Henry Oldenburg

Author: Marie Boas Hall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198510536
Format: PDF, Docs
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Henry Oldenburg, born in 1619 in Bremen, Germany, first came to England as a diplomat on a mission to see Oliver Cromwell. He stayed on in England and in 1662 became the Secretary of the Royal Society, and its best known member to the entire learned world of his time. Through his extensive correspondence, now published, he disseminated the Society's ideals and methods at home and abroad. He fostered and encouraged the talents of many scientists later to be far more famous than he, including Newton, Flamsteed, Malpighi, and Leeuwenhoek with whom, as with many others, he developed real friendship. He founded and edited the Philosophical Transactions, the world's oldest scientific journal. His career sheds new light on the intellectual world of his time, especially its scientific aspects, and on the development of the Royal Society; his private life expands our knowledge of social mobility, the urban society, and the religious views of his time.

Selling Science in the Age of Newton

Author: Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317057333
Format: PDF, Docs
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Selling Science in the Age of Newton explores an often ignored avenue in the popularization of science. It is an investigation of how advertisements in London newspapers (from approximately 1687 to 1727) enticed consumers to purchase products relating to science: books, lecture series, and instruments. London's readers were among the first in Europe to be exposed to regular newspapers and the advertisements contained in them. This occurred just as science began to captivate the nation's imagination due, in part, to Isaac Newton's rising popularity following the publication of his Principia (1687). This unique moment allows us to see how advertising helped shape the initial public reception of science. This book fills a substantial gap in our understanding of science and the culture in which it developed by examining the medium of advertising and its function in the discourse of both early-modern science and commerce. It answers questions such as: what happens to science once it is a commodity; how are consumers tempted to purchase science amidst a sea of other commodities; how is the reading public encouraged to give social acceptance to facts of nature; and how did marketing campaigns craft newspapers readers into a source of validation for the items of science advertised? In an age where the production of scientific knowledge increasingly relied upon sales to many rather than the endorsement of a single wealthy patron, marketing was the key to success.

Generation

Author: Matthew Cobb
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608190010
Format: PDF
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Generation is the story of the exciting, largely forgotten decade during the seventeenth century when a group of young scientists-Jan Swammerdam, the son of a Protestant apothecary, Nils Stensen (also known as Steno), a Danish anatomist who first discovered the human tear duct, Reinier de Graaf, the attractive and brilliant son of a rich and successful Catholic architect, and Antoni Leeuwenhoek, a self-taught draper-dared to challenge thousands of years of orthodox thinking about where life comes from. By meticulous experimentation, dissection, and observation with the newly invented microscope, they showed that like breeds like, that all animals come from an egg, that there is no such thing as spontaneous generation, and that there are millions of tiny, wriggling "eels" in semen. However, their ultimate inability to fully understand the evidence that was in front of them led to a fatal mistake. As a result, the final leap in describing the process of reproduction-which would ultimately give birth to the science of genetics-took nearly two centuries for humanity to achieve. Including previously untranslated documents, Generation interweaves the personal stories of these scientists against a backdrop of the Dutch "Golden Age." It is a riveting account of the audacious men who swept away old certainties and provided the foundation for much of our current understanding of the living world.

Natural Science and the Origins of the British Empire

Author: Sarah Irving
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317315227
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Represents a history of the British Empire that takes account of the sense of empire as intellectual as well as geographic dominion: the historiography of the British Empire, with its preoccupation of empire as geographically unchallenged sovereignty, overlooks the idea of empire as intellectual dominion.

Confronting Contagion

Author: Melvin Santer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199356378
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Throughout history, humankind's working theories regarding the cause of infectious disease have shifted drastically, as cultures developed their philosophic, religious, and scientific beliefs. Plagues that were originally attributed to the wrath of the gods were later described as having nothing to do with the gods, though the cause continued to be a mystery. As centuries passed, medical and religious theorists proposed reasons such as poor air quality or the configuration of the planets as causes for the spread of disease. In every instance, in order to understand the origin of a disease theory during a specific period of history, one must understand that culture's metaphysical beliefs. In Confronting Contagion, Melvin Santer traces a history of disease theory all the way from Classical antiquity to our modern understanding of viruses. Chapters focus on people and places like the Pre-Socratic Philosophers, Galen and the emergence of Christianity in Rome, the Black Death in fourteenth-century Europe, cholera and puerperal sepsis in the nineteenth century, and other periods during which our understanding of the cause of disease was transformed. The cause of contagious disease was demonstrated to be a general biological phenomenon; there are contagious diseases of plants, animals, and bacteria, with causes identical to causes of human diseases. These issues are uniquely included in this book. In each case, Santer identifies the key thinkers who helped form the working disease theories of the time. The book features many excerpts from primary sources, from the Hippocratic Corpus to the writings of twentieth-century virologists, creating an authentic synthesis of the Western world's intellectual and religious attitude toward disease throughout history.

Science and the Shape of Orthodoxy

Author: Michael Cyril William Hunter
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
ISBN: 9780851155944
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Studies of specific figures -- including John Evelyn, Christopher Wren, John Flamsteed --illuminate intellectual change in 17c.

Boyle

Author: Michael Cyril William Hunter
Publisher:
ISBN:
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Robert Boyle ranks with Newton and Einstein as one of the world’s most important scientists. Aristocrat and natural philosopher, he was a remarkably wide-ranging and penetrating thinker—pioneering the modern experimental method, championing a novel mechanical view of nature, and reflecting deeply on philosophical and theological issues related to science. But, as Michael Hunter shows, Boyle was also a complex and contradictory personality, fascinated by alchemy and magic and privately plagued with doubts about faith and conscience, which troubled the rational vision he heralded. This extraordinary work is the first biography of Boyle in a generation, and the culminating achievement of a world-renowned expert on the scientist. Deftly navigating Boyle’s voluminous published works as well as his personal letters and papers, Hunter’s complete and intimate account gives us the man rather than myth, the troubled introvert as well as the public campaigner. Lively, perceptive, and full of original insights, this is the definitive account of a remarkable man and the changing world in which he lived.