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Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences

journal
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897707/a-road-not-taken-economists-historians-of-science-and-the-making-of-the-bowman-report
#1
Roger E Backhouse, Harro Maas
This essay investigates a hitherto-unexamined collaboration between two of the founders of modern history of science, Henry Guerlac and I. Bernard Cohen, and two economists, Paul Samuelson and Rupert Maclaurin. The arena in which these two disciplines came together was the Bowman Committee, one of the committees that prepared material for Vannevar Bush’s Science—The Endless Frontier. The essay shows how their collaboration helped to shape the committee’s recommendations, in which different models of science confronted each other...
March 2017: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897697/from-savagery-to-sovereignty-identity-politics-and-international-expositions-of-argentine-anthropology-1878%C3%A2-1892
#2
Ashley Kerr
In the late nineteenth century, Argentine intellectual elites turned to world’s fairs as a place to contest myths of Latin American racial inferiority and produce counternarratives of Argentine whiteness and modernity. This essay examines Argentine anthropological displays at three expositions between 1878 and 1892 to elucidate the mechanisms and reception of these projects. Florentino Ameghino, Francisco Moreno, and others worked deliberately and in conjunction with political authorities to erase the indigenous tribes from the national identity, even while using their bodies and products to create prehistory and garner intellectual legitimacy...
March 2017: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897696/rubbing-elbows-and-blowing-smoke-gender-class-and-science-in-the-nineteenth-century-patent-office
#3
Kara W Swanson
The United States Patent Office of the 1850s offers a rare opportunity to analyze the early gendering of science. In its crowded rooms, would-be scientists shared a workplace with women earning equal pay for equal work. Scientific men worked as patent examiners, claiming this new occupation as scientific in opposition to those seeking to separate science and technology. At the same time, in an unprecedented and ultimately unsuccessful experiment, female clerks were hired to work alongside male clerks. This article examines the controversies surrounding these workers through the lens of manners and deportment...
March 2017: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897695/mechanics-in-the-querelle-des-anciens-et-des-modernes
#4
Christoph Lehner, Helge Wendt
The debate about the superiority of ancient versus modern culture, known as the Querelle des anciens et des modernes, also found expression in conflicting positions about the developing mathematical methods of natural philosophy. Isaac Newton explicitly referred to the authority of Euclidean geometry as a justification for the conservative form of the proofs in his Principia Mathematica, where he avoided the use of analytic geometry and infinitesimal calculus, the central innovations of seventeenth-century mathematics, as much as possible...
March 2017: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897693/medicinal-formulas-and-experiential-knowledge-in-the-seventeenth-century-epistemic-exchange-between-china-and-europe
#5
Marta Hanson, Gianna Pomata
This essay deals with the medical recipe as an epistemic genre that played an important role in the cross-cultural transmission of knowledge. The article first compares the development of the recipe as a textual form in Chinese and European premodern medical cultures. It then focuses on the use of recipes in the transmission of Chinese pharmacology to Europe in the second half of the seventeenth century. The main sources examined are the Chinese medicinal formulas translated—presumably—by the Jesuit Michael Boym and published in Specimen Medicinae Sinicae (1682), a text that introduced Chinese pulse medicine to Europe...
March 2017: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29901329/clocks-to-computers-some-clarifications
#6
COMMENT
Frans van Lunteren
This final comment aims to dispel legitimate concerns expressed in some of the commentaries about the nature of the successive epistemic regimes inherent in the“big picture” offered in “Clocks to Computers” and the use of machines as emblems for these regimes. It also addresses the place in the proposed scheme of some key figures in the history of science that do not obviously fit these regimes.
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29901327/darnton%C3%A2-s-cats-bacon%C3%A2-s-rifle-and-history-of-science-101
#7
COMMENT
Harun Küçük
Many of us who teach History of Science 101 courses face a situation where we must tell our story without relying on students’ prior knowledge of, say, the significance of ancient Greece and China, premodern and modern colonialism, or Marx. This leaves us needing a clear and punchy basic message, supported by a solid, well-structured, and inclusive story line that also doubles as world history. This response takes a look at the prospects and problems of longue durée histories of science from the perspective of cultural history...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29901323/pluralism-versus-periodization
#8
COMMENT
Hasok Chang
There is much potential in Frans van Lunteren’s schema of using certain important machines as focal points for characterizing large-scale trends in scientific development. However, there are difficulties with the periodization of history he proposes, particularly with regard to the periods focused around the balance and the steam engine; these machines were highly influential somewhat simultaneously, and their cultural resonances were not entirely distinct from each other. Van Lunteren rightly recognizes the multifacetedness of the epistemic, social, and material roles played by each machine...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29901319/pluralism-versus-periodization
#9
COMMENT
Patricia Fara
In his ingenious bid to restore grand narratives, Frans van Lunteren misleadingly implies that there is a single story to tell about the past. In its favor, his nontrumphalist and metaphorical scheme encourages contextualization and emphasizes objects rather than theories or individuals. Unfortunately, he has selected an arbitrary starting point, and his four emblematic machines—the clock, the balance, the steam engine, the computer—do not bear equivalent relationships to the particular period they are held to represent...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897724/agency
#10
COMMENT
M Norton Wise
