Monthly Archives: January 2014

Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science

“Science,” writes Nicolaas Rupke, “is not just a collection of abstract theories and general truths but a concrete practice with spatial dimensions.” It is, indeed, “situated knowledge.” Rupke comes to this conclusion in an Afterword for David N. Livingstone and Charles W.J. Withers’ (eds.) Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science (2011). The essays in this volume “situate […]

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Sites of Speech at the British Association for the Advancement of Science

Earlier this month I mentioned Ciaran Toal’s “Preaching at the British Association for the Advancement of Science,” which argued that there was a “vast homiletic literature preached during the British Association meetings throughout the nineteenth century.” Narrowing his focus, a more recent essay by Toal, “Science, Religion and the Geography of Speech at the British […]

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Laura Otis’ Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology (2009)

It is perhaps fitting that my 100th post on this blog should be Laura Otis’ Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology (2009). My research began in September with historiographies of the Scientific Revolution, only to converge in recent months on nineteenth-century narratologies of “conflict” between religion and science, which, I believe, depended crucially […]

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Charlotte Sleigh’s Literature and Science (2011)

Since my post on Huxley’s treatment of “Nature,” I have occupied my time with readings from Laura Otis’ Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century (2009) and Charlotte Sleigh’s Literature and Science (2011). Otis’ work is an anthology of over 500 pages of excerpts and explanatory notes. Sleigh’s work is a sustained argument about the […]

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Lay of the Trilobite (1885), by May Kendall

A mountain’s giddy height I sought, Because I could not find Sufficient vague and mighty thought To fill my mighty mind; And as I wandered ill at ease, There chanced upon my sight A native of Silurian seas, An ancient Trilobite. So calm, so peacefully he lay, I watched him even with tears: I thought […]

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T.H. Huxley’s Puzzling use of Nature

Thomas Henry Huxley’s (1825-1895) use of the term “Nature” was curiously inconsistent. According to Oma Stanley, in his “T.H. Huxley’s Treatment of ‘Nature’” (1957), “all discussions of Nature made before 1871, Huxley treated the subject from the romantic point of view; and that from 1876 onward, his attitude was scientific.” In 1869 Huxley had translated […]

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A Brief Note on Cambridge’s History of Science Volume VII: The Modern Social Sciences

Edited by Theodore M. Porter and Dorothy Ross, The Cambridge History of Science Volume VII: The Modern Social Sciences (2003) is the last of the current seven volume series. There is, however, a forthcoming eight volume, entitled The Cambridge History of Science Volume VIII: Modern Science in National and International Contexts, edited by Ronald L. […]

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A Brief Note on Cambridge’s History of Science Volume VI : Modern Life and Earth Sciences

Perhaps the most engaging—and perhaps most relevant for my current research interests—installment of this series is Peter J. Bowler and John V. Pickstone’s (eds.) The Cambridge History of Science Volume VI: Modern Life and Earth Sciences (2009). This volume seeks to present an “overview of the development of a diverse range of sciences through a […]

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A Brief Note on Cambridge’s History of Science, Volume V

The next three volumes of The Cambridge History of Science series covers the modern sciences, including Physics and Mathematics (vol. 5), Life and Earth (vol. 6), and Social (vol. 7) sciences. In her introduction to The Cambridge History of Science Volume 5: The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Mary Jo Nye (ed.) informs us that this […]

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A Brief Note on Cambridge’s History of Science, Volume IV

The next installment of this series comes edited by Roy Porter, The Cambridge History of Science Volume 4: Eighteenth-Century Science (2003). Porter begins the volume by asking “What was Enlightenment Science?” According to historians, eighteenth-century science was subdued, “it lacks the heroic quality of what came before—the martyrdom of Bruno, Galileo’s titantc clash with the […]

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