Jed Z. Buchwald

Jed Z. Buchwald is Director of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Histories of the Electron

    Histories of the Electron

    The Birth of Microphysics

    Jed Z. Buchwald and Andrew Warwick

    In the mid to late 1890s, J. J. Thomson and colleagues at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory conducted experiments on "cathode rays" (a form of radiation produced within evacuated glass vessels subjected to electric fields)—the results of which some historians later viewed as the "discovery" of the electron. This book is both a biography of the electron and a history of the microphysical world that it opened up. The book is organized in four parts. The first part, Corpuscles and Electrons, considers the varying accounts of Thomson's role in the experimental production of the electron. The second part, What Was the Newborn Electron Good For?, examines how scientists used the new entity in physical and chemical investigations. The third part, Electrons Applied and Appropriated, explores the accommodation, or lack thereof, of the electron in nuclear physics, chemistry, and electrical science. It follows the electron's gradual progress from cathode ray to ubiquitous subatomic particle and eponymous entity in one of the world's most successful industries—electronics. The fourth part, Philosophical Electrons, considers the role of the electron in issues of instrumentalism, epistemology, and realism. The electron, it turns out, can tell us a great deal about how science works.

    • Hardcover $57.95 £48.00
    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99
  • Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy

    Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy

    Jed Z. Buchwald and I. Bernard Cohen

    Newton studies have undergone radical changes in the last half-century as more of his work has been uncovered and more details of his life and intellectual context have come to light. This volume singles out two strands in recent Newton studies: the intellectual background to Newton's scientific thought and both specific and general aspects of his technical science. The essays make new claims concerning Newton's mathematical methods, experimental investigations, and motivations, as well as the effect that his long presence had on science in England.

    The book is divided into two parts. The essays in part I shed new light on Newton's motivations and the sources of his method. The essays in part II explore Newton's mathematical philosophy and his development of rational mechanics and celestial dynamics. An appendix includes the last paper by Newton biographer Richard W. Westfall, examining some of the ways that mathematics came to be used in the age of Newton in pursuits and domains other than theoretical or rational mechanics.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
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Contributor

  • Bridging the Seas

    Bridging the Seas

    The Rise of Naval Architecture in the Industrial Age, 1800–2000

    Larrie D. Ferreiro

    How the introduction of steam, iron, and steel required new rules and new ways of thinking for the design and building of ships.

    In the 1800s, shipbuilding moved from sail and wood to steam, iron, and steel. The competitive pressure to achieve more predictable ocean transportation drove the industrialization of shipbuilding, as shipowners demanded ships that enabled tighter scheduling, improved performance, and safe delivery of cargoes. In Bridging the Seas, naval historian Larrie Ferreiro describes this transformation of shipbuilding, portraying the rise of a professionalized naval architecture as an integral part of the Industrial Age.

    Picking up where his earlier book, Ships and Science, left off, Ferreiro explains that the introduction of steam, iron, and steel required new rules and new ways of thinking for designing and building ships. The characteristics of performance had to be first measured, then theorized. Ship theory led to the development of quantifiable standards that would ensure the safety and quality required by industry and governments, and this in turn led to the professionalization of naval architecture as an engineering discipline. Ferreiro describes, among other things, the technologies that allowed greater predictability in ship performance; theoretical developments in naval architecture regarding motion, speed and power, propellers, maneuvering, and structural design; the integration of theory into ship design and construction; and the emergence of a laboratory infrastructure for research.

    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00
  • The Body Populace

    The Body Populace

    Military Statistics and Demography in Europe before the First World War

    Heinrich Hartmann

    How data gathered from national conscriptions in pre–World War I Europe influenced understandings of population fitness and redefined society as a collective body.

    In pre–World War I Europe, individual fitness was increasingly related to building and preserving collective society. Army recruitment offered the most important opportunity to screen male citizens' fitness, raising questions of how to define fitness for soldiers and how to translate this criteria outside the military context. In this book, Heinrich Hartmann explores the historical circumstances that shaped collective understandings of fitness in Europe before World War I and how these were intertwined with a fear of demographic decline and degeneration. This dynamic gained momentum through the circulation of knowledge among European nations, but also through the scenarios of military confrontations.

    Hartmann provides a science history of military statistics in Germany, France, and Switzerland in the decades preceding World War I, considering how information gathered during national conscriptions generated data about the health and fitness of the population. Defined by masculine concepts, conscription examinations went far beyond the individuals they tested and measured. Scholars of the time aspired to pin down the “nation” in concrete numerical terms, drawing on data from examinations to redefine society as a “collective body” that could be counted, measured, and examined. The Body Populace explores the historical specificity and contingency of data-gathering techniques, recounts their uses and abuses, and provides a timely contribution to the growing historiography of Big Data. It sheds light on a crucial moment in nineteenth and early twentieth century European history—when statistical data and demographical knowledge shaped new notions of masculinity, fostered fears of degeneration, and gave rise to eugenic thinking.

    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00
  • The Age of Electroacoustics

    The Age of Electroacoustics

    Transforming Science and Sound

    Roland Wittje

    The transformation of acoustics into electro-acoustics, a field at the intersection of science and technology, guided by electrical engineering, industry, and the military.

    At the end of the nineteenth century, acoustics was a science of musical sounds; the musically trained ear was the ultimate reference. Just a few decades into the twentieth century, acoustics had undergone a transformation from a scientific field based on the understanding of classical music to one guided by electrical engineering, with industrial and military applications. In this book, Roland Wittje traces this transition, from the late nineteenth-century work of Hermann Helmholtz to the militarized research of World War I and media technology in the 1930s.

    Wittje shows that physics in the early twentieth century was not only about relativity and atomic structure but encompassed a range of experimental, applied, and industrial research fields. The emergence of technical acoustics and electroacoustics illustrates a scientific field at the intersection of science and technology. Wittje starts with Helmholtz's and Rayleigh's work and its intersection with telegraphy and early wireless, and continues with the industrialization of acoustics during World War I, when sound measurement was automated and electrical engineering and radio took over the concept of noise. Researchers no longer appealed to the musically trained ear to understand sound but to the thinking and practices of electrical engineering. Finally, Wittje covers the demilitarization of acoustics during the Weimar Republic and its remilitarization at the beginning of the Third Reich. He shows how technical acoustics fit well with the Nazi dismissal of pure science, representing everything that “German Physics” under National Socialism should be: experimental, applied, and relevant to the military.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • Sharing Knowledge, Shaping Europe

    Sharing Knowledge, Shaping Europe

    US Technological Collaboration and Nonproliferation

    John Krige

    How America used its technological leadership in the 1950s and the 1960s to foster European collaboration and curb nuclear proliferation, with varying degrees of success.

    In the 1950s and the 1960s, U.S. administrations were determined to prevent Western European countries from developing independent national nuclear weapons programs. To do so, the United States attempted to use its technological pre-eminence as a tool of “soft power” to steer Western European technological choices toward the peaceful uses of the atom and of space, encouraging options that fostered collaboration, promoted nonproliferation, and defused challenges to U.S. technological superiority. In Sharing Knowledge, Shaping Europe, John Krige describes these efforts and the varying degrees of success they achieved.

