328 results match your criteria British Journal For The History Of Science[Journal]


Race before Darwin: Variation, adaptation and the natural history of man in post-Enlightenment Edinburgh, 1790-1835.

Authors:
Bill Jenkins

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Jun 29:1-18. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

School of History, University of St Andrews, St Katharine's Lodge, The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9BA, UK. Email:

This paper draws on material from the dissertation books of the University of Edinburgh's student societies and surviving lecture notes from the university's professors to shed new light on the debates on human variation, heredity and the origin of races between 1790 and 1835. That Edinburgh was the most important centre of medical education in the English-speaking world in this period makes this a particularly significant context. By around 1800 the fixed natural order of the eighteenth century was giving way to a more fluid conception of species and varieties. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000217DOI Listing

Performing in a different place: the use of a prodigy to the Dublin Philosophical Society.

Authors:
Paddy Holt

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Jun 3:1-18. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

School of History and Philosophy of Science, the University of Sydney, Carslaw Building F07, Darlington, NSW2006, Australia. Email:

From 8 February until at least 19 April 1686, the Dublin Philosophical Society was occupied with a prodigiously talented young girl whose name was never recorded. She was less than eleven years of age, but still much older than the society itself, which had begun meeting less than three years previously. Although one of many wonders engaging the curiosity of the nascent society, this girl served a surprising range of purposes, so that accompanying her anonymity was a curious malleability. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000205DOI Listing

Cultivating famine: data, experimentation and food security, 1795-1848.

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Jun 2:1-23. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 2JD, UK. Email:

Collecting seeds and specimens was an integral aspect of botany and natural history in the eighteenth century. Historians have until recently paid less attention to the importance of collecting, trading and compiling knowledge of their cultivation, but knowing how to grow and maintain plants free from disease was crucial to agricultural and botanical projects. This is particularly true in the case of food security. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000199DOI Listing

The green airliner that never was: aerodynamic theory, fuel-efficiency and the role of the British state in aviation technology in the mid-twentieth century.

Authors:
Graham Spinardi

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Apr 13:1-26. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Email:

Two aerodynamic concepts theorized in the early twentieth century - laminar-flow control and flying wings - offer the potential for more efficient aircraft. However, despite compelling advantages on paper and optimistic predictions, the fuel-saving benefits of these technologies have not yet been fully realized. This paper documents British work on these concepts, with a particular focus on laminar-flow control. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000035DOI Listing

Programming the USSR: Leonid V. Kantorovich in context.

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Apr 8:1-24. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Department of Economics, Université du Québec à Montréal, Pavillon des Sciences de la gestion, 315, Rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montréal (Québec), H2X 3X2, Canada. Email:

In the wake of Stalin's death, many Soviet scientists saw the opportunity to promote their methods as tools for the engineering of economic prosperity in the socialist state. The mathematician Leonid Kantorovich (1912-1986) was a key activist in academic politics that led to the increasing acceptance of what emerged as a new scientific persona in the Soviet Union. Rather than thinking of his work in terms of success or failure, we propose to see his career as exemplifying a distinct form of scholarship, as a partisan technocrat, characteristic of the Soviet system of knowledge production. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000059DOI Listing

Science, Catholicism and politics in Argentina (1910-1935).

Authors:
Miguel DE Asúa

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Apr 6:1-20. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina. Email:

In fin de siècle Argentina a secularist ideology of science was part of the positivist world view espoused by liberals and socialists. Between the years 1910 and 1935, a period in which the Catholic Church experienced a significant cultural expansion, the activities of the Catholic naturalist Ángel Gallardo and the astronomer and priest Fortunato Devoto challenged the so far prevailing idea of science as opposed to religion. This paper explores the connections between the scientific, religious and political aspects of those figures in order to get some insights into the complexity of the relationships between science and secularization in societies with a Catholic majority. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000047DOI Listing

Eating game: proteins, international conservation and the rebranding of African wildlife, 1955-1965.