In support of Frans van Lunteren’s project for big-picture history organized around “mediating machines,” these comments stress “mediation” as active agency in the world rather than as mere metaphor, on the view that this active agency underlies the potency of technologies as mediators, both between different domains of knowledge and between theories and things. Similarly important for this power is the diversity of the particular constructions that constitute mediators like “balances” or “engines...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897721/machines-as-mental-tools
#11
COMMENT
Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
In an earnest effort to clarify his historiographical choices, Frans van Lunteren characterizes his scheme as “analytic rather than historicist” and as providing “a pattern rather than a plot.” Clearly he is keener on panoramic painting than on storytelling. Both the panoramic and the narrative genres are suitable for popular audiences: the former provides a static picture, whereas the latter stresses dynamic changes. Despite the limitations of its methodology—which, remarkably, the author points out in his concluding remarks—the essay opens up a broad anthropological perspective that could be further elaborated...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897719/clocks-to-computers-a-machine-based-%C3%A2-big-picture%C3%A2-of-the-history-of-modern-science
#12
Frans van Lunteren
Over the last few decades there have been several calls for a “big picture” of the history of science. There is a general need for a concise overview of the rise of modern science, with a clear structure allowing for a rough division into periods. This essay proposes such a scheme, one that is both elementary and comprehensive. It focuses on four machines, which can be seen to have mediated between science and society during successive periods of time: the clock, the balance, the steam engine, and the computer...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897717/species-complex-classification-and-conservation-in-american-environmental-history
#13
Peter S Alagona
How does the classification of biological organisms shape efforts to conserve them? This essay addresses this key question through the scientific, administrative, and legal histories of steelhead and rainbow trout. Members of the diverse salmon family, these two fish have different life histories and physical appearances, but since the 1930s scientists have considered them the same species. Over the past 150 years, however, their histories diverged. Today, rainbow trout are bred by the millions in hatcheries and are among the world’s most common and widespread fish, while steelhead are listed as threatened or endangered all along the West Coast of the United States...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897714/the-age-of-methods-william-whewell-charles-peirce-and-scientific-kinds
#14
Henry M Cowles
For William Whewell and, later, Charles Peirce, the methods of science merited scientific examination themselves. Looking to history to build an inductive account of the scientific process, both men transformed scientific methods into scientific evidence. What resulted was a peculiar instance of what Ian Hacking calls “the looping effects of human kinds,” in which classifying human behavior changes that behavior. In the cases of Whewell and Peirce, the behavior in question was their own: namely, scientific study...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897710/francis-bacon-and-magnetical-cosmology
#15
Xiaona Wang
A short-lived but important movement in seventeenth-century English natural philosophy—which scholars call “magnetical philosophy” or “magnetical cosmology”—sought to understand gravity (both terrestrial and celestial) by analogy with magnetism. The movement was clearly inspired by William Gilbert’s De magnete (1600) and culminated with Robert Hooke’s prefiguring of the universal principle of gravitation, which he personally communicated to Isaac Newton in 1679. But the magnetical cosmology, as professed by those in the movement, differed from Gilbert’s philosophy in highly significant ways...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29897708/the-accuracy-of-ancient-cartography-reassessed-the-longitude-error-in-ptolemy%C3%A2-s-map
#16
Dimitry A Shcheglov
This essay seeks to explain the most glaring error in Ptolemy’s geography: the greatly exaggerated longitudinal extent of the known world as shown on his map. The main focus is on a recent hypothesis that attributes all responsibility for this error to Ptolemy’s adoption of the wrong value for the circumference of the Earth. This explanation has challenging implications for our understanding of ancient geography: it presupposes that before Ptolemy there had been a tradition of high-accuracy geodesy and cartography based on Eratosthenes’ measurement of the Earth...
December 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28707871/a-copernican-renaissance
#17
Robert S Westman
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28707870/news-of-the-profession-eloge
#18
Roger J Wood
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28707869/science-eastern-orthodoxy-and-world-religions
#19
COMMENT
John Hedley Brooke, Ronald L Numbers
The history of Orthodoxy and science invites contrasts with other religious traditions. In contradistinction to the Latin West, for example, Eastern Orthodoxy throughout its history embraced the “pagan” scientific achievements of ancient Greece. Also unlike in the West, where ecclesiastical institutions often supported scientific activities, scholars in the East—in both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods— relied primarily on temporal sources to sustain their investigations of nature. Islam, with its strenuous resistance to any assimilation of the human to the divine, provides another contrasting example, as does the later Protestant justification for science grounded in the need to restore a fallen world through the application of experimental research...
September 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28707867/science-eastern-orthodoxy-and-protestantism
#20
COMMENT
Peter Harrison
This essay considers some of the major theological differences between Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity and puts forward proposals about how these might be related to the divergent trajectories of the formal study of nature in these two cultural contexts. A key difference lies in the “other-worldly” orientation of Eastern Orthodoxy and its emphasis on deification, which contrast sharply with ideas of original sin and fall–redemption theology in the West. These latter ideas came to play a significant role in the rise of Western science, with the sciences being understood as part of a practical redemptive exercise that could help alleviate the material consequences of original sin...
September 2016: Isis; An International Review Devoted to the History of Science and its Cultural Influences
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