    Krige explains that the pursuit of scientific and technological leadership, galvanized by America's Cold War competition with the Soviet Union, was also used for techno-political collaboration with major allies. He examines a series of multinational arrangements involving shared technological platforms and aimed at curbing nuclear proliferation, and he describes the roles of the Department of State, the Atomic Energy Commission, and NASA. To their dismay, these agencies discovered that the use of technology as an instrument of soft power was seriously circumscribed, by internal divisions within successive administrations and by external opposition from European countries. It was successful, Krige argues, only when technological leadership was embedded in a web of supportive “harder” power structures.

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
  • Heredity Explored

    Heredity Explored

    Between Public Domain and Experimental Science, 1850–1930

    Staffan Müller-Wille and Christina Brandt

    Investigations of how the understanding of heredity developed in scientific, medical, agro-industrial, and political contexts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    This book examines the wide range of scientific and social arenas in which the concept of inheritance gained relevance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although genetics emerged as a scientific discipline during this period, the idea of inheritance also played a role in a variety of medical, agricultural, industrial, and political contexts.

    The book, which follows an earlier collection, Heredity Produced (covering the period 1500 to 1870), addresses heredity in national debates over identity, kinship, and reproduction; biopolitical conceptions of heredity, degeneration, and gender; agro-industrial contexts for newly emerging genetic rationality; heredity and medical research; and the genealogical constructs and experimental systems of genetics that turned heredity into a representable and manipulable object. Taken together, the essays in Heredity Explored show that a history of heredity includes much more than the history of genetics, and that knowledge of heredity was always more than the knowledge formulated as Mendelism. It was the broader public discourse of heredity in all its contexts that made modern genetics possible.

    Contributors Caroline Arni, Christophe Bonneuil, Christina Brandt, Luis Campos, Jean-Paul Gaudillière, Bernd Gausemeier, Jean Gayon, Veronika Lipphardt, Ilana Löwy, J. Andrew Mendelsohn, Staffan Müller-Wille, Diane B. Paul, Theodore M. Porter, Alain Pottage, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Marsha L. Richmond, Helga Satzinger, Judy Johns Schloegel, Alexander von Schwerin, Hamish G. Spencer, Ulrike Vedder

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
  • Rational Action

    Rational Action

    The Sciences of Policy in Britain and America, 1940-1960

    William Thomas

    The evolution of a set of fields—including operations research and systems analysis—intended to improve policymaking and explore the nature of rational decision-making.

    During World War II, the Allied military forces faced severe problems integrating equipment, tactics, and logistics into successful combat operations. To help confront these problems, scientists and engineers developed new means of studying which equipment designs would best meet the military's requirements and how the military could best use the equipment it had on hand. By 1941 they had also begun to gather and analyze data from combat operations to improve military leaders' ordinary planning activities. In Rational Action, William Thomas details these developments, and how they gave rise during the 1950s to a constellation of influential new fields—which he terms the “sciences of policy”—that included operations research, management science, systems analysis, and decision theory.

    Proponents of these new sciences embraced a variety of agendas. Some aimed to improve policymaking directly, while others theorized about how one decision could be considered more rational than another. Their work spanned systems engineering, applied mathematics, nuclear strategy, and the philosophy of science, and it found new niches in universities, in businesses, and at think tanks such as the RAND Corporation. The sciences of policy also took a prominent place in epic narratives told about the relationships among science, state, and society in an intellectual culture preoccupied with how technology and reason would shape the future. Thomas follows all these threads to illuminate and make new sense of the intricate relationships among scientific analysis, policymaking procedure, and institutional legitimacy at a crucial moment in British and American history.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • The Genealogy of a Gene

    The Genealogy of a Gene

    Patents, HIV/AIDS, and Race

    Myles W. Jackson

    The history of the CCR5 gene as a lens through which to view such issues as intellectual property, Big Pharma, personalized medicine, and race and genomics.

    In The Genealogy of a Gene, Myles Jackson uses the story of the CCR5 gene to investigate the interrelationships among science, technology, and society. Mapping the varied “genealogy” of CCR5—intellectual property, natural selection, Big and Small Pharma, human diversity studies, personalized medicine, ancestry studies, and race and genomics—Jackson links a myriad of diverse topics. The history of CCR5 from the 1990s to the present offers a vivid illustration of how intellectual property law has changed the conduct and content of scientific knowledge, and the social, political, and ethical implications of such a transformation.

    The CCR5 gene began as a small sequence of DNA, became a patented product of a corporation, and then, when it was found to be an AIDS virus co-receptor with a key role in the immune system, it became part of the biomedical research world—and a potential moneymaker for the pharmaceutical industry. When it was further discovered that a mutation of the gene found in certain populations conferred near-immunity to the AIDS virus, questions about race and genetics arose. Jackson describes these developments in the context of larger issues, including the rise of “biocapitalism,” the patentability of products of nature, the difference between U.S. and European patenting approaches, and the relevance of race and ethnicity to medical research.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
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  • Science and Technology in the Global Cold War

    Science and Technology in the Global Cold War

    Naomi Oreskes and John Krige

    Investigations of how the global Cold War shaped national scientific and technological practices in fields from biomedicine to rocket science.

    The Cold War period saw a dramatic expansion of state-funded science and technology research. Government and military patronage shaped Cold War technoscientific practices, imposing methods that were project oriented, team based, and subject to national-security restrictions. These changes affected not just the arms race and the space race but also research in agriculture, biomedicine, computer science, ecology, meteorology, and other fields. This volume examines science and technology in the context of the Cold War, considering whether the new institutions and institutional arrangements that emerged globally constrained technoscientific inquiry or offered greater opportunities for it.

    The contributors find that whatever the particular science, and whatever the political system in which that science was operating, the knowledge that was produced bore some relation to the goals of the nation-state. These goals varied from nation to nation; weapons research was emphasized in the United States and the Soviet Union, for example, but in France and China scientific independence and self-reliance dominated. The contributors also consider to what extent the changes to science and technology practices in this era were produced by the specific politics, anxieties, and aspirations of the Cold War.

    Contributors Elena Aronova, Erik M. Conway, Angela N. H. Creager, David Kaiser, John Krige, Naomi Oreskes, George Reisch, Sigrid Schmalzer, Sonja D. Schmid, Matthew Shindell, Asif A. Siddiqi, Zuoyue Wang, Benjamin Wilson

    • Hardcover $78.00 £65.00
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  • Engineers and the Making of the Francoist Regime

    Engineers and the Making of the Francoist Regime

    Lino Camprubí

    How engineers and agricultural scientists became key actors in Franco's regime and Spain's forced modernization.

    In this book, Lino Camprubí argues that science and technology were at the very center of the building of Franco's Spain. Previous histories of early Francoist science and technology have described scientists and engineers as working “under” Francoism, subject to censorship and bound by politically mandated research agendas. Camprubí offers a different perspective, considering instead scientists' and engineers' active roles in producing those political mandates. Many scientists and engineers had been exiled, imprisoned, or executed by the regime. Camprubí argues that those who remained made concrete the mission of “redemption” that Franco had invented for himself. This gave them the opportunity to become key actors—and mid-level decision makers—within the regime.

