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Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Science
The book accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of introducing readers to what every student knows (or should) about modern science—the “textbook” histories of many of the most important developments in physics, biology, chemistry, and technology of the last 300 years—while at the same time using considerable historical and theoretical sophistication to bring out the complexities and ambiguities that undercut these myths. . . . Attractively illustrated and easy to use, the book explains difficult scientific and philosophical issues in brief and often surprisingly clear terms. . . . The field of history of science has been calling out for a book just like this one. Making Modern Science will be a great help in introductory courses and will provide important background for advanced courses. . . . Bowler and Morus’s account will reward scientists who wish to see the history of their own field from a new and provocative perspective; students and teachers in need of a reliable introduction or a rapid brush-up; and readers with a general interest in the people, institutions, and concepts that have made science such a central aspect. . . . A timely, informative, challenging, and very welcome achievement.

— John Tresch

Virginia Quarterly Review
“At the same time that [Bowler and Morus] challenge our myths of scientific objectivity, however, they also challenge those who are too quick to despair of the possibility of better understanding our world. Making Modern Science provides a detailed and fascinating glimpse into the vibrant tradition of scientific inquiry that has so shaped our contemporary world. . . . Bowler and Morus have written an excellent historical survey that general readers and scholars alike will find rich and stimulating.”
Times Higher Education Supplement
A real landmark. Finally, two first-rate academic historians—one a specialist in biological and earth sciences, one in physical sciences —both firmly committed to sociological, contextual approaches, offer an overview of their discipline for the beginning student.

— Jon Turney

Historical Journal
This clearly written and accessible work incorporates the recent historiographical trends in the history of biology and physics, with a view to revisiting classical themes in the history of science and to illuminating them in nuanced and interesting ways. . . . The book situates biological and physical knowledge within a myriad of socio-cultural contexts, such as religion, the state, economic theory, patronage, and war.

— Myles W. Jackson

Science - John Tresch
"The book accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of introducing readers to what every student knows (or should) about modern science—the “textbook” histories of many of the most important developments in physics, biology, chemistry, and technology of the last 300 years—while at the same time using considerable historical and theoretical sophistication to bring out the complexities and ambiguities that undercut these myths. . . . Attractively illustrated and easy to use, the book explains difficult scientific and philosophical issues in brief and often surprisingly clear terms. . . . The field of history of science has been calling out for a book just like this one. Making Modern Science will be a great help in introductory courses and will provide important background for advanced courses. . . . Bowler and Morus’s account will reward scientists who wish to see the history of their own field from a new and provocative perspective; students and teachers in need of a reliable introduction or a rapid brush-up; and readers with a general interest in the people, institutions, and concepts that have made science such a central aspect. . . . A timely, informative, challenging, and very welcome achievement."
Times Higher Education Supplement - Jon Turney
"A real landmark. Finally, two first-rate academic historians—one a specialist in biological and earth sciences, one in physical sciences —both firmly committed to sociological, contextual approaches, offer an overview of their discipline for the beginning student."
Historical Journal - Myles W. Jackson
"This clearly written and accessible work incorporates the recent historiographical trends in the history of biology and physics, with a view to revisiting classical themes in the history of science and to illuminating them in nuanced and interesting ways. . . . The book situates biological and physical knowledge within a myriad of socio-cultural contexts, such as religion, the state, economic theory, patronage, and war."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226068619
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/20/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 538
  • Sales rank: 492,191
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : science, society, and history 1
2 The scientific revolution 23
3 The chemical revolution 55
4 The conservation of energy 79
5 The age of the earth 103
6 The Darwinian revolution 129
7 The new biology 165
8 Genetics 189
9 Ecology and environmentalism 213
10 Continental drift 237
11 Twentieth-century physics 253
12 Revolutionizing cosmology 277
13 The emergence of the human sciences 299
14 The organization of science 319
15 Science and religion 341
16 Popular science 367
17 Science and technology 391
18 Biology and ideology 415
19 Science and medicine 439
20 Science and war 463
21 Science and gender 487
22 Epilogue 511
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