Authors:
Raf DE Bont

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Apr 3:1-23. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

History Department, University of Maastricht, Grote Gracht 90-92, 6211 PG, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Email:

Around 1960, leading figures in the international conservation circuit - such as Julian Huxley, Frank Fraser Darling and E. Barton Worthington - successfully propagated new visions about the value of undomesticated African mammals. Against traditional ideas, they presented these mammals as a highly efficient source of protein for growing African populations. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000023DOI Listing

Archaeology enters the 'atomic age': a short history of radiocarbon, 1946-1960.

Authors:
Emily M Kern

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Mar 13:1-21. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, Sydney2052, NSW, Australia. Email:

Today, the most powerful research technique available for assigning chronometric age to human cultural objects is radiocarbon dating. Developed in the United States in the late 1940s by an alumnus of the Manhattan Project, radiocarbon dating measures the decay of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 (C14) in organic material, and calculates the time elapsed since the materials were removed from the life cycle. This paper traces the interdisciplinary collaboration between archaeology and radiochemistry that led to the successful development of radiocarbon dating in the early 1950s, following the movement of people and ideas from Willard Libby's Chicago radiocarbon laboratory to museums, universities and government labs in the United States, Australia, Denmark and New Zealand. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087420000011DOI Listing

Scientific broadcasting as a social responsibility? John Maynard Smith on radio and television in the 1960s and 1970s.

Authors:
Helen Piel

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Mar 15;53(1):89-108. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Email:

John Maynard Smith (1920-2004) was one of Britain's most eminent evolutionary biologists. For over forty years, from 1954 onwards, he also regularly appeared on radio and television. He primarily acted as a scientific expert on biology, but in the late 1960s and the 1970s he often spoke on the implications of science (biology and more generally) for society. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000918DOI Listing

Retrospectives: Uses of history of science in the late Ottoman Empire and early republican Turkey.

Authors:
Alper Bilgili

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Jan 14:1-9. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar Üniversitesi, Department of Sociology, Kerem Aydınlar Kampüsü, Kayışdağı Caddesi, No:32, Ataşehir, Istanbul, Turkey. Email:

I am a Turkish student of [the] History of Science and have been working on the subject within the last six years for the preparation of a History of Science [book] in Turkish. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000708741900089XDOI Listing
January 2020

Optimizing and normalizing the population through hormone therapies in Italian science, 1926-1950.

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Mar 14;53(1):67-88. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, UK. Email:

This essay explores how hormone treatments were used to optimize and normalize individuals under Italian Fascism. It does so by taking the activities of the Biotypological Orthogenetic Institute - an Italian eugenics and endocrinological centre founded by Nicola Pende in 1926 - as the prime example of a version of eugenics, biotypology, which was based on hormone therapies. This essay first demonstrates that Italian Fascist biopolitics was not only concerned with increasing the size of the Italian population, but also with improving its quality. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000906DOI Listing

Sociability, radium and the maintenance of scientific culture and authority in twentieth-century Ireland: a case study of the Royal Dublin Society.

Authors:
Adrian Kirwan

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Mar 13;53(1):47-66. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Critical Skills, Office of the Dean of Teaching and Learning, Room 08, Rowan House, Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Email:

This article, through a case study of the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), traces the reception, experimentation with, and uses of radium in early twentieth-century Ireland. Throughout the nineteenth century there was increasing state intervention in the provision of scientific and technical education in Ireland. This culminated in the loss of the RDS's traditional role in this area. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000864DOI Listing

Constructing the 'automatic' Greenwich time system: George Biddell Airy and the telegraphic distribution of time, 1852-1880.

Authors:
Yuto Ishibashi

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Mar 6;53(1):25-46. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

Faculty of Letters, Chuo University, Japan. Email:

In the context of the telegraphic distribution of Greenwich time, while the early experiments, the roles of successive Astronomers Royal in its expansion, and its impacts on the standardization of time in Victorian Britain have all been evaluated, the attempts of George Biddell Airy and his collaborators in constructing the Royal Observatory's time signals as the authoritative source of standard time have been underexplored within the existing historical literature. This paper focuses on the wide-ranging activities of Airy, his assistant astronomers, telegraph engineers, clockmakers and others, which served to increase the reliability of the Royal Observatory's time service between the 1850s and 1870s. Airy and his collaborators aimed to mechanize and automate their telegraphic time distribution system in order to improve its accuracy and reliability. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000852DOI Listing

History of science in France.

