A Vision of Modern Science: John Tyndall and the Role of the Scientist in Victorian Culture

A Vision of Modern Science: John Tyndall and the Role of the Scientist in Victorian Culture

by Ursula DeYoung
     
 

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Ursula DeYoung examines a pivotal moment in the history of science through the career and cultural impact of the Victorian physicist John Tyndall, one of the leading figures of his time and a participant in many highly publicized debates that extended well beyond the purely scientific realm. This book argues that as a researcher, public lecturer, and

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Overview

Ursula DeYoung examines a pivotal moment in the history of science through the career and cultural impact of the Victorian physicist John Tyndall, one of the leading figures of his time and a participant in many highly publicized debates that extended well beyond the purely scientific realm. This book argues that as a researcher, public lecturer, and scientific popularizer, Tyndall had a sizable impact on the establishment of the scientist as an authoritative figure in British culture. As a promoter of science in education and one of the foremost advocates of freeing scientific study from the restraints of theology, Tyndall was both a celebrated and a notorious figure, who influenced areas of Victorian society from governmental policy to educational reform to the debates over Darwin's theory of natural selection. In contextualizing Tyndall's varying fields of research and involvement, DeYoung explores many different aspects of nineteenth-century culture, including the development of public science, the role of popular media, and the growth of university research. It engages with the latest scholarship on Victorian culture and the history of science while at the same time exploring the reasons for Tyndall's heretofore neglected reputation. This book aims to establish John Tyndall as an important and influential figure of the Victorian period whose scientific discoveries and philosophy of science in society are still relevant today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"De Young's strategy, by and large, is to trance the genealogy of ideas and arguments. She sets out to trace the pedigree of debates and situate them in the intellectual culture of the age. The emphasis, therefore, is on reading and philosophical exchange." - Victorian Studies

"Beautifully written and extensively rich in detail, A Vision of Modern Science sets out to show how Tyndall redefined both popular and specialist notions of science during the Victorian period. DeYoung has made an important contribution to the history of science by reminding scholars of the significant role Tyndall played in the development of science. Her book should therefore be considered the go-to biography of this important historical figure." - Isis

"In her book-length study of an important - but somewhat neglected - Victorian physicist, Ursula DeYoung has illuminated the many facets of John Tyndall's life and thought. The heart of the book is her compelling insight into the central irony of Tyndall's career: his success in changing the nature of science, and redefining its place in British culture, was achieved at the cost of his own reputation. Engaging and challenging, this is an important contribution to our understanding of how Tyndall's generation transformed science forever." - Bernard Lightman, Science and Technology Studies, York University, author of Victorian Popularizers of Science

"Compared to Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday, his predecessors at the Royal Institution, John Tyndall has been neglected in the historical literature. DeYoung provides a much needed corrective which above all shows the crucial role that Tyndall played in developing our idea of what constitutes modern science and its place in society." - Frank A. J. L. James, Professor of the History of Science at the Royal Institution, London

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230320499
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Series:
Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
280
File size:
1 MB

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