This volume examines the transformation in ways of studying nature that took place in Western Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Some of the essays trace particular textual traditions, while others follow the development of scholarly and professional communities. Some concentrate on the internal analysis of primary sources, while others examine the spread of practices to larger groups.
How can new knowledge be created from already existing knowledge? Insights of Genius shows how seeing is central to the greatest advances of the human intellect. Artists and scientists alike rely on visual representations of worlds both visible and invisible.
In the ancient world, the collection and study of celestial phenomena and the interpretation of their prophetic significance, especially as applied to kings and nations, were closely related sciences carried out by the same scholars. Both ancient sources and modern research agree that astronomy and celestial divination arose in Babylon. Only in the late nineteenth century, however, did scholars begin to identify and decipher the original Babylonian sources, and the process of understanding those sources has been long and difficult.
Technology is business, and dealing with the media, the public, financiers, and government agencies can be as important to an invention's success as effective product development. To understand how rhetoric works in technology, one cannot do better than to start with the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison and the incandescent light bulb.
Charles G. Gross is an experimental neuroscientist who specializes in brain mechanisms in vision. He is also fascinated by the history of his field. In these engaging tales describing the growth of knowledge about the brain—from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance to the present time—he attempts to answer the question of how the discipline of neuroscience evolved into its modern incarnation through the twists and turns of history.
Since the late 1960s the Internet has grown from a single experimental network serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network of networks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing the Internet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologies that allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always on the social and cultural factors that influenced the Internet's design and use.
with the cooperation of Robert V. D. CampbellThis collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer. After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines by the chief engineer in charge of construction of Mark II, Robert Campbell, and the principal programmer of Mark I, Richard Bloch.
How do the spaces in which science is done shape the identity of the scientist and the self-conception of scientific fields? How do the sciences structure the identity of the architect and the practice of architecture in a specific period? And how does the design of spaces such as laboratories, hospitals, and museums affect how the public perceives and interacts with the world of science?
How did the United States become the world's largest consumer of energy? David Nye shows that this is less a question about the development of technology than it is a question about the development of culture. In Consuming Power, Nye uses energy as a touchstone to examine the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal activities. He looks at how these activities changed as new energy systems were constructed, from colonial times to recent years.