    Camprubí describes a series of projects across Spain undertaken by the civil engineers and agricultural scientists who placed themselves at the center of their country's forced modernization. These include a coal silo, built in 1953, viewed as an embodiment of Spain's industrialized landscape; links between laboratories, architects, and the national Catholic church (and between technology and authoritarian control); vertically organized rice production and research on genetics; river management and the contested meanings of self-sufficiency; and the circulation of construction standards by mobile laboratories as an engine for European integration. Separately, each chapter offers a fascinating microhistory that illustrates the coevolution of Francoist science, technology, and politics. Taken together, they reveal networks of people, institutions, knowledge, artifacts, and technological systems woven together to form a new state.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • Emil du Bois-Reymond

    Emil du Bois-Reymond

    Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Germany

    Gabriel Finkelstein

    A biography of an important but largely forgotten nineteenth-century scientist whose work helped lay the foundation of modern neuroscience.

    Emil du Bois-Reymond is the most important forgotten intellectual of the nineteenth century. In his own time (1818–1896) du Bois-Reymond grew famous in his native Germany and beyond for his groundbreaking research in neuroscience and his provocative addresses on politics and culture. This biography by Gabriel Finkelstein draws on personal papers, published writings, and contemporary responses to tell the story of a major scientific figure. Du Bois-Reymond's discovery of the electrical transmission of nerve signals, his innovations in laboratory instrumentation, and his reductionist methodology all helped lay the foundations of modern neuroscience.

    In addition to describing the pioneering experiments that earned du Bois-Reymond a seat in the Prussian Academy of Sciences and a professorship at the University of Berlin, Finkelstein recounts du Bois-Reymond's family origins, private life, public service, and lasting influence. Du Bois-Reymond's public lectures made him a celebrity. In talks that touched on science, philosophy, history, and literature, he introduced Darwin to German students (triggering two days of debate in the Prussian parliament); asked, on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War, whether France had forfeited its right to exist; and proclaimed the mystery of consciousness, heralding the age of doubt. The first modern biography of du Bois-Reymond in any language, this book recovers an important chapter in the history of science, the history of ideas, and the history of Germany.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • The Psychophysical Ear

    The Psychophysical Ear

    Musical Experiments, Experimental Sounds, 1840-1910

    Alexandra Hui

    An examination of how the scientific study of sound sensation became increasingly intertwined with musical aesthetics in nineteenth-century Germany and Austria.

    In the middle of the nineteenth century, German and Austrian concertgoers began to hear new rhythms and harmonies as non-Western musical ensembles began to make their way to European cities and classical music introduced new compositional trends. At the same time, leading physicists, physiologists, and psychologists were preoccupied with understanding the sensory perception of sound from a psychophysical perspective, seeking a direct and measurable relationship between physical stimulation and physical sensation. These scientists incorporated specific sounds into their experiments—the musical sounds listened to by upper middle class, liberal Germans and Austrians. In The Psychophysical Ear, Alexandra Hui examines this formative historical moment, when the worlds of natural science and music coalesced around the psychophysics of sound sensation, and new musical aesthetics were interwoven with new conceptions of sound and hearing.

    Hui, a historian and a classically trained musician, describes the network of scientists, musicians, music critics, musicologists, and composers involved in this redefinition of listening. She identifies a source of tension for the psychophysicists: the seeming irreconcilability between the idealist, universalizing goals of their science and the increasingly undeniable historical and cultural contingency of musical aesthetics. The convergence of the respective projects of the psychophysical study of sound sensation and the aesthetics of music was, however, fleeting. By the beginning of the twentieth century, with the professionalization of such fields as experimental psychology and ethnomusicology and the proliferation of new and different kinds of music, the aesthetic dimension of psychophysics began to disappear.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • Progressive Enlightenment

    Progressive Enlightenment

    The Origins of the Gaslight Industry, 1780-1820

    Leslie Tomory

    An argument that the gas industry was the first integrated large-scale technological network and that it signaled a new wave of industrial innovation.

    In Progressive Enlightenment, Leslie Tomory examines the origins of the gaslight industry, from invention to consolidation as a large integrated urban network. Tomory argues that gas was the first integrated large-scale technological network, a designation usually given to the railways. He shows how the first gas network was constructed and stabilized through the introduction of new management structures, the use of technical controls, and the application of means to constrain the behavior of the users of gas lighting.

    Tomory begins by describing the contributions of pneumatic chemistry and industrial distillation to the development of gas lighting, then explores the bifurcation between the Continental and British traditions in distillation technology. He examines the establishment and consolidation of the new industry by the Birmingham firm Boulton & Watt, and describes the deployment of the network strategy by the entrepreneur Frederick Winsor. Tomory argues that the gas industry represented a new wave of technological innovation in industry because of its dependence on formal scientific research, its need for large amounts of capital, and its reliance on business organization beyond small firms and partnerships—all of which signaled a departure from the artisanal nature and limited deployment of inventions earlier in the Industrial Revolution. Gas lighting was the first important realization of the Enlightenment dream of science in the service of industry.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Neither Physics nor Chemistry

    Neither Physics nor Chemistry

    A History of Quantum Chemistry

    Kostas Gavroglu and Ana Simões

    The evolution of a discipline at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

    Quantum chemistry—a discipline that is not quite physics, not quite chemistry, and not quite applied mathematics—emerged as a field of study in the 1920s. It was referred to by such terms as mathematical chemistry, subatomic theoretical chemistry, molecular quantum mechanics, and chemical physics until the community agreed on the designation of quantum chemistry. In Neither Physics Nor Chemistry, Kostas Gavroglu and Ana Simões examine the evolution of quantum chemistry into an autonomous discipline, tracing its development from the publication of early papers in the 1920s to the dramatic changes brought about by the use of computers in the 1970s.

    The authors focus on the culture that emerged from the creative synthesis of the various traditions of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. They examine the concepts, practices, languages, and institutions of this new culture as well as the people who established it, from such pioneers as Walter Heitler and Fritz London, Linus Pauling, and Robert Sanderson Mulliken, to later figures including Charles Alfred Coulson, Raymond Daudel, and Per-Olov Löwdin. Throughout, the authors emphasize six themes: epistemic aspects and the dilemmas caused by multiple approaches; social issues, including academic politics, the impact of textbooks, and the forging of alliances; the contingencies that arose at every stage of the developments in quantum chemistry; the changes in the field when computers were available to perform the extraordinarily cumbersome calculations required; issues in the philosophy of science; and different styles of reasoning.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
  • Lenin's Laureate

    Lenin's Laureate

    Zhores Alferov's Life in Communist Science

    Paul R. Josephson

    The life and work of a leading Soviet physicist and an exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of Soviet science from Stalin through Gorbachev.

    In 2000, Russian scientist Zhores Alferov shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of the heterojunction, a semiconductor device the practical applications of which include LEDs, rapid transistors, and the microchip. The Prize was the culmination of a career in Soviet science that spanned the eras of Stalin, Khrushchev, and Gorbachev—and continues today in the postcommunist Russia of Putin and Medvedev.

