Physicist John Tyndall and his contemporaries were at the forefront of developing the cosmology of scientific naturalism during the Victorian period. They rejected all but physical laws as having any impact on the operations of human life and the universe. Contributors focus on the way Tyndall and his correspondents developed their ideas through letters, periodicals and scientific journals and challenge previously held assumptions about who gained authority, and how they attained and defended their position within the scientific community.
An important and timely volume, providing significant insight into the conflicts and agreements within nineteenth-century science. All the chapters make useful contributions, while two or three should become staples on future reading lists.
Provides a striking view of various scientific naturalists and their interactions with opponents.
This rich collection of essays concentrates on underexplored aspects of the development of scientific naturalism in the nineteenth century . . . an excellent book, and one can confidently expect that the arguments played out in this volume will continue to be replayed in changing social, political and religious settings.
Bernard Lightman is professor of humanities at York University and president of the History of Science Society. Among his most recent publications are the edited collections Global Spencerism: The Communication and Appropriation of a British Evolutionist, A Companion to the History of Science, and Science Museums in Transition:Cultures of Display in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America (coedited with Carin Berkowitz). Lightman is also a general coeditor of The Correspondence of John Tyndall.
Michael S. Reidy is professor of history at Montana State University. He is author of Tides of History: Ocean Science and Her Majesty’s Navy and coauthor, with Alan G. Gross and Joseph E. Harmon, of Communicating Science: The Scientific Article from the 17th Century to the Present.