Authors:
Jonathan Simon

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Nov 27:1-7. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Philosophy Department, Université de Lorraine, Les Archives Henri Poincaré PReST, UMR 7117 (Universités de Lorraine et de Strasbourg), 91 avenue de la Libération - BP 454. F-54001NANCY cedex, France. Email:

Although maybe not the most fashionable area of study today, French science has a secure place in the classical canon of the history of science. Like the Scientific Revolution and Italian science at the beginning of the seventeenth century, French science, particularly eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century French science, remains a safe, albeit conservative, bet in terms of history-of-science teaching and research. The classic trope of the passage of the flame of European science from Italy to Britain and France in the seventeenth and then eighteenth centuries is well established in overviews of the field. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000645DOI Listing
November 2019

retrospective.

Authors:
Anita Guerrini

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Nov 13:1-11. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Oregon State University, USA. Email:

I am the first to admit that my career has not followed a conventional path. But in talking to my colleagues, I am not sure that there is a conventional path to an academic career. This retrospective is both a look at how the profession has changed over the forty years since I began graduate school in the late 1970s, and a reflection on my own trajectory within that profession. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000669DOI Listing
November 2019

'A new and hopeful type of social organism': Julian Huxley, J.G. Crowther and Lancelot Hogben on Roosevelt's New Deal.

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Dec 22;52(4):645-671. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Oliver Hill-Andrews, independent scholar. Email:

The admiration of the Soviet Union amongst Britain's interwar scientific left is well known. This article reveals a parallel story. Focusing on the biologists Julian Huxley and Lancelot Hogben and the scientific journalist J. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000657DOI Listing
December 2019

Tremoring transits: railways, the Royal Observatory and the capitalist challenge to Victorian astronomical science.

Authors:
Edward J Gillin

Br J Hist Sci 2020 Mar 11;53(1):1-24. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, 11 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP, UK. Email:

Britain's nineteenth-century railway companies traditionally play a central role in histories of the spread of standard Greenwich time. This relationship at once seems to embody a productive relationship between science and capitalism, with regulated time essential to the formation of a disciplined industrial economy. In this narrative, it is not the state, but capitalistic private commerce which fashioned a national time system. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000529DOI Listing

'The want of a proper Gardiner': late Georgian Scottish botanic gardeners as intermediaries of medical and scientific knowledge.

Authors:
Clare Hickman

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Dec 4;52(4):543-567. Epub 2019 Oct 4.

University of Newcastle, UK.

Often overlooked by historians, specialist gardeners with an expert understanding of both native and exotic plant material were central to the teaching and research activities of university botanic gardens. In this article various interrelationships in the late Georgian period will be examined: between the gardener, the garden, the botanic collection, the medical school and ways of knowing. Foregrounding gardeners' narratives will shed light on the ways in which botanic material was gathered and utilized for teaching and research purposes, particularly for medical students, as well as highlighting the importance of the garden as a repository of botanic material for the classroom. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000451DOI Listing
December 2019

Julian Trevelyan, Walter Maclay and Eric Guttmann: drawing the boundary between psychiatry and art at the Maudsley Hospital.

Authors:
Eilís Kempley

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Dec 1;52(4):617-643. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Independent scholar. Email:

In 1938, doctors Eric Guttmann and Walter Maclay, two psychiatrists based at the Maudsley Hospital in London, administered the hallucinogenic drug mescaline to a group of artists, asking the participants to record their experiences visually. These artists included the painter Julian Trevelyan, who was associated with the British surrealist movement at this time. Published as 'Mescaline hallucinations in artists', the research took place at a crucial time for psychiatry, as the discipline was beginning to edge its way into the scientific arena. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000463DOI Listing
December 2019

The pharmakon of 'If': working with Steven Shapin's .