    In Lenin's Laureate, historian Paul Josephson tells the story of Alferov's life and work and examines the bureaucratic, economic, and ideological obstacles to doing state-sponsored scientific research in the Soviet Union. Lenin and the Bolsheviks built strong institutions for scientific research, rectifying years of neglect under the Czars. Later generations of scientists, including Alferov and his colleagues, reaped the benefits, achieving important breakthroughs: the first nuclear reactor for civilian energy, an early fusion device, and, of course, the Sputnik satellite. Josephson's account of Alferov's career reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Soviet science—a schizophrenic environment of cutting-edge research and political interference. Alferov, born into a family of Communist loyalists, joined the party in 1967. He supported Gorbachev's reforms in the 1980s, but later became frustrated by the recession-plagued postcommunist state's failure to fund scientific research adequately. An elected member of the Russian parliament since 1995, he uses his prestige as a Nobel laureate to protect Russian science from further cutbacks.

    Drawing on extensive archival research and the author's own discussions with Alferov, Lenin's Laureate offers a unique account of Soviet science, presented against the backdrop of the USSR's turbulent history from the revolution through perestroika.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99
  • Crafting the Quantum

    Crafting the Quantum

    Arnold Sommerfeld and the Practice of Theory, 1890-1926

    Suman Seth

    An intellectual and cultural history of the birth of theoretical physics in Germany, focusing on the pedagogy and research of a leader in work on the “older” quantum theory.

    Arnold Sommerfeld (1868–1951) was among the most significant contributors to the birth of modern theoretical physics. At the University of Munich, beginning in 1906, he trained two generations of theoretical physicists. Eight of his students (among them Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, and Hans Bethe) went on to win the Nobel Prize. In Crafting the Quantum, Suman Seth offers the first English-language book-length study of Sommerfeld's work, presenting an intellectual and cultural history of theoretical physics in Germany viewed through the lens of Sommerfeld's research and pedagogy.

    Seth examines the practical origins of many of the problems undertaken by Sommerfeld and his school, a number of which carried over from his years of teaching at an engineering school. Some of this research was later applied by his students during World War I to such problems as the stability of aircraft wings and the functioning and directional operation of antennas. Seth describes in detail Sommerfeld's pedagogical practice, including his characteristic amalgamation of research and teaching. He relates the history of the “older” quantum theory and Sommerfeld's engagement with the work of Max Planck and Niels Bohr and compares Sommerfeld's “physics of problems” to Planck's and Bohr's more abstract “physics of principles.” To illuminate the nature of Sommerfeld's work, Seth offers detailed descriptions of the contrasting work of other theorists. Seth's innovative account challenges idealist depictions of the nature of theoretical work in physics, describing not only modes of practice but also the multiple areas of intellectual, political, and social life from which science draws resources and to which it contributes.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method

    Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method

    Niccolò Guicciardini

    An analysis of Newton's mathematical work, from early discoveries to mature reflections, and a discussion of Newton's views on the role and nature of mathematics.

    Historians of mathematics have devoted considerable attention to Isaac Newton's work on algebra, series, fluxions, quadratures, and geometry. In Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method, Niccolò Guicciardini examines a critical aspect of Newton's work that has not been tightly connected to Newton's actual practice: his philosophy of mathematics. Newton aimed to inject certainty into natural philosophy by deploying mathematical reasoning (titling his main work The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy most probably to highlight a stark contrast to Descartes's Principles of Philosophy). To that end he paid concerted attention to method, particularly in relation to the issue of certainty, participating in contemporary debates on the subject and elaborating his own answers. Guicciardini shows how Newton carefully positioned himself against two giants in the “common” and “new” analysis, Descartes and Leibniz. Although his work was in many ways disconnected from the traditions of Greek geometry, Newton portrayed himself as antiquity's legitimate heir, thereby distancing himself from the moderns. Guicciardini reconstructs Newton's own method by extracting it from his concrete practice and not solely by examining his broader statements about such matters. He examines the full range of Newton's works, from his early treatises on series and fluxions to the late writings, which were produced in direct opposition to Leibniz. The complex interactions between Newton's understanding of method and his mathematical work then reveal themselves through Guicciardini's careful analysis of selected examples. Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method uncovers what mathematics was for Newton, and what being a mathematician meant to him.

    • Hardcover $55.00 £45.00
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  • A Nuclear Winter's Tale

    A Nuclear Winter's Tale

    Science and Politics in the 1980s

    Lawrence Badash

    The rise and fall of the concept of nuclear winter, played out in research activity, public relations, and Reagan-era politics.

    The nuclear winter phenomenon burst upon the public's consciousness in 1983. Added to the horror of a nuclear war's immediate effects was the fear that the smoke from fires ignited by the explosions would block the sun, creating an extended “winter” that might kill more people worldwide than the initial nuclear strikes. In A Nuclear Winter's Tale, Lawrence Badash maps the rise and fall of the science of nuclear winter, examining research activity, the popularization of the concept, and the Reagan-era politics that combined to influence policy and public opinion.

    Badash traces the several sciences (including studies of volcanic eruptions, ozone depletion, and dinosaur extinction) that merged to allow computer modeling of nuclear winter and its development as a scientific specialty. He places this in the political context of the Reagan years, discussing congressional interest, media attention, the administration's plans for a research program, and the Defense Department's claims that the arms buildup underway would prevent nuclear war, and thus nuclear winter.

    A Nuclear Winter's Tale tells an important story but also provides a useful illustration of the complex relationship between science and society. It examines the behavior of scientists in the public arena and in the scientific community, and raises questions about the problems faced by scientific Cassandras, the implications when scientists go public with worst-case scenarios, and the timing of government reaction to startling scientific findings.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • H.G. Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, and the Origins of German Darwinism

    H.G. Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, and the Origins of German Darwinism

    A Study in Translation and Transformation

    Sander Gliboff

    A revisionist view of the history of German Darwinism examines the translation of Darwin's work and its early reception in Germany.

    The German translation of Darwin's The Origin of Species appeared in 1860, just months after the original, thanks to Heinrich Georg Bronn, a distinguished German paleontologist whose work in some ways paralleled Darwin's. Bronn's version of the book (with his own notes and commentary appended) did much to determine how Darwin's theory was understood and applied by German biologists, for the translation process involved more than the mere substitution of German words for English. In this book, Sander Gliboff tells the story of how The Origin of Species came to be translated into German, how it served Bronn's purposes as well as Darwin's, and how it challenged German scholars to think in new ways about morphology, systematics, paleontology, and other biological disciplines. Gliboff traces Bronn's influence on German Darwinism through the early career of Ernst Haeckel, Darwin's most famous nineteenth-century proponent and popularizer in Germany, who learned his Darwinism from the Bronn translation. Gliboff argues, contrary to most interpretations, that the German authors were not attempting to “tame” Darwin or assimilate him to outmoded systems of romantic Naturphilosophie. Rather, Bronn and Haeckel were participants in Darwin's project of revolutionizing biology. We should not, Gliboff cautions, read pre-Darwinian meanings into Bronn's and Haeckel's Darwinian words. Gliboff describes interpretive problems faced by Bronn and Haeckel that range from the verbal (how to express Darwin's ideas in the existing German technical vocabulary) to the conceptual. One of these conceptual problems, the origins of novel variation and the proper balance between creativity and constraint in evolution, emerges as crucial. Evolutionists today, Gliboff points out, continue to grapple with comparable questions—continuing a larger process of translation and interpretation of Darwin's work

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99
  • Weather by the Numbers

    Weather by the Numbers

    The Genesis of Modern Meteorology

    Kristine C. Harper

    The history of the growth and professionalization of American meteorology and its transformation into a physics- and mathematics-based scientific discipline.

