the struggle between a thinker who came to be regarded as the Father of Modern Science, and an institution that is both one of the world's greatest religions and most ancient organizations. The trial has been cited both as a clear demonstration of the incompatibility between science and religion, and also a stunning exemplar of rationality, scientific method, and critical thinking. Much has been written about Galileo's trial, but most works argue from a particular point of view - that of secular science against the Church, or justifying the religious position. Maurice Finocchiaro aims to provide a balanced historical account that draws out the cultural nuances. Unfolding the intriguing narrative of Galileo's trial, he sets it against its contemporary intellectual and philosophical background. In particular, Finocchiaro focuses on the contemporary arguments and evidence for and against the Earth's motion, which were based on astronomical observation, the physics of motion, philosophical principles about the nature of knowledge, and theological principles about the authority and the interpretation of Scripture. Following both sides of the controversy and its far-reaching philosophical impact, Finocchiaro unravels the complex relationship between science and religion, and demonstrates how Galileo came to be recognised as a model of logical reasoning.
One animal left India in 1515, caged in the hold of a Portuguese ship, and sailed around Africa to Lisbon--the first of its species to see Europe for more than a thousand years. The other crossed the Atlantic from South America to Madrid in 1789, its huge fossilized bones packed in crates, its species unknown. How did Europeans three centuries apart respond to these two mysterious beasts--a rhinoceros, known only from ancient texts, and a nameless monster? As Juan Pimentel explains, the reactions reflect deep intellectual changes but also the enduring power of image and imagination to shape our understanding of the natural world. We know the rhinoceros today as "Durer's Rhinoceros," after the German artist's iconic woodcut. His portrait was inaccurate--Durer never saw the beast and relied on conjecture, aided by a sketch from Lisbon. But the influence of his extraordinary work reflected a steady move away from ancient authority to the dissemination in print of new ideas and images. By the time the megatherium arrived in Spain, that movement had transformed science. When published drawings found their way to Paris, the great zoologist Georges Cuvier correctly deduced that the massive bones must have belonged to an extinct giant sloth. It was a pivotal moment in the discovery of the prehistoric world. The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium offers a penetrating account of two remarkable episodes in the cultural history of science and is itself a vivid example of the scientific imagination at work.
Cameron Strang takes American scientific thought and discoveries away from the learned societies, museums, and teaching halls of the Northeast and puts the production of knowledge about the natural world in the context of competing empires and an expanding republic in the Gulf South. People often dismissed by starched northeasterners as nonintellectuals-Indian sages, African slaves, Spanish officials, Irishmen on the make, clearers of land and drivers of men-were also scientific observers, gatherers, organizers, and reporters. Skulls and stems, birds and bugs, rocks and maps, tall tales and fertile hypotheses came from them. They collected, described, and sent the objects that scientists gazed on and interpreted in polite Philadelphia. They made knowledge. Frontiers of Science offers a new framework for approaching American intellectual history, one that transcends political and cultural boundaries and reveals persistence across the colonial and national eras. The pursuit of knowledge in the United States did not cohere around democratic politics or the influence of liberty. It was, as in other empires, divided by multiple loyalties and identities, organized through contested hierarchies of ethnicity and place, and reliant on violence. By discovering the lost intellectual history of one region, Strang shows us how to recover a continent for science.
In Hydrocarbon Nation, Thor Hogan looks at how four technological revolutions-industrial, agricultural, transportation, and electrification-drew upon the enormous hydrocarbon wealth of the United States, transforming the young country into a nation with unparalleled economic and military potential. Each of these advances engendered new government policies aimed at strengthening national and economic security. The result was unprecedented energy security and the creation of a nation nearly impervious to outside threats. However, when this position weakened in the decades after the peaking of domestic conventional oil supplies in 1970, the American political and economic systems were severely debilitated. At the same time, climate change was becoming a major concern. Fossil fuels created the modern world, yet burning them created a climate crisis. Hogan argues that everyday Americans and policymakers alike must embrace the complexity of this contradiction in order to help society chart a path forward. Doing so, Hogan explains, will allow us to launch a critically important sustainability revolution capable of providing energy and climate security in the future. Hydrocarbon Nation provides reasons to believe that we can succeed in expanding on the benefits of the Hydrocarbon Age in order to build a sustainable future.
Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants--these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in "The First Fossil Hunters." Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact--in the enormous bones of long-extinct species that were once abundant in the lands of the Greeks and Romans.
As Mayor shows, the Greeks and Romans were well aware that a different breed of creatures once inhabited their lands. They frequently encountered the fossilized bones of these primeval beings, and they developed sophisticated concepts to explain the fossil evidence, concepts that were expressed in mythological stories. The legend of the gold-guarding griffin, for example, sprang from tales first told by Scythian gold-miners, who, passing through the Gobi Desert at the foot of the Altai Mountains, encountered the skeletons of Protoceratops and other dinosaurs that littered the ground.
Like their modern counterparts, the ancient fossil hunters collected and measured impressive petrified remains and displayed them in temples and museums; they attempted to reconstruct the appearance of these prehistoric creatures and to explain their extinction. Long thought to be fantasy, the remarkably detailed and perceptive Greek and Roman accounts of giant bone finds were actually based on solid paleontological facts. By reading these neglected narratives for the first time in the light of modern scientific discoveries, Adrienne Mayor illuminates a lost world of ancient paleontology.
An exploration of how modern Freemasonry enabled Isaac Newton and his like-minded contemporaries to flourish - Shows that Freemasonry, as a mystical order, was conceived as something new--an amalgam of alchemy and science that had little to do with operative Freemasonry - Reveals how Newton and his friends crafted this "speculative," symbolic Freemasonry as a model for the future of England - Connects Rosslyn Chapel, Henry Sinclair, and the Invisible College to Newton and his role in 17th-century Freemasonry Freemasonry, as a fraternal order of scientists and philosophers, emerged in the 17th century and represented something new--an amalgam of alchemy and science that allowed the creative genius of Isaac Newton and his contemporaries to flourish. In Isaac Newton's Freemasonry, Alain Bauer presents the swirl of historical, sociological, and religious influences that sparked the spiritual ferment and transformation of that time. His research shows that Freemasonry represented a crossroads between science and spirituality and became the vehicle for promoting spiritual and intellectual egalitarianism. Isaac Newton was seminal in the "invention" of this new form of Freemasonry, which allowed Newton and other like-minded associates to free themselves of the church's monopoly on the intellectual milieu of the time. This form of Freemasonry created an ideological blueprint that sought to move England beyond the civil wars generated by its religious conflicts to a society with scientific progress as its foundation and standard. The "science" of these men was rooted in the Hermetic tradition and included alchemy and even elements of magic. Yet, in contrast to the endless reinterpretations ofchurch doctrine that fueled the conflicts ravaging England, this new society of Accepted Freemasons provided an intellectual haven and creative crucible for scientific and political progress. This book reveals the connections of Rosslyn Chapel, Henry Sinclair, and the Invisible College to Newton's role in 17th-century Freemasonry and opens unexplored trails into the history of Freemasonry in Europe.
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