In this impressively researched and highly original work, Paul Lucier explains how science became an integral part of American technology and industry in the nineteenth century. Scientists and Swindlers introduces us to a new service of professionals: the consulting scientists. Lucier follows these entrepreneurial men of science on their wide-ranging commercial engagements from the shores of Nova Scotia to the coast of California and shows how their innovative work fueled the rapid growth of the American coal and oil industries and the rise of American geology and chemistry. Along the way, he explores the decisive battles over expertise and authority, the high-stakes court cases over patenting research, the intriguing and often humorous exploits of swindlers, and the profound ethical challenges of doing science for money.
Starting with the small surveying businesses of the 1830s and reaching to the origins of applied science in the 1880s, Lucier recounts the complex and curious relations that evolved as geologists, chemists, capitalists, and politicians worked to establish scientific research as a legitimate, regularly compensated, and respected enterprise. This sweeping narrative enriches our understanding of how the rocks beneath our feet became invaluable resources for science, technology, and industry.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Series:||Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||5 MB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Trained as a geophysicist, Paul Lucier holds a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. His work as a historian of science and technology specializing in the earth and environmental sciences and the mining industries has received numerous prizes and has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Money for Science
Part I: Coal
1. Geological Enterprise
2. The Strange Case of the Albert Mineral
3. The American Sciences of Coal
4. Mining Science
Part II: Kerosene
5. The Technological Science of Kerosene
6. The Kerosene Cases
Part III: Petroleum
7. The Rock Oil Report
8. The Elusive Nature of Oil and Its Markets
9. The Search for Oil and Oil-Finding Experts
10. California Crude
Epilogue: Americanization of Science
Essay on Sources
What People are Saying About This
"In a remarkable piece of historical detective work, Paul Lucier shows how the search for coal, oil, and other resources that led to the industrial transformation of America also fueled the development of the modern scientific career. Filled with surprising stories and extraordinary characters, Scientists and Swindlers offers a fresh perspective on the troubled relations between commerce and intellectual life we face today."
In a remarkable piece of historical detective work, Paul Lucier shows how the search for coal, oil, and other resources that led to the industrial transformation of America also fueled the development of the modern scientific career. Filled with surprising stories and extraordinary characters, Scientists and Swindlers offers a fresh perspective on the troubled relations between commerce and intellectual life we face today.
Jim Secord, University of Cambridge
"Scientists and Swindlers is a model of how the history of science and technology ought to be done. Drawing on materials gleaned from the scientific journal and the courtroom, the textbook and the business prospectus, Paul Lucier weaves an exciting and original narrative about geology's relations with commerce in the nineteenth century. He shows us how geologists' efforts to classify and understand their materials interdigitated with entrepreneurial ambitions, how the expertise and pretensions of science intersected with the needs of commerce and law, and how geologists struggled to define and walk a line between the ethics of an aspiring profession and the ethics of the marketplace. Lucier enriches our understanding of geology's history while giving us a new appreciation of the continuities between the nineteenth century and our own era of commercialized science. His book prompts pleasure and reflection."