    For much of the first half of the twentieth century, meteorology was more art than science, dependent on an individual forecaster's lifetime of local experience. In Weather by the Numbers, Kristine Harper tells the story of the transformation of meteorology from a “guessing science” into a sophisticated scientific discipline based on physics and mathematics. What made this possible was the development of the electronic digital computer; earlier attempts at numerical weather prediction had foundered on the human inability to solve nonlinear equations quickly enough for timely forecasting. After World War II, the combination of an expanded observation network developed for military purposes, newly trained meteorologists, savvy about math and physics, and the nascent digital computer created a new way of approaching atmospheric theory and weather forecasting.

    This transformation of a discipline, Harper writes, was the most important intellectual achievement of twentieth-century meteorology, and paved the way for the growth of computer-assisted modeling in all the sciences.

    • Hardcover $42.00 £35.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • The Tropics of Empire

    The Tropics of Empire

    Why Columbus Sailed South to the Indies

    Nicolás Wey Gómez

    A radical revision of the geographical history of the discovery of the Americas that links Columbus's southbound route with colonialism, slavery, and today's divide between the industrialized North and the developing South.

    Everyone knows that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic, seeking a new route to the East. Few note, however, that Columbus's intention was also to sail south, to the tropics. In The Tropics of Empire, Nicolás Wey Gómez rewrites the geographical history of the discovery of the Americas, casting it as part of Europe's reawakening to the natural and human resources of the South. Wey Gómez shows that Columbus shared in a scientific and technical tradition that linked terrestrial latitude to the nature of places, and that he drew a highly consequential distinction between the higher, cooler latitudes of Mediterranean Europe and the globe's lower, hotter latitudes. The legacy of Columbus's assumptions, Wey Gómez contends, ranges from colonialism and slavery in the early Caribbean to the present divide between the industrialized North and the developing South. This distinction between North and South allowed Columbus to believe not only that he was heading toward the largest and richest lands on the globe but also that the people he would encounter there were bound to possess a nature (whether “childish” or “monstrous”) that seemed to justify rendering them Europe's subjects or slaves. The political lessons Columbus drew from this distinction provided legitimacy to a process of territorial expansion that was increasingly being construed as the discovery of the vast and unexpectedly productive “torrid zone.” The Tropics of Empire investigates the complicated nexus between place and colonialism in Columbus's invention of the American tropics. It tells the story of a culture intent on remaining the moral center of an expanding geography that was slowly relegating Europe to the northern fringe of the globe. Wey Gómez draws on sources that include official debates over Columbus's proposal to the Spanish crown, Columbus's own writings and annotations, and accounts by early biographers. The Tropics of Empire is illustrated by color reproductions of period maps that make vivid the geographical conceptions of Columbus and his contemporaries.

    • Hardcover $44.95 £38.00
  • Red Prometheus

    Red Prometheus

    Engineering and Dictatorship in East Germany, 1945-1990

    Dolores L. Augustine

    This analysis of the relationship between science and totalitarian rule in one of the most technically advanced countries in the East bloc examines professional autonomy under dictatorship and the place of technology in Communist ideology.

    In Cold War-era East Germany, the German tradition of science-based technology merged with a socialist system that made technological progress central to its ideology. Technology became an important part of East German socialist identity—crucial to how Communists saw their system and how citizens saw their state. In Red Prometheus, Dolores Augustine examines the relationship between a dictatorial system and the scientific and engineering communities in East Germany from the end of the Second World War through the 1980s.

    Drawing on newly opened archives and extensive interviews, Augustine looks in detail at individual scientists' interactions with the East German system, examining the effectiveness of their resistance against the party's totalitarian impulses. She explains why many German scientists and engineers who were deported to the Soviet Union after World War II returned to East Germany rather than defecting to the capitalist West, traces scientists' attempts to hold on to some aspects of professional autonomy, and describes challenges to their professional identity on the factory floor. Augustine examines the quality of science and technology produced under Communist rule, looking at failed research projects and clashing cultures of innovation. She looks at technological myth-building in science fiction and propaganda. She explores individual career strategies, including the role played by gender in high-tech professions, and the ways that both enterprises and individuals responded to increasing state and party control of research during the 1980s. We cannot understand the economic choices made by East Germany, Augustine argues, unless we understand the cultural values reflected in the East German belief in technology as indispensable to progress and industrial development.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance

    Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance

    George Saliba

    The rise and fall of the Islamic scientific tradition, and the relationship of Islamic science to European science during the Renaissance.

    The Islamic scientific tradition has been described many times in accounts of Islamic civilization and general histories of science, with most authors tracing its beginnings to the appropriation of ideas from other ancient civilizations—the Greeks in particular. In this thought-provoking and original book, George Saliba argues that, contrary to the generally accepted view, the foundations of Islamic scientific thought were laid well before Greek sources were formally translated into Arabic in the ninth century. Drawing on an account by the tenth-century intellectual historian Ibn al-Naidm that is ignored by most modern scholars, Saliba suggests that early translations from mainly Persian and Greek sources outlining elementary scientific ideas for the use of government departments were the impetus for the development of the Islamic scientific tradition. He argues further that there was an organic relationship between the Islamic scientific thought that developed in the later centuries and the science that came into being in Europe during the Renaissance.

    Saliba outlines the conventional accounts of Islamic science, then discusses their shortcomings and proposes an alternate narrative. Using astronomy as a template for tracing the progress of science in Islamic civilization, Saliba demonstrates the originality of Islamic scientific thought. He details the innovations (including new mathematical tools) made by the Islamic astronomers from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries, and offers evidence that Copernicus could have known of and drawn on their work. Rather than viewing the rise and fall of Islamic science from the often-narrated perspectives of politics and religion, Saliba focuses on the scientific production itself and the complex social, economic, and intellectual conditions that made it possible.

    • Hardcover $43.00 £35.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Materials in Eighteenth-Century Science

    Materials in Eighteenth-Century Science

    A Historical Ontology

    Ursula Klein and Wolfgang Lefèvre

    A history of raw materials and chemical substances from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries that scrutinizes the modes of identification and classification used by chemists and learned practitioners of the period, examining the ways in which their practices and understanding of the material objects changed.

