Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

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Overview

Pedagogy and the Practice of Science provides the first sustained examination of how scientists' and engineers' training shapes their research and careers. The wide-ranging essays move pedagogy to the center of science studies,asking where questions of scientists' training should fit into our studies of the history, sociology, and anthropology of science. Chapter authors examine the deep interrelations among training, learning, and research and consider how the form of scientific training affects the content of science. They investigate types of training — in cultural and political settings as varied as Victorian Britain,interwar Japan, Stalinist Russia, and Cold War America — and the resulting scientific practices. The fields they examine span the modern physical sciences,ranging from theoretical physics to electrical engineering and from nuclear weapons science to quantum chemistry.The studies look both at how skills and practices can be transferred to scientists-in-training and at the way values and behaviors are passed on from one generation of scientists to the next. They address such topics as the interplay of techniques and changing research strategies, pedagogical controversies over what constitutes "appropriate" or "effective," the textbook as a genre for expressing scientific creativity, and the moral and social choices that are embodied in the training of new scientists. The essays thus highlight the simultaneous crafting of scientific practices and of the practitioners who put them to work.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Bewitched on the one side by myths of Scientific Genius and on the other by myths of Scientific Method, historians have neglected the study of the actual forms in which knowledge, norms, and techniques have been transmitted from one generation of scientists to the next. David Kaiser's skillfully edited collection is not only an invitation to address these issues; it is itself a considerable achievement." Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science,Harvard University

"Bewitched on the one side by myths of Scientific Genius, and on the other by myths of Scientific Method, historians have neglected the study of the actual forms in which knowledge, norms, and techniques have been transmitted from one generation of scientists to the next. David Kaiser's skilfully edited collection is not only an invitation to address these issues; it is itself a considerable achievement."—Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science,Harvard University

"*An Engine, Not a Camera* is a compelling, detailed, and elegantly written exploration of the conditions in which finance economists help to make the world they seek to describe and predict. Donald MacKenzie has long been without equal as a sociologist of how late modern futures are brought into being and made authoritative. This is his best work yet."—Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262112888
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Series: Inside Technology
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Kaiser is Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science, Department Head of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics at MIT. He is the author of Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of the Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics, and editor of Pedagogy and the Practice of Science: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (MIT Press).

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Table of Contents

Introduction : moving pedagogy from the periphery to the center 1
1 Beilstein unbound : the pedagogical unraveling of a man and his handbuch 11
2 Making tools travel : pedagogy and the transfer of skills in postwar theoretical physics 41
3 A pedagogy of diminishing returns : scientific involution across three generations of nuclear weapons science 75
4 Fear, shunning, and valuelessness : controversy over the use of "Cambridge" mathematics in late Victorian electro-technology 111
5 The Geist in the institute : the production of quantum physicists in 1930s Japan 151
6 Instruments in training : the growth of American probe microscopy in the 1980s 185
7 The power of didactic writings : French chemistry textbooks of the nineteenth century 219
8 "Think less about foundations" : a short course on Landau and Lifshitz's course of theoretical physics 253
9 In the "context of pedagogy" : teaching strategy and theory change in quantum chemistry 287
10 The foundations of a canon : Kohlrausch's practical physics 323
11 Generating high-energy physics in Japan : moral imperatives of a future pluperfect 357
Conclusion : Kuhn, Foucault, and the power of pedagogy 393
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