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Telling Lives in Science

Images of scientists and ideas about science are often communicated to the public through historic biographies of eminent scientists, yet there has been little study of the development of scientific biography. Telling Lives brings together a collection of original essays by leading historians of science, several of them biographers, which explore for the first time the nature and development of scientific biography and its importance in forming our ideas about what scientists do, how science works, and why scientific biography remains popular. Theoretical and historical studies range from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, concentrating on such icons as Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Humphry Davy, Florence Nightingale and Sir Joseph Banks. With its broad sweep and careful, imaginative scholarship, this volume provides a timely and challenging examination of an important aspect of the culture of science that will be of special interest to historians of science, academics and students, and the general reader interested in the popularisation of science.
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Table of Contents

List of contributors; Preface; Introduction Michael Shortland and Richard Yeo; 1. Existential projects and existential choice in science: science biography as an edifying genre Thomas Soederqvist; 2. Life paths: autobiography, science and the French Revolution Dorinda Outram; 3. From science to wisdom: Humphry Davy's life David Knight; 4. Robert Boyle and the dilemma of biography in the age of the scientific revolution Michael Hunter; 5. Alphabetical lives: scientific biography in historical dictionaries and encyclopedias Richard Yeo; 6. The scientist as hero: public images of Michael Faraday Geoffrey Cantor; 7. Tactful organising and executive power: biographies of Florence Nightingale for girls Martha Vicinus; 8. Taking histories, medical lives: Thomas Beddoes and biography Roy Porter; 9. The scientist as patron and patriotic symbol: the changing reputation of Joseph Banks John Gascoigne; 10. Metabiographical reflections on Charles Darwin James Moore; Index.


From the hardback review: 'This work makes for some stimulating reading and is well timed in that it has appeared when there is a notable resurgence of interest in scientific biography.' Dennis H. Rouvray, Endeavour From the hardback review: '... a stimulating collection of essays.' Colin A. Russell, European Review From the hardback review: 'This collection of essays is useful and timely.' Ludmilla Jordanova, Metascience

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