    In the eighteenth century, chemistry was the science of materials. Chemists treated mundane raw materials and chemical substances as multidimensional objects of inquiry that could be investigated in both practical and theoretical contexts—as useful commodities, perceptible objects of nature, and entities with hidden and imperceptible features. In this history of materials, Ursula Klein and Wolfgang Lefèvre link chemical science with chemical technology, challenging our current understandings of objects in the history of science and the distinction between scientific and technological objects. They further show that chemists' experimental production and understanding of materials changed over time, first in the decades around 1700 and then around 1830, when mundane materials became clearly distinguished from true chemical substances. The authors approach their subject by scrutinizing the modes of identification and classification used by chemists and learned practitioners of the period. They find that chemists' classificatory practices especially were strikingly diverse. In scientific investigations, materials were classified either according to chemical composition or according to provenance and perceptible qualities. The authors further argue that chemists did not live in different worlds of materials before and after the Lavoisierian chemical revolution of the late eighteenth century. Their two main studies first explore the long tradition that informed Lavoisier's new nomenclature and method of classifying pure chemical substances and then describe the continuing classification of plant materials according to a pre-Lavoisierian scheme of provenance and perceptible qualities even after the chemical revolution, until a new mode of classification was accepted in the 1830s.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00
  • Heredity Produced

    Heredity Produced

    At the Crossroads of Biology, Politics, and Culture, 1500-1870

    Staffan Müller-Wille and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger

    The cultural history of heredity: scholars from a range of disciplines discuss the evolution of the concept of heredity, from the Early Modern understanding of the act of "generation" to its later nineteenth-century definition as the transmission of characteristics across generations.

    Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the biological makeup of an organism was ascribed to an individual instance of "generation"—involving conception, pregnancy, embryonic development, parturition, lactation, and even astral influences and maternal mood—rather than the biological transmission of traits and characteristics. Discussions of heredity and inheritance took place largely in the legal and political sphere. In Heredity Produced, scholars from a broad range of disciplines explore the development of the concept of heredity from the early modern period to the era of Darwin and Mendel.

    The contributors examine the evolution of the concept in disparate cultural realms—including law, medicine, and natural history—and show that it did not coalesce into a more general understanding of heredity until the mid-nineteenth century. They consider inheritance and kinship in a legal context; the classification of certain diseases as hereditary; the study of botany; animal and plant breeding and hybridization for desirable characteristics; theories of generation and evolution; and anthropology and its study of physical differences among humans, particularly skin color. The editors argue that only when people, animals, and plants became more mobile—and were separated from their natural habitats through exploration, colonialism, and other causes—could scientists distinguish between inherited and environmentally induced traits and develop a coherent theory of heredity.

    Contributors David Sabean, Silvia De Renzi, Ulrike Vedder, Carlos López Beltrán, Phillip K. Wilson, Laure Cartron, Staffan Müller-Wille, Marc J. Ratcliff, Roger Wood, Mary Terrall, Peter McLaughlin, François Duchesneau, Ohad Parnes, Renato Mazzolini, Paul White, Nicolas Pethes, Stefan Willer, Helmuth Müller-Sievers

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Ships and Science

    Ships and Science

    The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1800

    Larrie D. Ferreiro

    The first book to portray the birth of naval architecture as an integral part of the Scientific Revolution, examining its development and application across the major shipbuilding nations of Europe.

    "Naval architecture was born in the mountains of Peru, in the mind of a French astronomer named Pierre Bouguer who never built a ship in his life." So writes Larrie Ferreiro at the beginning of this pioneering work on the science of naval architecture. Bouguer's monumental book Traité du navire (Treatise of the Ship) founded a discipline that defined not the rules for building a ship but the theories and tools to predict a ship's characteristics and performance before it was built. In Ships and Science, Ferreiro argues that the birth of naval architecture formed an integral part of the Scientific Revolution. Using Bouguer's work as a cornerstone, Ferreiro traces the intriguing and often unexpected development of this new discipline and describes its practical application to ship design in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Drawing on previously untapped primary-source and archival information, he places the development of naval architecture in the contexts of science, navy, and society, across the major shipbuilding nations of Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy.

    Ferreiro describes the formulation of the three major elements of ship theory (the science of explaining the physical behavior of a ship): maneuvering and sail theory, ship resistance and hydrodynamics, and stability theory. He considers the era's influential books on naval architecture and describes the professionalization of ship constructors that is the true legacy of this period. Finally, looking from the viewpoints of both the constructor and the naval administrator, he explains why the development of ship theory was encouraged, financed, and used in naval shipbuilding. A generous selection of rarely seen archival images accompanies the text.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Harmonious Triads

    Harmonious Triads

    Physicists, Musicians, and Instrument Makers in Nineteenth-Century Germany

    Myles W. Jackson

    Historically, music was long classified as both art and science. Aspects of music—from the mathematics of tuning to the music of the celestial spheres—were primarily studied as science until the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth century, although scientists were less interested in the music of the spheres than the natural philosophers of earlier centuries, they remained committed to understanding the world of performing musicians and their instruments. In Harmonious Triads, Myles Jackson analyzes the relationship of physicists, musicians, and instrument makers in nineteenth-century Germany. Musical instruments provided physicists with experimental systems, and physicists' research led directly to improvements in musical-instrument manufacture and assisted musicians in their performances. Music also provided scientists with a cultural resource, which forged acquaintances and future collaborations. Jackson discusses experiments in acoustical vibrations that led to the invention of musical instruments and describes work with adiabatic phenomena that resulted in the improvement of the reed pipe, used by organ builders. He examines the collaborations of physicists and mechanicians aimed at standardizing beat and pitch and considers debates stirred by the standardization of aesthetic qualities. He describes the importance for scientists of choral societies as a vehicle for social life and cultural unity. Finally, he discusses a subject that occupied both physicists and musicians of the era: Could physicists, using the universal principles of mechanics, explain musical skill? Was the virtuosity of a Paganini or a Liszt somehow quantifiable? Jackson's historical consideration of questions at the intersection of music and physics shows us how each discipline helped shape the other.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe

    American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe

    John Krige

    In 1945, the United States was not only the strongest economic and military power in the world; it was also the world's leader in science and technology. In American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe, John Krige describes the efforts of influential figures in the United States to model postwar scientific practices and institutions in Western Europe on those in America. They mobilized political and financial support to promote not just America's scientific and technological agendas in Western Europe but its Cold War political and ideological agendas as well.

    Drawing on the work of diplomatic and cultural historians, Krige argues that this attempt at scientific dominance by the United States can be seen as a form of "consensual hegemony," involving the collaboration of influential local elites who shared American values. He uses this notion to analyze a series of case studies that describe how the U.S. administration, senior officers in the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the NATO Science Committee, and influential members of the scientific establishment—notably Isidor I. Rabi of Columbia University and Vannevar Bush of MIT—tried to Americanize scientific practices in such fields as physics, molecular biology, and operations research. He details U.S. support for institutions including CERN, the Niels Bohr Institute, the French CNRS and its laboratories at Gif near Paris, and the never-established "European MIT." Krige's study shows how consensual hegemony in science not only served the interests of postwar European reconstruction but became another way of maintaining American leadership and "making the world safe for democracy."