Authors:
Michael Wintroub

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep;52(3):487-514

University of California, Berkeley, Dwinelle Hall, #2670, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA. Email:

Whilst the 'local culture' of experimental natural philosophy in seventeenth-century England drew on 'resources' supplied by the gentlemanly identity of men like Robert Boyle, this culture found much of its distinctiveness in a series of exclusions having to do with faith, gender and class. My concern in this essay is less with these exclusions, and the distinctions they enabled, than with their surreptitious returns. Following from this, as a heuristic strategy, I will try to understand how Boyle and Co. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000414DOI Listing
September 2019

Agnes Arber, historian of botany and Darwinian sceptic.

Authors:
Vittoria Feola

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep;52(3):515-523

University of Padova.

This essay aims to reappraise Agnes Arber's contribution to the history of science with reference to her work in the history of botany and biology. Both her first and her last books (Herbals, 1912; The Mind and the Eye, 1954) are classics: the former in the history of botany, the latter in that of biology. As such, they are still cited today, albeit with increasing criticism. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000633DOI Listing
September 2019

What oral historians and historians of science can learn from each other.

Authors:
Paul Merchant

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Dec 26;52(4):673-688. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

National Life Stories, the British Library, London, NW1 2DB, UK. Email:

This paper is concerned with the use of interviews with scientists by members of two disciplinary communities: oral historians and historians of science. It examines the disparity between the way in which historians of science approach autobiographies and biographies of scientists on the one hand, and the way in which they approach interviews with scientists on the other. It also examines the tension in the work of oral historians between a long-standing ambition to record forms of past experience and more recent concerns with narrative and personal 'composure'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000517DOI Listing
December 2019
1 Read

Cécile Morette and the Les Houches summer school for theoretical physics; or, how Girl Scouts, the 1944 Caen bombing and a marriage proposal helped rebuild French physics (1951-1972).

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Dec 18;52(4):595-616. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Centre Lucien Febvre, Université de Franche-Comté, 30-32 rue Megevand, 25030 Besançon, France. Email:

The aftermath of the Second World War represented a major turning point in the history of French and European physical sciences. The physicist's profession was profoundly restructured, and in this transition the role of internationalism changed tremendously. Transnational circulation became a major part of research training. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000505DOI Listing
December 2019

Fashioned in the light of physics: the scope and methods of Halford Mackinder's geography.

Authors:
Emily Hayes

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Dec 27;52(4):569-594. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

Oxford Brookes University, Humanities and Social Sciences, Headington Road, OX3 0BP, Oxford, UK. Email:

Throughout his career the geographer, and first reader in the 'new' geography at the University of Oxford, Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) described his discipline as a branch of physics. This essay explores this feature of Mackinder's thought and presents the connections between him and the Royal Institution professor of natural philosophy John Tyndall (1820-1893). My reframing of Mackinder's geography demonstrates that the academic professionalization of geography owed as much to the methods and instruments of popular natural philosophy and physics as it did to theories of Darwinian natural selection. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000475DOI Listing
December 2019

Response to H. Floris Cohen's essay review on Newtonian scholarship.

Authors:
Marius Stan

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun;52(2):359-360

Boston College.

In a review of recent Newton scholarship, H. Floris Cohen charges that my paper is not a 'case of worthwhile innovation, or even of any innovation at all'. I beg to differ. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000708741900044XDOI Listing

Metaphors and other slippery creatures.

Authors:
James E Strick

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun;52(2):345-352

Franklin and Marshall College.

What are cells? How are they related to each other and to the organism as a whole? These questions have exercised biology since Schleiden and Schwann (1838-1839) first proposed cells as the key units of structure and function of all living things. But how do we try to understand them? Through new technologies like the achromatic microscope and the electron microscope. But just as importantly, through the metaphors our culture has made available to biologists in different periods and places. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000438DOI Listing

Response to H. Floris Cohen's essay review on Newtonian scholarship.

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun;52(2):353-357

California Institute of Technology.

