History of Science Category

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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Science, Progress and History: Essay Competition

The Science, Progress and History project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation and the University of Queensland, and as part of the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland, seeks to explore questions at the interface of history and the natural sciences, with a focus on laws, patterns and […]

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Preaching at the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the Secularism of George Jacob Holyoake

Wrapping up a series of essays I have been reading from The British Journal for the History of Science, I now come to two interrelated and complimentary essays by Ciaran Toal, “Preaching at the British Association for the Advancement of Science: Sermons, Secularization and the Rhetoric of Conflict in the 1870s” (2012), and Michael Rectenwald, […]

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Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Readership

A couple of other things I read over the holidays were J. Don Vann and Rosemary T. VanArsdel’s (eds.) Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society (1994), and Alvar Ellegård’s short essay “The Readership of the Periodical Press in Mid-Victorian Britain” (1957). Don Vann and VanArsdel have calibrated before, and Victorian Periodicals happens to be the third […]

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Building Bridges and Burning Down Myths

In their highly stimulating and engrossing book, W. Mark Richardson and Wesley J. Wildman’s (eds.) Religion and Science: History, Method, Dialogue (1996), offer an interdisciplinary approach to “building bridges” between religion and science. The various sections of the book correspond to three major kinds of inquiry: historical studies, methodological analyses, and substantive dialogue. Each section […]

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Religion and Science: A Brief Note

Although published more than twenty-years ago, the essays “Science and Religion” (1985) and “Beyond War and Peace: A Reappraisal of the Encounter between Christianity and Science” (1986), written by Ronald L. Numbers and David C. Lindberg respectively, still serve well as introductions to the science-religion debate; and particularly well in introducing to the reader the […]

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John Tyndall, the Pantheist

John Tyndall’s Belfast Address at the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1874 has been said to be the “chief pronouncement of materialism of the nineteenth century.” But according to Ruth Barton’s “John Tyndall, Pantheist: A Rereading of the Belfast Address” (1987), Tyndall was an admirer of Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and […]

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John Tyndall and the “War” between Science and Religion

While scanning Linda Woodhead’s (ed.) Reinventing Christianity: Nineteenth-Century Contexts (2001) yesterday, I found Gowan Dawson’s “Contextualizing the ‘War’ between Science and Religion” particularly enlightening. Dawson explores Victorian materialism as it was exemplified by polemicists like John Tyndall. While the confrontation between T.H. Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce at the British Association for the Advancement of […]

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Wresting with Nature – Science and Place

David N. Livingstone once again wraps things up with his “Science and Place.” Imagining science in the singular has been used by progressivists in the service of “philosophical argument or social policy in order to provide grounds for investment in such cultural capital as intellectual advancement, technical control, and instrumental progress.” But a “geography of […]

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