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • The Path Not Taken

    The Path Not Taken

    French Industrialization in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1830

    Jeff Horn

    In The Path Not Taken, Jeff Horn argues that—contrary to standard, Anglocentric accounts—French industrialization was not a failed imitation of the laissez-faire British model but the product of a distinctive industrial policy that led, over the long term, to prosperity comparable to Britain's. Despite the upheavals of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, France developed and maintained its own industrial strengths. France was then able to take full advantage of the new technologies and industries that emerged in the "second industrial revolution," and by the end of the nineteenth century some of France's industries were outperforming Britain's handily. The Path Not Taken shows that the foundations of this success were laid during the first industrial revolution.

    Horn posits that the French state's early attempt to emulate Britain's style of industrial development foundered because of revolutionary politics. The "threat from below" made it impossible for the state or entrepreneurs to control and exploit laborers in the British manner. The French used different means to manage labor unruliness and encourage innovation and entrepreneurialism. Technology is at the heart of Horn's analysis, and he shows that France, unlike England, often preferred still-profitable older methods of production in order to maintain employment and forestall revolution. Horn examines the institutional framework established by Napoleon's most important Minister of the Interior, Jean-Antoine Chaptal. He focuses on textiles, chemicals, and steel, looks at how these new institutions created a new industrial environment. Horn's illuminating comparison of French and British industrialization should stir debate among historians, economists, and political scientists.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99
  • Historia

    Historia

    Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe

    Gianna Pomata and Nancy G. Siraisi

    Essays examine how the genre of historia reflects connections between the study of nature and the study of culture in early modern scholarly pursuits.

    The early modern genre of historia connected the study of nature and the study of culture from the early Renaissance to the eighteenth century. The ubiquity of historia as a descriptive method across a variety of disciplines—including natural history, medicine, antiquarianism, and philology—indicates how closely intertwined these scholarly pursuits were in the early modern period. The essays collected in this volume demonstrate that historia can be considered a key epistemic tool of early modern intellectual practices.

    Focusing on the actual use of historia across disciplines, the essays highlight a distinctive feature of early modern descriptive sciences: the coupling of observational skills with philological learning, empiricism with erudition. Thus the essays bring to light previously unexamined links between the culture of humanism and the scientific revolution.

    The contributors, from a range of disciplines that echoes the broad scope of early modern historia, examine such topics as the development of a new interest in historical method from the Renaissance artes historicae to the eighteenth-century tension between "history" and "system"; shifts in Aristotelian thought paving the way for revaluation of historia as descriptive knowledge; the rise of the new discipline of natural history; the uses of historia in anatomical and medical investigation and the writing of history by physicians; parallels between the practices of collecting and presenting information in both natural history and antiquarianism; and significant examples of the ease with which early seventeenth-century antiquarian scholars moved from studies of nature to studies of culture.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £50.00
  • Picturing Machines 1400–1700

    Picturing Machines 1400–1700

    Wolfgang Lefèvre

    How technical drawings shaped early engineering practice.

    Technical drawings by the architects and engineers of the Renaissance made use of a range of new methods of graphic representation. These drawings—among them Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawings of mechanical devices—have long been studied for their aesthetic qualities and technological ingenuity, but their significance for the architects and engineers themselves is seldom considered. The essays in Picturing Machines 1400–1700 take this alternate perspective and look at how drawing shaped the practice of early modern engineering. They do so through detailed investigations of specific images, looking at over 100 that range from sketches to perspective views to thoroughly constructed projections.

    In early modern engineering practice, drawings were not merely visualizations of ideas but acted as models that shaped ideas. Picturing Machines establishes basic categories for the origins, purposes, functions, and contexts of early modern engineering illustrations, then treats a series of topics that not only focus on the way drawings became an indispensable means of engineering but also reflect the main stages in their historical development. The authors examine the social interaction conveyed by early machine images and their function as communication between practitioners; the knowledge either conveyed or presupposed by technical drawings, as seen in those of Giorgio Martini and Leonardo; drawings that required familiarity with geometry or geometric optics, including the development of architectural plans; and technical illustrations that bridged the gap between practical and theoretical mechanics.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • Conserving the Enlightenment

    Conserving the Enlightenment

    French Military Engineering from Vauban to the Revolution

    Janis Langins

    A study of French military engineers at a crucial point in the evolution of modern engineering.

    The origins of the modern science of engineering can be traced to France's Royal Corps of Engineering in the eighteenth century. In Conserving the Enlightenment, Janis Langins gives us a history of this prototypical technical bureaucracy, using as his point of entry a pivotal dispute on the respective merits of two methods of engineering military fortifications. The story he tells of the tribulations of military engineers at the end of the Old Regime sheds light not only on the evolution of modern engineering but also on the difficulty of innovation in a technical bureaucracy.

    From the days of Louis XIV and his great military engineer Vauban, engineers in France had a reputation for competence and intellectual superiority. (This respect for engineers survived the Revolution; two engineers sat on the new Republic's ruling Committee of Public Safety with Robespierre.) Langins argues that French engineers saw themselves as men of the Enlightenment, with a steadfast faith in science and its positive effects on society; they believed that their profession could improve and civilize even warfare. When Marc-Rene, marquis de Montalembert, a cavalry officer and an amateur engineer, challenged the prevailing wisdom with a new method of fortification, the subsequent factional struggle became a crucible of self-definition for the profession. In the end, Langins shows, Vauban's science won out over Montalembert's inspiration, reinforcing and predicting the essentially conservative nature of French engineering.

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
  • Affinity, That Elusive Dream

    Affinity, That Elusive Dream

    A Genealogy of the Chemical Revolution

    Mi Gyung Kim

    In the eighteenth century, chemistry was transformed from an art to a public science. Chemical affinity played an important role in this process as a metaphor, a theory domain, and a subject of investigation. Goethe's Elective Affinities, which was based on the current understanding of chemical affinities, attests to chemistry's presence in the public imagination. In Affinity, That Elusive Dream, Mi Gyung Kim restores chemical affinity to its proper place in historiography and in Enlightenment public culture. The Chemical Revolution is usually associated with Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, who introduced a modern nomenclature and a definitive text. Kim argues that chemical affinity was erased from historical memory by Lavoisier's omission of it from his textbook. She examines the work of many less famous French chemists (including physicians, apothecaries, metallurgists, philosophical chemists, and industrial chemists) to explore the institutional context of chemical instruction and research, the social stratification that shaped theoretical discourse, and the crucial shifts in analytic methods. Apothecaries and metallurgists, she shows, shaped the main theory domains through their innovative approach to analysis. Academicians and philosophical chemists brought about two transformative theoretical moments through their efforts to create a rational discourse of chemistry in tune with the reigning natural philosophy. The topics discussed include the corpuscular (Cartesian) model in French chemistry in the early 1700s, the stabilization of the theory domains of composition and affinity, the reconstruction of French theoretical discourse in the middle of the eighteenth century, the Newtonian languages that plagued the domain of affinity just before the Chemical Revolution, Guyton de Morveau's program of affinity chemistry, Lavoisier's reconstruction of the theory domains of chemistry, and Berthollet's path as an affinity chemist.

    • Hardcover $58.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Jesuit Science and the Republic of Letters

    Jesuit Science and the Republic of Letters

    Mordechai Feingold

    A reassessment of the Jesuit contributions to the emergence of the scientific worldview.

