Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820 (Paperback)
  • Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820 (Paperback)
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Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820 (Paperback)

(author)
£22.99
Paperback 358 Pages / Published: 28/06/1999
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Science as Public Culture joins a growing number of studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Jan Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment. Within this framework the careers of prominent chemists like William Cullen, Joseph Black, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Beddoes, and Humphry Davy are interpreted in a different light. The major discoveries of the time, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the electrical decomposition of water, are set against the background of alternative ways of constructing science as a public enterprise. The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between scientific activity and processes of social and political change in a period of great transformations in chemistry and in the conditions of public life.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521659529
Number of pages: 358
Weight: 530 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Jan Golinski has written an excellent account of 18th-century British chemistry...an elegant volume, written in a clear and cogent manner....Golinski is a first-rate historian." John G. McEvoy, American Scientist
"A valuable contribution to our understanding of the transformation of chemistry into its modern form." J.L. McKnight, Choice
"Jan Golinski has written an excellent account of 18th-century British chemistry...an elegant volume, written in a clear and cogent manner....Golinski is a first-rate historian." John G. McEvoy, American Scientist
"...I can whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in the beginnings of modern chemistry or the ways in which science interacts with society." Chris Reynolds, New Scientist
"...the ambitious scope and precise detail enable Golinski to do what no other historian of chemistry has done: unite the major chemists of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in a wider British context, rather than presenting them merely as representatives of disparate local schools....Science as Public Culture is an important addition to the history of chemistry and of British science generally. It will be of interest to historians of science and of the Enlightenment." Lisa Rosner, Albion
"A valuable contribution to our understanding of the transformation of chemistry into its modern form." J.L. McKnight, Choice
"Golinski has succeeded not only in creating a superb synthesis of the history of chemistry for the period but also in making a readable and persuasive case for the usefulness of the sociology of knowledge in the study of the social history of science. He offers vividly fresh readings of the careers of Priestly, Beddoes, and Davy; and not the least interesting aspect of his story is the way he demonstrates that elements of Enlightenment cooperative and public science lived on in radical, self-improvement, and mechanics'-institute circles." William H. Brock, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
"Jan Golinski's fine book amply demonstrates how dramatically the history of chemistry is being transformed by robust historical contextualism....tracks in various settings the move from private acts of investigation to public presentations of scientific claims. Audiences for science had to be constructed, and acceptable procedures for invoking reason and experimental demonstration had to be negotiated." Arthur Donovan, ISIS
"...fine and multifaceted book....I recommend that readers turn to this book for an engrossing expose of chemistry and culture in the eighteenth century." Lissa Roberts, Configurations
"...an important contribution to our understanding of how science functions as a part of society." Hugh L. Guilderson, Journal of Social History

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