Science and Spectacle in the European Enlightenment

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This collection of case studies describing public demonstrations in Britain, Germany, Italy and France exemplifies the wide variety of settings for scientific activities in the European Enlightenment. Filled with sparks and smells, the essays raise broader issues about the ways in which modern science established its legitimacy and social acceptability. They point to two major features of the cultures of science in the eighteenth century: entertainment and utility. Experimental demonstrations were attended by apothecaries and craftsmen for vocational purposes. At the same time, they had to fit in with the taste of both polite society and market culture. Public demonstrations were a favourite entertainment for ladies and gentlemen and a profitable activity for instrument makers and booksellers.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction A Science Full of Shocks, Sparks and Smells Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette Christine Blondel Blondel, Christine 1

1 The Laboratory, the Workshop, and the Theatre of Experiment Larry Stewart Stewart, Larry 11

2 Technology, Curiosity and Utility in France and in England in the Eighteenth Century Liliane Perez Perez, Liliane 25

3 Amusing Physics Jessica Riskin Riskin, Jessica 43

4 Experimental Physics in Enlightenment Paris: The Practice of Europe Popularization in Urban Culture Michael R. Lynn Lynn, Michael R. 65

5 Domestic Spectacles: Electrical Instruments between Business and Conversation Paola Bertucci Bertucci, Paola 75

6 The Sale of Shocks and Sparks: Itinerant Electricians in the German Enlightenment Oliver Hochadel Hochadel, Oliver 89

7 Between Commerce and Philanthropy: Chemistry Courses in Eighteenth-century Paris Christine Lehman Lehman, Christine 103

8 Joseph Priestley and the Chemical Sublime in British Public Science Jan Golinski Golinski, Jan 117

9 Chemistry on Stage: G. F. Rouelle and the Theatricality of Eighteenth-century Chemistry Lissa Roberts Roberts, Lissa 129

10 Honore Fragonard, Anatomical Virtuoso Jonathan Simon Simon, Jonathan 141

Index 159

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