Long ago, George Sarton set down criteria for reviewers. In addition to insisting on the need to compose 'faithful' reviews, he cautioned against four types of unfit reviewers: the 'egoist', the 'obscure' reviewer, the one who is noncommittal, and the pedantic critic. Unfortunately, Cohen's review comes short on several counts. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000426DOI Listing

'X-rays don't tell lies': the Medical Research Council and the measurement of respiratory disability, 1936-1945.

Authors:
Coreen McGuire

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep 22;52(3):447-465. Epub 2019 Jul 22.

Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, Cotham House, Bristol, BS6 6JL, UK. Email:

During the first half of the twentieth century, the mining industry in Britain was subject to recurrent disputes about the risk to miners' lungs from coal dust, moderated by governmental, industrial, medical and mining bodies. In this environment, precise measurements offered a way to present uncontested objective knowledge. By accessing primary source material from the National Archives, the South Wales Miners Library and the University of Bristol's Special Collections, I demonstrate the importance that the British Medical Research Council (MRC) attached to standardized instrumental measures as proof of objectivity, and explore the conflict between objective and subjective measures of health. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136074PMC
September 2019

London 1600-1800: communities of natural knowledge and artificial practice.

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 14;52(2):183-196. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

**School of History, Rutherford College,University of Kent,Canterbury,CT2 7NX,UK.

This essay introduces a special issue of the BJHS on communities of natural knowledge and artificial practice in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century London. In seeking to understand the rise of a learned and technical culture within a growing and changing city, our approach has been inclusive in terms of the activities, people and places we consider worth exploring but shaped by a sense of the importance of collective activity, training, storage of information and identity. London's knowledge culture was formed by the public, pragmatic and commercial spaces of the city rather than by the academy or the court. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000189DOI Listing
June 2019
1 Read

Practical mathematicians and mathematical practice in later seventeenth-century London.

Authors:
Philip Beeley

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 14;52(2):225-248. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

*Faculty of History,University of Oxford,UK.

Mathematical practitioners in seventeenth-century London formed a cohesive knowledge community that intersected closely with instrument-makers, printers and booksellers. Many wrote books for an increasingly numerate metropolitan market on topics covering a wide range of mathematical disciplines, ranging from algebra to arithmetic, from merchants' accounts to the art of surveying. They were also teachers of mathematics like John Kersey or Euclid Speidell who would use their own rooms or the premises of instrument-makers for instruction. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000207DOI Listing
June 2019
2 Reads

Whaling intelligence: news, facts and US-American exploration in the Pacific.

Authors:
Felix Lüttge

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep 14;52(3):425-445. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

University of Basel, Department of Media Studies, Holbeinstrasse 12, 4051 Basel, Switzerland. Email:

This paper investigates the history of a discursive figure that one could call the intelligent whaler. I argue that this figure's success was made possible by the construal and public distribution of whaling intelligence in an important currency of science - facts - in the preparatory phase for the United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842). The strongest case for the necessity of the enterprise was New England whalers who were said to cruise uncharted parts of the oceans and whose discoveries of uncharted islands were reported in the local press. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000177DOI Listing
September 2019
6 Reads

An experimental community: the East India Company in London, 1600-1800.

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 14;52(2):323-343. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

*Indian Ocean World Centre,McGill University,Peterson Hall (Room 100),3460 McTavish,Montreal QC,Canada.

The early East India Company (EIC) had a profound effect on London, filling the British capital with new things, ideas and people; altering its streets; and introducing exotic plants and animals. Company commodities - from saltpetre to tea to opium - were natural products and the EIC sought throughout the period to understand how to produce and control them. In doing so, the company amassed information, designed experiments and drew on the expertise of people in the settlements and of individuals and institutions in London. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000220DOI Listing
June 2019
1 Read

Trade, knowledge and networks: the activities of the Society of Apothecaries and its members in London, c.1670-c.1800.

Authors:
Anna Simmons

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 14;52(2):273-296. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

*Department of Science and Technology Studies,UCL,Gower Street,London,WC1E 6BT,UK.

