History of Science

ISSN: 0073-2753

6 found

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  1.  5
    Herbaria as manuscripts: Philology, ethnobotany, and the textual–visual mesh of early modern botany.Bettina Dietz - 2024 - History of Science 62 (1):3-22.
    While interest in early modern herbaria has so far mainly concentrated on the dried plants stored in them, this paper addresses another of their qualities – their role as manuscripts. In the 1670s, the German botanist Paul Hermann (1646–95) spent several years in Ceylon (today Sri Lanka) as a medical officer in the service of the Dutch East India Company. During his stay he put together four herbaria, two of which contain a wealth of handwritten notes by himself and several (...)
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  2.  17
    Thunderstorms underground: Giuseppe Saverio Poli and the electric earthquake.Salvatore Esposito - 2024 - History of Science 62 (1):23-53.
    This paper presents a case study of the “electric hypothesis” of the causes of earthquakes, which emerged in the second half of the eighteenth century as part of the first studies of seismology. This hypothesis was related to Franklin’s views on atmospheric electricity and developed in a period when electric phenomena were widely studied, and was essentially based on solid empirical evidence and confirmed by model experiments. Even though it resulted from scientific reasoning, the theory remained strongly empirical, and was (...)
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  3.  6
    The borderline of science: Western exploration and study of Chinese insect white wax from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.Xue Jiang & Tao Shi - 2024 - History of Science 62 (1):54-80.
    Insect white wax is a type of biological wax, mainly produced in Jiading Fu (now Leshan, Sichuan province) in southern Sichuan province, also known as Sichuan wax. It is a special export product in China and an important source of income for local wax farmers. From the seventeenth century onward, Westerners who traveled deep into southwestern China studied the wax, including its geographical distribution, biological experiments, and production techniques. They assessed its commercial prospects and strove to introduce it to Europe (...)
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  4.  5
    A benefactor to mankind? Captain Warner’s secrets and the politics of invention in early Victorian Britain.Zak Leonard - 2024 - History of Science 62 (1):81-110.
    This article delves into Captain Samuel Alfred Warner’s dogged campaign to sell two inventions – his submersible mine and “long range” missile – to the British government in the 1840s and 1850s. Departing from a historiography that dismisses Warner as a fraudster, it clarifies how he managed to generate widespread interest in his weapons technologies for nearly twenty years. I therefore analyze three key elements of his self-promotion: his personal branding, his pitch, and his simultaneous embrace and rejection of publicity. (...)
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  5.  4
    The mule on the Mount Wilson trail: George Ellery Hale, American scientific cosmology, and cosmologies of American science.Kendrick Oliver - 2024 - History of Science 62 (1):144-171.
    This article explores the relation between two different modes of cosmology: the social and the scientific. Over the twentieth century, scientific understandings of the dimensions and operations of the physical universe changed dramatically, significantly prompted by astronomical and astrophysical research undertaken at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. Could those understandings be readily translated into social theory? Studies across a range of disciplines have intimated that the scientific cosmos might be less essential to the worlds of meaning and belonging (...)
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  6.  6
    George Howard Darwin and the “public” interpretation of The Tides.Edwin D. Rose - 2024 - History of Science 62 (1):111-143.
    Processes of adapting complex information for broad audiences became a pressing concern by the turn of the twentieth century. Channels of communication ranged from public lectures to printed books designed to serve a social class eager for self-improvement. Through analyzing a course of public lectures given by George Howard Darwin (1845–1912) for the Lowell Institute in Boston and the monograph he based on these, The Tides and Kindred Phenomena of the Solar System (1898), this article connects the important practices of (...)
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