    Founded in 1540, the Society of Jesus was viewed for centuries as an impediment to the development of modern science. The Jesuit educational system was deemed conservative and antithetical to creative thought, while the Order and its members were blamed by Galileo, Descartes, and their disciples for virtually every proceeding against the new science. No wonder a consensus emerged that little reason existed for historians to take Jesuit science seriously. Only during the past two decades have scholars begun to question this received view of the Jesuit role in the Scientific Revolution, and this book contributes significantly to that reassessment. Focusing on the institutional setting of Jesuit science, the contributors take a new and broader look at the overall intellectual environment of the Collegio Romano and other Jesuit colleges to see how Jesuit scholars taught and worked, to examine the context of the Jesuit response to the new philosophies, and to chart the Jesuits' scientific contributions. Their conclusions indicate that Jesuit practitioners were indeed instrumental in elevating the status of mathematics and in stressing the importance of experimental science; yet, at the same time, the Jesuits were members of a religious order with a clearly defined apostolic mission. Understanding both the contributions of Jesuit practitioners and the constraints under which they worked helps us to gain a clearer and more complete perspective on the emergence of the scientific worldview.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
  • Secrets of Nature

    Secrets of Nature

    Astrology and Alchemy in Early Modern Europe

    Anthony Grafton and William R. Newman

    In recent years scholars have begun to acknowledge that the occult sciences were not marginal enterprises but an integral part of the worldview of many of our ancestors. Astrology was one of the many intellectual tools—along with what we consider to be the superior tools of social and political analysis—that Renaissance thinkers used to attack practical and intellectual problems. It was a coherent body of practices, strongly supported by social institutions. And alchemy was not viewed primarily as a spiritual pursuit, an idea popularized by nineteenth-century occultists, but as a part of natural philosophy. It was often compared to medicine.

    Many Renaissance writers suggested links between astrology and alchemy that went beyond the use of astrological charts to determine the best time to attempt alchemical operations. Secrets of Nature shows the many ways in which astrology (a form of divination) and alchemy (an artisanal pursuit concerned with the technologies of minerals and metals) diverge as well as intersect. Overall, it shows how an appreciation of the role of the occult opens up new ways of understanding the past. Topics include the career of Renaissance astrologer Girolamo Cardano and his work on medical astrology, the astrological thinking of Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei, the history of the Rosicrucians and the influence of John Dee, the work of medical alchemist Simon Forman, and an extended critique of the existing historiography of alchemy.

    • Hardcover $58.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00
  • Wireless

    Wireless

    From Marconi's Black-Box to the Audion

    Sungook Hong

    A new look at the early history of wireless communication.

    By 1897 Guglielmo Marconi had transformed James Clerk Maxwell's theory of electromagnetic waves into a workable wireless telegraphy system, and by 1907 Lee de Forest had invented the Audion, a feedback amplifier and oscillator that opened the way to practical radio transmission. Fifteen years after Marconi's invention, wireless had become an essential means of communication, as well as a hobby for many.

    This book offers a new perspective on the early days of wireless communication. Drawing on previously untapped archival evidence and recent work in the history and sociology of science and technology, it examines the substance and context of both experimental and theoretical aspects of engineering and scientific practices in the first years of this technology. It offers new insights into the relationship between Marconi and his scientific advisor, the physicist John Ambrose Fleming (inventor of the vacuum tube). It includes the full story of the infamous 1903 incident in which Marconi's opponent Nevil Maskelyne interfered with Fleming's public demonstration of Marconi's syntonic (tuning) system at the Royal Institution by sending derogatory messages from his own transmitter. The analysis of the Maskelyne affair highlights the struggle between Marconi and his opponents, the efficacy of early syntonic devices, Fleming's role as a public witness to Marconi's private experiments, and the nature of Marconi's "shows." It also provides a rare case study of how the credibility of an engineer can be created, consumed, and suddenly destroyed. The book concludes with a discussion of de Forest's Audion and the shift from wireless telegraphy to radio.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Nationalizing Science

    Nationalizing Science

    Adolphe Wurtz and the Battle for French Chemistry

    Alan J. Rocke

    After looking at the early careers of Wurtz's two mentors, Liebig and Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Rocke describes Wurtz's life and career in the politically complex period leading up to 1853. He then discusses the turning point in Wurtz's intellectual life—his conversion to the "reformed chemistry" of Laurent, Gerhardt, and Williamson—and his efforts to persuade his colleagues of the advantages of the new system.

    In 1869, Adolphe Wurtz (1817-1884) called chemistry "a French science." In fact, however, Wurtz was the most internationalist of French chemists. Born in Strasbourg and educated partly in the laboratory of the great Justus Liebig, he spent his career in Paris, where he devoted himself to introducing German ideas into French scientific circles. His life therefore provides an excellent vehicle for considering the divergent trajectories of French and German chemistry—and, by extension, French and German science—during this crucial period. After looking at the early careers of Wurtz's two mentors, Liebig and Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Rocke describes Wurtz's life and career in the politically complex period leading up to 1853. He then discusses the turning point in Wurtz's intellectual life—his conversion to the "reformed chemistry" of Laurent, Gerhardt, and Williamson—and his efforts (social and political, as well as scientific) to persuade his colleagues of the advantages of the new system. He looks at political patronage, or the lack thereof, and at the insufficient material support from the French government, during the middle decades of the century. From there Rocke goes on to examine the rivalry between Wurtz and Marcellin Berthelot, the debate over atoms versus equivalents, and the reasons for Wurtz's failure to win acceptance for his ideas. The story offers insights into the changing status of science in this period, and helps to explain the eventual course of both French and German chemistry.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
  • Spectrum of Belief

    Spectrum of Belief

    Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Craft of Precision Optics

    Myles W. Jackson

    In the nineteenth century, scientific practice underwent a dramatic transformation from personal endeavor to business enterprise. In Spectrum of Belief, Myles Jackson explores this transformation through a sociocultural history of the rise of precision optics in Germany. He uses the career of the optician Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826) to probe the relationship between science and society, and between artisans and experimental natural philosophers, during this important transition.

    Fraunhofer came from a long line of glassmakers. Orphaned at age eleven, the young apprentice moved in with his master, the court decorative glass cutter. At age nineteen, bored with his work and angered by his master's refusal to allow him to study optical theory, Fraunhofer took a position at the Optical Institute assisting in the manufacture of achromatic lenses. Within ten years he was producing the world's finest achromatic lenses and prisms.

    Housed in an old Benedictine monastery, Fraunhofer's laboratory mirrored the labor of the monks. Because of his secrecy (after his death, even those who had worked most closely with him could not achieve his success), British experimental natural philosophers were unable to reproduce his work. This secrecy, while guaranteeing his institute's monopoly, thwarted Fraunhofer's attempts to gain credibility within the scientific community, which looked down on artisanal work and its clandestine practices as an affront. The response to the ensuing rise of German optical technology sheds light on crucial social, economic, and political issues of the period, such as mechanization, patent law reform, the role of skills in both physics and society, the rise of Mechanics' Institutes, and scientific patronage. After his death, Fraunhofer's example was used in the newly united Germany to argue for the merging of scientific research and technological innovation with industrial and state support.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
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