This article explores the activities of the Society of Apothecaries and its members following the foundation of a laboratory for manufacturing chemical medicines in 1672. In response to political pressures, the guild created an institutional framework for production which in time served its members both functionally and financially and established a physical site within which the endorsement of practical knowledge could take place. Demand from state and institutional customers for drugs produced under corporate oversight affirmed and supported the society's trading role, with chemical and pharmaceutical knowledge utilized to fulfil collective and individual goals. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000256DOI Listing
June 2019
1 Read

'Greenwich near London': the Royal Observatory and its London networks in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Authors:
Rebekah Higgitt

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 14;52(2):297-322. Epub 2019 May 14.

*School of History,Rutherford College,University of Kent,Canterbury,CT2 7NX,UK.

Built in Greenwich in 1675-1676, the Royal Observatory was situated outside the capital but was deeply enmeshed within its knowledge networks and communities of practice. Scholars have tended to focus on the links cultivated by the Astronomers Royal within scholarly communities in England and Europe but the observatory was also deeply reliant on and engaged with London's institutions and practical mathematical community. It was a royal foundation, situated within one government board, taking a leading role on another, and overseen by Visitors selected by the Royal Society of London. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000244DOI Listing
June 2019
1 Read

Natural Knowledge, Inc.: the Royal Society as a metropolitan corporation.

Authors:
Noah Moxham

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 14;52(2):249-271. Epub 2019 May 14.

*School of History,University of Kent,Canterbury,UK.

This article attempts to think through the logic and distinctiveness of the early Royal Society's position as a metropolitan knowledge community and chartered corporation, and the links between these aspects of its being. Among the knowledge communities of Restoration London it is one of the best known and most studied, but also one of the least typical and in many respects one of the least coherent. It was also quite unlike the chartered corporations of the City of London, exercising almost none of their ordinary functions and being granted very limited power and few responsibilities. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000190DOI Listing
June 2019
4 Reads

'A place of great trust to be supplied by men of skill and integrity': assayers and knowledge cultures in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century London.

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Jun 7;52(2):197-223. Epub 2019 May 7.

*The School of History,University of Kent,Canterbury, CT2 7NX,UK.

This article suggests that institutional workshops of assay were significant experimental sites in early modern London. Master assayers at Goldsmiths' Hall on Foster Lane, in the heart of the city, and at the Royal Mint, in the Tower, made trials to determine the precious-metal content of bullion, plate and coinage. The results of their metallurgical experiments directly impacted upon the reputations and livelihoods of London's goldsmiths and merchants, and the fineness of coin and bullion. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000219DOI Listing
June 2019
7 Reads

Why does Aristotle think bees are divine? Proportion, triplicity and order in the natural world.

Authors:
Daryn Lehoux

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep 30;52(3):383-403. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Department of Classics and Department of Philosophy, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. Email:

Concluding his discussion of bee reproduction in Book 3 of Generation of Animals, Aristotle makes a famous methodological pronouncement about the relationship between sense perception and theory in natural history. In the very next sentence, he casually remarks that the unique method of reproduction that he finds in bees should not be surprising, since bees have something 'divine' about them. Although the methodological pronouncement gets a fair bit of scholarly attention, and although Aristotle's theological commitments in cosmology and metaphysics are well known, scholars have almost universally passed over the comment about bees and divinity in silence. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000165DOI Listing
September 2019
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Life cycle of a star: Carl Sagan and the circulation of reputation.

Authors:
Oliver Marsh

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep 22;52(3):467-486. Epub 2019 Apr 22.

UCL, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. Email:

It is a commonplace in the history of science that reputations of scientists play important roles in the stories of scientific knowledge. I argue that to fully understand these roles we should see reputations as produced by communicative acts, consider how reputations become known about, and study the factors influencing such processes. I reapply James Secord's 'knowledge-in-transit' approach; in addition to scientific knowledge, I also examine how 'biographical knowledge' of individuals is constructed through communications and shaped by communicative contexts. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000049DOI Listing
September 2019
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Editing entomology: natural-history periodicals and the shaping of scientific communities in nineteenth-century Britain.

