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The Making of Modern Science


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi Preface: The Age of Science viii Acknowledgements xiii Introduction: Approaching the Past 1 1 Science in and after 1789 12 2 Science and its Languages 33 3 Applied Science 56 4 Intellectual Excitement 82 5 Healthy Lives 105 6 Laboratories 129 7 Bodies, Minds and Spirits 151 8 The Time of Triumph 172 9 Science and National Identities 195 10 Method and Heresy 217 11 Cultural Leadership 238 12 Into the New Century 264 Timeline 283 Notes and References 289 Index 353

About the Author

David Knight is Emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Durham University.


"Knight loves science and he loves history. This work is a splendid example of how to communicate that enthusiasm." British Journal for the History of Science "A fine synthesis, the fruit of a lifetime's study and reflection, which should prompt some readers to begin a lifetime study of their own." Times Higher Education "A superb history of the discipline." The Diplomat "A magisterial survey. For anyone who has experienced the delight of hearing Knight deliver a public lecture, reading this will summon up his mellifluous voice as though he were standing in the same room." Metascience "Replete with insight and astute synthesis. It conveys the excitement of science and of its history." Social History of Medicine "Knight ably discusses the various threads in this complex story, his description of the people and events which shaped the scientific developments are always interesting, and his interpretation of the philosophical and cultural changes are always insightful. Knight has a lot to offer any reader interested in how the profession established itself as one for skilled minds ... This book is well researched and well written and is to be recommended to anyone interested in how science and scientists emerged in the 20th century." Chemistry World "The book is replete with insight and astute synthesis. It conveys the excitement of science and of its history." Social History of Medicine "David Knight has long delighted his readers with books on the history of science that have been both instructive and entertaining. Here he draws on a lifetime's study to explain how science - as a practical, intellectually challenging, and socially diverse activity - gained its cultural importance in the long nineteenth-century. Warmly recommended." John Hedley Brooke, Andreas Idreos Professor Emeritus of Science & Religion, University of Oxford "David Knight's latest book is a glittering magnum opus in which he describes the professionalization of science by drawing on examples from various disciplines. The writing is erudite, lucid and upbeat. The book is a social history, an institutional history and an internal history all in one, and it is gratifying to see chemistry assuming a rather central position in the story." Eric Scerri, author of The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance "This book is a pleasure to read: light in style, yet incisive, informative, and even profound. With a few well-chosen words Knight can conjure up a Huxley or a Faraday, or explain the problems scientists faced in understanding the variety of human 'races'. His explanations of scientific issues go to the heart of the matter and are never weighed down with detail. I can't think of a better or more rounded introduction to the history of nineteenth-century science." Geoffrey Cantor, University of Leeds

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