Histories Of Scientific Observation

Author: Lorraine Daston
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226136787
Size: 38.76 MB
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Includes bibliographical referrences and index.

Biographies Of Scientific Objects

Author: Lorraine Daston
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226136721
Size: 17.87 MB
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Looks at how whole domains of phenomena come into being and sometimes pass away as objects of scientific study. With examples from the natural and social sciences, ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries, this book explores the ways in which scientific objects are both real and historical.

Science In The Archives

Author: Lorraine Daston
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022643253X
Size: 64.92 MB
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Archives bring to mind rooms filled with old papers and dusty artifacts. But for scientists, the detritus of the past can be a treasure trove of material vital to present and future research: fossils collected by geologists; data banks assembled by geneticists; weather diaries trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians. These are the vital collections, assembled and maintained over decades, centuries, and even millennia, which define the sciences of the archives. With Science in the Archives, Lorraine Daston and her co-authors offer the first study of the important role that these archives play in the natural and human sciences. Reaching across disciplines and centuries, contributors cover episodes in the history of astronomy, geology, genetics, philology, climatology, medicine, and more—as well as fundamental practices such as collecting, retrieval, and data mining. Chapters cover topics ranging from doxology in Greco-Roman Antiquity to NSA surveillance techniques of the twenty-first century. Thoroughly exploring the practices, politics, economics, and potential of the sciences of the archives, this volume reveals the essential historical dimension of the sciences, while also adding a much-needed long-term perspective to contemporary debates over the uses of Big Data in science.

Wonders And The Order Of Nature 1150 1750

Author: Lorraine Daston
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN:
Size: 64.57 MB
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The authors explore the ways in which European naturalists, from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, used oddities and marvels to envision and explain the world.

The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226458148
Size: 67.54 MB
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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Watching Vesuvius

Author: Sean Cocco
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226923711
Size: 17.17 MB
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Mount Vesuvius has been famous ever since its eruption in 79 CE, when it destroyed and buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. But less well-known is the role it played in the science and culture of early modern Italy, as Sean Cocco reveals in this ambitious and wide-ranging study. Humanists began to make pilgrimages to Vesuvius during the early Renaissance to experience its beauty and study its history, but a new tradition of observation emerged in 1631 with the first great eruption of the modern period. Seeking to understand the volcano’s place in the larger system of nature, Neapolitans flocked to Vesuvius to examine volcanic phenomena and to collect floral and mineral specimens from the mountainside. In Watching Vesuvius, Cocco argues that this investigation and engagement with Vesuvius was paramount to the development of modern volcanology. He then situates the native experience of Vesuvius in a larger intellectual, cultural, and political context and explains how later eighteenth-century representations of Naples—of its climate and character—grew out of this tradition of natural history. Painting a rich and detailed portrait of Vesuvius and those living in its shadow, Cocco returns the historic volcano to its place in a broader European culture of science, travel, and appreciation of the natural world.

About Method

Author: Jutta Schickore
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022644998X
Size: 41.73 MB
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Scientists’ views on what makes an experiment successful have developed dramatically throughout history. Different criteria for proper experimentation were privileged at different times, entirely new criteria for securing experimental results emerged, and the meaning of commitment to experimentation altered. In About Method, Schickore captures this complex trajectory of change from 1660 to the twentieth century through the history of snake venom research. As experiments with poisonous snakes and venom were both challenging and controversial, the experimenters produced very detailed accounts of their investigations, which go back three hundred years—making venom research uniquely suited for such a long-term study. By analyzing key episodes in the transformation of venom research, Schickore is able to draw out the factors that have shaped methods discourse in science. About Method shows that methodological advancement throughout history has not been simply a steady progression toward better, more sophisticated and improved methodologies of experimentation. Rather, it was a progression in awareness of the obstacles and limitations that scientists face in developing strategies to probe the myriad unknown complexities of nature. The first long-term history of this development and of snake venom research, About Method offers a major contribution to integrated history and philosophy of science.

Objectivity

Author: Lorraine Daston
Publisher: Zone Books (NY)
ISBN: 9781890951795
Size: 50.79 MB
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The emergence of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences, as revealed through images in scientific atlases—a story of how lofty epistemic ideals fuse with workaday practices.

The Invention Of Science

Author: David Wootton
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062199250
Size: 28.60 MB
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A companion to such acclaimed works as The Age of Wonder, A Clockwork Universe, and Darwin’s Ghosts—a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world. We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history. The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition. From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.

Heavenly Intrigue

Author: Joshua Gilder
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 030727506X
Size: 56.30 MB
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Heavenly Intrigue is the fascinating, true account of the seventeenth-century collaboration between Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe that revolutionized our understanding of the universe–and ended in murder.One of history’s greatest geniuses, Kepler laid the foundations of modern physics with his revolutionary laws of planetary motion. But his beautiful mind was beset by demons. Born into poverty and abuse, half-blinded by smallpox, he festered with rage, resentment, and a longing for worldly fame. Brahe, his mentor, was a flamboyant aristocrat who had spent forty years mapping the heavens with unprecedented accuracy–but he refused to share his data with Kepler. With Brahe’s untimely death in Prague in 1601, rumors flew across Europe that he had been murdered. But it took twentieth-century forensics to uncover the poison in his remains, and the detective work of Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder to identify the prime suspect–the ambitious, envy-ridden Kepler himself. A fast-paced, true-life account that reads like a thriller, Heavenly Intrigue is a remarkable feat of historical re-creation. From the Trade Paperback edition.