Authors:
Matthew Wale

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Sep 5;52(3):405-423. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

University of Leicester. Email:

This article addresses the issue of professionalization in the life sciences during the second half of the nineteenth century through a survey of British entomological periodicals. It is generally accepted that this period saw the rise of professional practitioners and the emergence of biology (as opposed to the older mode of natural history). However, recent scholarship has increasingly shown that this narrative elides the more complex processes at work in shaping scientific communities from the 1850s to the turn of the century. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000050DOI Listing
September 2019
3 Reads

Mathematicians on board: introducing lunar distances to life at sea.

Authors:
Jim Bennett

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Mar 13;52(1):65-83. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

*Science Museum,Exhibition Road,London SW7 2DD,UK.

Nevil Maskelyne, the Cambridge-trained mathematician and later Astronomer Royal, was appointed by the Royal Society to observe the 1761 transit of Venus from the Atlantic island of St Helena, assisted by the mathematical practitioner Robert Waddington. Both had experience of measurement and computation within astronomy and they decided to put their outward and return voyages to a further use by trying out the method of finding longitude at sea by lunar distances. The manuscript and printed records they generated in this activity are complemented by the traditional logs and journals kept by the ships' officers. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087419000013DOI Listing

Francis Bacon's doctrine of idols: a diagnosis of 'universal madness'.

Authors:
S V Weeks

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Mar 30;52(1):1-39. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

*Department of History,University of York,York,YO10 5DD,UK.

The doctrine of idols is one of the most famous aspects of Bacon's thought. Yet his claim that the idols lead to madness has gone almost entirely unnoticed. This paper argues that Bacon's theory of idols underlies his diagnosis of the contemporary condition as one of 'universal madness'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000961DOI Listing
March 2019
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The mechanical life of plants: Descartes on botany.

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Mar 30;52(1):41-63. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

*Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest,1 Dimitrie Brandza Str. 060102,Bucharest,Romania.

In this article, I argue that the French philosopher René Descartes was far more involved in the study of plants than has been generally recognized. We know that he did not include a botanical section in his natural philosophy, and sometimes he differentiated between plants and living bodies. His position was, moreover, characterized by a methodological rejection of the catalogues of plants. Read More

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https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S000708741
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000708741800095XDOI Listing
March 2019
2 Reads

Charles Darwin and the scientific mind.

Authors:
David Stack

Br J Hist Sci 2019 Mar 29;52(1):85-115. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

*Department of History,University of Reading,Reading,RG6 6AA,UK.

Although often presented as an essential, ahistorical or innate psychological entity, the notion of a 'scientific mind' is ripe for historical analysis. The growing historical interest in the self-fashioning of masculine identities, and more particularly the self-fashioning of the nineteenth-century scientist, has opened up a space in which to probe what was understood by someone being said to possess a 'scientific mind'. This task is made all the more urgent by the recently revived interest of some psychologists in the concept and the highly gendered and culturally conditioned understanding of the scientific mind displayed in some contemporary debates. Read More

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https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S000708741
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000973DOI Listing
March 2019
2 Reads

Translation and transmutation: the Origin of Species in China.

Authors:
Xiaoxing Jin

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec 27:1-25. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

*Program in History and Philosophy of Science,453 Geddes Hall,University of Notre Dame,Notre Dame,Indiana, 46556,USA.

Darwinian ideas were developed and radically transformed when they were transmitted to the alien intellectual background of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century China. The earliest references to Darwin in China appeared in the 1870s through the writings of Western missionaries who provided the Chinese with the earliest information on evolutionary doctrines. Meanwhile, Chinese ambassadors, literati and overseas students contributed to the dissemination of evolutionary ideas, with modest effect. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000808DOI Listing
December 2018
1 Read

Stock and bulk in the latest Newton scholarship.

Authors:
H Floris Cohen

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec;51(4):687-701

Utrecht University.

