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Making Modern Science: A Historical Surveyby Peter J. Bowler
Synopses & Reviews
The development of science, according to respected scholars Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus, expands our knowledge and control of the world in ways that affect-but are also affected by-society and culture. In Making Modern Science, a text designed for introductory college courses in the history of science and as a single-volume introduction for the general reader, Bowler and Morus explore both the history of science itself and its influence on modern thought.
Opening with an introduction that explains developments in the history of science over the last three decades and the controversies these initiatives have engendered, the book then proceeds in two parts. The first section considers key episodes in the development of modern science, including the Scientific Revolution and individual accomplishments in geology, physics, and biology. The second section is an analysis of the most important themes stemming from the social relations of science-the discoveries that force society to rethink its religious, moral, or philosophical values. Making Modern Science thus chronicles all major developments in scientific thinking, from the revolutionary ideas of the seventeenth century to the contemporary issues of evolutionism, genetics, nuclear physics, and modern cosmology.
Written by seasoned historians, this book will encourage students to see the history of science not as a series of names and dates but as an interconnected and complex web of relationships between science and modern society. The first survey of its kind, Making Modern Science is a much-needed and accessible introduction to the history of science, engagingly written for undergraduates and curious readers alike.
From white coats to Bunsen burners, the laboratory is a controlled space of experimentation, research, and invention. But how have the desired functions of the laboratory influenced the way that the laboratory was constructed, laid out, equipped, and operated? And how have developments in chemical practice or theory changed the laboratory and the way it is used? By examining the history of the laboratory this book offers a novel approach to the history of chemistry, which shows how the development of the laboratory also helped to shape modern chemistry.
By acting as consumers of leading-edge technology, chemists have driven innovation in laboratory design and the provision of utilities and equipment. For example, the introduction of coal gas into Bunsenand#8217;s laboratory led to the development of the Bunsen burner, which in turn allowed the development of atomic spectroscopy. Is the construction of new laboratoriesand#8212;and the provision of new utilities and equipmentand#8212;an important element in the development of these novel areas of chemistry? Peter J. T. Morris tackles these questions by looking at a series of shifts in laboratory design: from furnace-centered examples that survived until the late eighteenth century, to the classical laboratory created in Germany (and London) in the mid-nineteenth century, to the rise of industrial research laboratory in the late nineteenth century, and finally the creation of the modern laboratory at the end of the twentieth.
White coats, Bunsen burners, beakers, flasks, and pipettesand#151;the furnishings of the chemistry laboratory are familiar to most of us from our school days, but just how did these items come to be the crucial tools of science? Examining the history of the laboratory, Peter J. T. Morris offers a unique way to look at the history of chemistry itself, showing how the development of the laboratory helped shape modern chemistry.
Chemists, Morris shows, are one of the leading drivers of innovation in laboratory design and technology. He tells of fascinating lineages of invention and innovation, for instance, how the introduction of coal gas into Robert Wilhelm Bunsenand#8217;s laboratory led to the eponymous burner, which in turn led to the development of atomic spectroscopy. Comparing laboratories across eras, from the furnace-centered labs that survived until the late eighteenth century to the cleanrooms of today, he shows how the overlooked aspects of scienceand#151;the architectural design and innovative tools that have facilitated its practiceand#151;have had a profound impact on what science has been able to do and, ultimately, what we have been able to understand. and#160;
About the Author
Peter J. Bowler is professor of the history of science in the School of Anthropological Studies at Queen's University, Belfast, and the author of Reconciling Science and Religion: The Debate in Early-Twentieth-Century Britain, published by the University of Chicago Press. Iwan Rhys Morus is lecturer in the Department of History and Welsh History at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the author of When Physics Became King, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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