Combining biographical and institutional history, Thomas C. Lassman examines the professional career of theoretical physicist Edward Condon at Princeton University, Pittsburgh’s Westinghouse Electric Company and Manufacturing Company, and the National Bureau of Standards to illuminate contested visions of the usefulness of science that played out during The Great Depression, the Second World War, and the early Cold War.
These detailed yet interlocking studies consider whether knowledge evolved more through recurring intercultural links or through localized innovations; or whether it arose more from endogenous scientific study or from exogenous shifts in the world order.
The 329 letters in this volume represent a period of immense transition in John Tyndall’s life. A noticeable spike in his extant correspondence during the early 1850s is linked to his expanding international network, growing reputation as a leading scientific figure in Britain and abroad, and his employment at the Royal Institution. By December 1854, Tyndall had firmly established himself as a significant man of science, complete with an influential position at the center of the British scientific establishment.
Combining perspectives from the history of science and world history, this volume examines the impact of major world-historical processes of the postwar period on the evolution of the life sciences. Contributors consider the long-term evolution of scientific practice, research, and innovation across a range of fields and subfields in the life sciences, and in the context of Cold War anxieties and ambitions. Together, they examine how the formation of international organizations and global research programs allowed for transnational exchange and cooperation, but in a period rife with competition and nationalist interests, which influenced dramatic changes in the field as the postcolonial world order unfolded.
Making Stars Physical offers the first extensive look at the astronomical career of John Herschel, son of William Herschel and one of the leading scientific figures in Britain throughout much of the nineteenth century.
Historicizing Humans takes a critical approach to nineteenth-century human history, as the contributors consider how these histories were shaped by the colonial world, and for various scientific, religious, and sociopolitical purposes. This volume highlights the underlying questions and shared assumptions that emerged as various human developmental theories competed for dominance throughout the British Empire.
Kew Observatory influenced and was influenced by many of the larger developments in the physical sciences during the second half of the nineteenth century, while many of the major figures involved were in some way affiliated with Kew.
Lee T. Macdonald explores the extraordinary story of this important scientific institution as it rose to prominence during the Victorian era. His book offers fresh new insights into key historical issues in nineteenth-century science: the patronage of science; relations between science and government; the evolution of the observatory sciences; and the origins and early years of the National Physical Laboratory, once an extension of Kew and now the largest applied physics organization in the United Kingdom.
Winner of the British Society for Literature and Science Annual Prize, 2011Winner of the Cultural Studies in English Prize, 2012
This book explores the role of vision and the culture of observation in Victorian and modernist ways of seeing. Willis charts the characterization of vision through four organizing principles—small, large, past and future—to survey Victorian conceptions of what vision was. He then explores how this Victorian vision influenced twentieth-century ways of seeing, when anxieties over visual “truth” became entwined with modernist rejections of objectivity.
In the Victorian era, James Watt became an iconic engineer, but in his own time he was also an influential chemist. David Philip Miller examines Watt’s illustrious engineering career in light of his parallel interest in chemistry, arguing that Watt’s conception of steam engineering relied upon chemical understandings.
In 1963, nineteen Americans embarked on the first expedition that would combine high-altitude climbing with scientific research. The primary objective was to study how severe stress at high altitudes affected human behavior. The expedition promised to resurrect American heroism, in a show of physical strength and skill that, when combined with scientific expertise, would dominate international rivals on the frontiers of territorial exploration. They faced hostile conditions that challenged and ultimately compromised standard research protocols, yielding results that were too exceptional to be generalized to other environments. Clements offers an exploration of the impact of extremity on the production of scientific knowledge and the role of masculinity and nationalism in scientific inquiry.
An innovative and original socio-cultural study of the history of electricity during the late Victorian and Edward periods.
How did the brewing of beer become a scientific process? James Sumner explores this question by charting the theory and practice of the trade in Britain and Ireland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
In the period covered by this volume, Tyndall completed his degree, published his first scientific papers, became a regular participant in the British Association meetings, established friendships with leading men of science in Berlin and London, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. As the volume ends, he was preparing his first lecture to the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the catalyst for a profound transition in his life. The letters offer a behind-the-scenes view of nineteenth-century publishing processes, the practices and challenges of diamagnetic research, the application procedures for university positions, the use of patronage in establishing a scientific career, and the often anxious and weary-worn personality of Tyndall, the ambitious protagonist.
This volume explores the transformation of scientific exhibitions and museums during the nineteenth century. Contributors focus on comparative case studies across Britain and America, examining the people, spaces, display practices, experiences, and politics that worked not only to define the museum, but to shape public science and scientific knowledge during this period.
This is the first history of phytotrons, huge climate-controlled laboratories that enabled plant scientists to experiment on the environmental causes of growth and development of living organisms. Made possible by computers and other modern technologies of the early Cold War, phytotrons promised an end to global hunger and political instability, spreading around the world to thirty countries after World War II.