In his biography of Isaac Newton, which forms the most recent production in this flourishing genre, Niccolò Guicciardini states as his first point of departure that Newton's work arose not from 'attempts to answer questions that came to him spontaneously, but [from addressing] those posed by his contemporaries' (p. 20). Right he is to communicate to the larger audience for which he is writing this principal fruit of by now almost a century of professional history-of-science writing - a deep-seated awareness that every scientific view or finding, even if looking timeless in retrospect, has emerged from some given historical context that shows us where the scientist in question started, and that helps explain how, and in what direction, they managed to venture beyond the original context. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000924DOI Listing
December 2018
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Pepys Island as a Pacific stepping stone: the struggle to capture islands on early modern maps.

Authors:
Katherine Parker

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec;51(4):659-677

*The Hakluyt Society.

This paper will investigate how geographic features were recorded on maps in the eighteenth century in order to outline the construction of geographic knowledge by British mapmakers. Due to practical and economic factors, early modern cartography was a conservative practice based on source compilation and comparison. For the Pacific region especially, the paucity of first-hand observations and the conflicting nature of those observations rendered the world's largest ocean difficult to chart and prone to the retention of mythical continents, passages and islands. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000708741800078XDOI Listing
December 2018
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Imperial vernacular: phytonymy, philology and disciplinarity in the Indo-Pacific, 1800-1900.

Authors:
Geoff Bil

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec;51(4):635-658

*University of British Columbia.

This essay examines how Indo-Pacific indigenous plant names went from being viewed as instruments of botanical fieldwork, to being seen primarily as currency in anthropological studies. I trace this attitude to Alexander von Humboldt, who differentiated between indigenous phytonyms with merely local relevance to be used as philological data, and universally applicable Latin plant names. This way of using indigenous plant names underwrote a chauvinistic reading of cultural difference, and was therefore especially attractive to commentators lacking acquaintance with any indigenous language or culture. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000778DOI Listing
December 2018
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The 'genie of the storm': cyclonic reasoning and the spaces of weather observation in the southern Indian Ocean, 1851-1925.

Authors:
Martin Mahony

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec;51(4):607-633

*School of Environmental Sciences,University of East Anglia.

This article engages with debates about the status and geographies of colonial science by arguing for the significance of meteorological knowledge making in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Mauritius. The article focuses on how tropical storms were imagined, theorized and anticipated by an isolated - but by no means peripheral - cast of meteorologists who positioned Mauritius as an important centre of calculation in an expanding infrastructure of maritime meteorology. Charles Meldrum in particular earned renown in the mid-nineteenth century for theoretical insights into cyclone behaviour and for achieving an unprecedented spatial reach in synoptic meteorology. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000766DOI Listing
December 2018

A hard nut to crack: nutmeg cultivation and the application of natural history between the Maluku islands and Isle de France (1750s-1780s).

Authors:
Dorit Brixius

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec;51(4):585-606

*Institut historique allemand Paris.

One of France's colonial enterprises in the eighteenth century was to acclimatize nutmeg, native to the Maluku islands, in the French colony of Isle de France (today's Mauritius). Exploring the acclimatization of nutmeg as a practice, this paper reveals the practical challenges of transferring knowledge between Indo-Pacific islands in the second half of the eighteenth century. This essay will look at the process through which knowledge was created - including ruptures and fractures - as opposed to looking at the mere circulation of knowledge. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000754DOI Listing
December 2018
17 Reads

Wars and wonders: the inter-island information networks of Georg Everhard Rumphius.

Authors:
Genie Yoo

Br J Hist Sci 2018 Dec;51(4):559-584

*History Department,Princeton University.

How did one man living on an island come to acquire information about the rest of the vast archipelago? This article traces the inter-island information networks of Georg Everhard Rumphius (1627-1702), an employee of the Dutch East India Company, who was able to explore the natural world of the wider archipelago without ever leaving the Moluccan island of Ambon. This article demonstrates the complexities of Rumphius's inter-island networks, as he collected information about plants and objects from islands near and far. Using his administrative, commercial and household networks, Rumphius was able to interact with local actors from across the social spectrum, whose own active collection, mediation and circulation of objects and information overlapped with imperial activities in the archipelago. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007087418000742DOI Listing
December 2018
11 Reads