Science in Context

ISSN: 0269-8897

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  1. The hospital as a laboratory: Population studies at Tel-Hashomer hospital in Israel (1950s-1960s).Ari Barell & Nurit Kirsh - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (3):272-293.
    ArgumentIn this article we examine how a leading Israeli hospital gradually became a large biomedical research facility, resembling a huge laboratory. For Chaim Sheba (1908-1971), the founder and first director of Tel-Hashomer Hospital, the massive immigration to Israel in the 1950s was a unique opportunity for research of diverse human populations, especially Jews who had arrived to Israel from Asia and Africa. The paper focuses on the way research and medical practices were integrated and their boundaries blurred, and studies the (...)
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    Botany and national identities: The Tokyo Cherry.Wybe Kuitert - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (3):252-271.
    ArgumentWhen Japan faced the world after the collapse of its feudal system, it had to invent its own modern identity in which the Tokyo Cherry became the National Flower. Despite being a garden plant, it received a Latin scientific species name as if it was an endemic species. After Japan’s colonial conquest of Korea, exploring the flora of the peninsula became part of imperial knowledge practices of Japan. In the wild, a different cherry was discovered in Korea that was proposed (...)
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  3. The Ancients and the Moderns: Chasles on Euclid’s lost Porisms and the pursuit of geometry.Nicolas Michel & Ivahn Smadja - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (3):199-251.
    Of Euclid’s lost manuscripts, few have elicited as much scholarly attention as the Porisms, of which a couple of brief summaries by late-Antiquity commentators are extant. Despite the lack of textual sources, attempts at restoring the content of this absent volume became numerous in early-modern Europe, following the diffusion of ancient mathematical manuscripts preserved in the Arabic world. Later, one similar attempt was that of French geometer Michel Chasles (1793–1880). This paper investigates the historiographical tenets and practices involved in Chasles’ (...)
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  4. Victims and diplomats: European white stork conservation efforts, animal representations, and images of expertise in postwar ornithology.Simone Schleper - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (3):294-313.
    ArgumentThis article discusses two approaches to save the European white stork populations from extinction that emerged after 1980. Despite the shared objective to devise transnational, science-based conservation measures, the two approaches’ geographical focus was radically different. Projects by the World Wildlife Fund and the International Council for Bird Preservation focused firmly on the stork’s wintering areas on the African continent. Interventions by a second group of ornithologists at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell concentrated on the Middle East (...)
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    How to build a scientific discipline in the nineteenth century: In search of autonomy for zoology at the Lisbon Polytechnic School (1837–1862). [REVIEW]Daniel Gamito-Marques - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (2):103-131.
    ArgumentThis article discusses the conditions that lead to the autonomy of scientific disciplines by analyzing the case of zoology in the nineteenth century. The specialization of knowledge and its institutionalization in higher education in the nineteenth century were important processes for the autonomy of scientific disciplines, such as zoology. The article argues that autonomy only arises after social and political power is mobilized by specific groups to acquire appropriate conceptual, physical, and institutional spaces for a discipline. This is illustrated through (...)
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    George Montandon, the Ainu and the theory of hologenesis.John L. Hennessey - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (2):133-151.
    ArgumentIn 1909, Italian zoologist Daniele Rosa (1857–1944) proposed a radical new evolutionary theory: hologenesis, or simultaneous, pan-terrestrial creation and evolution driven primarily by internal factors. Hologenesis was widely ignored or rejected outside Italy, but Swiss-French anthropologist George Montandon (1879–1944) eagerly embraced and developed the theory. An ambitious careerist, Montandon’s deep investment in an obscure and unpopular theory is puzzling. Today, Montandon is best known for his virulent antisemitism and active collaboration with the Nazi occupation of France at the end of (...)
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    Detecting the unknown in a sea of knowns: Health surveillance, knowledge infrastructures, and the quest for classification egress.Francis Lee - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (2):153-172.
    The sociological study of knowledge infrastructures and classification has traditionally focused on the politics and practices of classifying things or people. However, actors’ work to escape dominant infrastructures and pre-established classification systems has received little attention. In response to this, this article argues that it is crucial to analyze, not only the practices and politics of classification, but also actors’ work to escape dominant classification systems. The article has two aims: First, to make a theoretical contribution to the study of (...)
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  8.  13
    The animal model of human disease as a core concept of medical research: Historical cases, failures, and some epistemological considerations.Volker Roelcke - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (2):173-197.
    ArgumentThis article uses four historical case studies to address epistemological issues related to the animal model of human diseases and its use in medical research on human diseases. The knowledge derived from animal models is widely assumed to be highly valid and predictive of reactions by human organisms. In this contribution, I use three significant historical cases of failure (ca. 1890, 1960, 2006), and a closer look at the emergence of the concept around 1860/70, to elucidate core assumptions related to (...)
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    Euclid’s Fourth Postulate: Its authenticity and significance for the foundations of Greek mathematics.Vincenzo De Risi - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (1):49-80.
    ArgumentThe Fourth Postulate of Euclid’s Elements states that all right angles are equal. This principle has always been considered problematic in the deductive economy of the treatise, and even the ancient interpreters were confused about its mathematical role and its epistemological status. The present essay reconsiders the ancient testimonies on the Fourth Postulate, showing that there is no certain evidence for its authenticity, nor for its spuriousness. The paper also considers modern mathematical interpretations of this postulate, pointing out various anachronisms. (...)
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    A married couple of mathematicians from Vienna remembers Sigmund Freud (1953).Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (1):1-48.
    ArgumentThe paper is based on a hitherto unexplored document (audiotape of an interview accompanied by a German transcript) from 1953, located in the Freud Papers at the Library of Congress. It contributes to a better understanding of the impact of Freud and of Psychoanalysis on personalities from the exact sciences, here represented by the noted applied mathematicians Richard von Mises and Hilda Geiringer from Vienna. The detailed discussion of the interview sheds some new light on the different roles of Kraus (...)
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    Textual materiality and abstraction in mathematics.Anna Kiel Steensen, Mikkel Willum Johansen & Morten Misfeldt - 2022 - Science in Context 35 (1):81-101.
    In this paper, we wish to explore the role that textual representations play in the creation of new mathematical objects. We do so by analyzing texts by Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736–1813) and Évariste Galois (1811–1832), which are seen as central to the historical development of the mathematical concept of groups. In our analysis, we consider how the material features of representations relate to the changes in conceptualization that we see in the texts.Against this backdrop, we discuss the idea that new mathematical (...)
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