Catalogue


Science as public culture : chemistry and enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820 /
Jan Golinski.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
description
xi, 342 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521394147 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
isbn
0521394147 (hardcover)
catalogue key
2692325
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 289-322) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-12:
Golinski's first major contribution to the history of science departs from the social science "context as major cause of invention" mode and shows how the social and political environment can modify the approach taken by practicing scientists during an era. He provides a good overview of chemistry as it moved toward its modern form in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and then shows convincingly how French revolutionary philosophy and the strong political and social reaction to it in England brought about the abandonment of many of the Enlightenment motivations for encouraging chemical experimentation as an aspect of education. The more conservative, large science, approach of the Royal Institution replaced these in the rapidly growing profession of chemistry, he argues, not because of a pressure from within chemistry for greater professionalism, but because society favored the more hierarchical model of governance this professionalism exemplified. A valuable contribution to our understanding of the transformation of chemistry into its modern form. Undergraduate through professional. J. L. McKnight; College of William and Mary
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Golinski has succeeded not only in creating a superb synthesis of the history of chemistry for the period but also in making a readable and persuasive case for the usefulness of the sociology of knowledge in the study of the social history of science. He offers vividly fresh readings of the careers of Priestly, Beddoes, and Davy; and not the least interesting aspect of his story is the way he demonstrates that elements of Enlightenment cooperative and public science lived on in radical, self-improvement, and mechanics'-institute circles." William H. Brock, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
"...I can whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in the beginnings of modern chemistry or the ways in which science interacts with society." Chris Reynolds, New Scientist
"Jan Golinski has written an excellent account of 18th-century British chemistry...an elegant volume, written in a clear and cogent manner....Golinski is a first-rate historian." John G. McEvoy, American Scientist
"Jan Golinski's fine book amply demonstrates how dramatically the history of chemistry is being transformed by robust historical contextualism....tracks in various settings the move from private acts of investigation to public presentations of scientific claims. Audiences for science had to be constructed, and acceptable procedures for invoking reason and experimental demonstration had to be negotiated." Arthur Donovan, ISIS
"...the ambitious scope and precise detail enable Golinski to do what no other historian of chemistry has done: unite the major chemists of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in a wider British context, rather than presenting them merely as representatives of disparate local schools....Science as Public Culture is an important addition to the history of chemistry and of British science generally. It will be of interest to historians of science and of the Enlightenment." Lisa Rosner, Albion
"A valuable contribution to our understanding of the transformation of chemistry into its modern form." J.L. McKnight, Choice
"...fine and multifaceted book....I recommend that readers turn to this book for an engrossing exposé of chemistry and culture in the eighteenth century." Lissa Roberts, Configurations
"...fine and multifaceted book....I recommend that readers turn to this book for an engrossing expos_ of chemistry and culture in the eighteenth century." Lissa Roberts, Configurations
"...an important contribution to our understanding of how science functions as a part of society."Hugh L. Guilderson, Journal of Social History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1992
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Summaries
Main Description
Science as Public Culture joins a growing number of studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Jan Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment. Within this framework the careers of prominent chemists like William Cullen, Joseph Black, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Beddoes, and Humphry Davy are interpreted in a different light. The major discoveries of the time, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the electrical decomposition of water, are set against the background of alternative ways of constructing science as a public enterprise. The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between scientific activity and processes of social and political change in a period of great transformations in chemistry and in the conditions of public life.
Main Description
Science as Public Culture joins a growing number of recent studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Professor Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain in the period from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment. Within this framework the careers of prominent chemists such as William Cullen, Joseph Black, Joseph Priestly, Thomas Beddoes, and Humphry Davy are interpreted in a new light. The major discoveries of the time, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the electrical decomposition of water, are set against the background of alternative ways of constructing science as a public enterprise. The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relations between scientific activity and processes of social and political change in a period of great transformations in chemistry and in the conditions of public life.
Main Description
Science as Public Culture joins a growing number of recent studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Jan Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment. Within this framework the careers of prominent chemists like William Cullen, Joseph Black, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Beddoes, and Humphry Davy are interpreted in a new light. The major discoveries of the time, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the electrical decomposition of water, are set against the background of alternative ways of constructing science as a public enterprise. The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between scientific activity and processes of social and political change in a period of great transformations in chemistry and in the conditions of public life.
Description for Bookstore
This book joins a number of recent studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Jan Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment.
Description for Bookstore
This book joins a number of studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Jan Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment.
Description for Library
Science as Public Culture joins a growing number of recent studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Jan Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment. Within this framework the careers of prominent chemists like William Cullen, Joseph Black, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Beddoes, and Humphry Davy are interpreted in a new light. The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between scientific activity and processes of social and political change in a period of great transformations in chemistry and in the conditions of public life.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
List of illustrations
Introduction: science as public culture
'The study of a gentlemen': chemistry as a public science in the Scottish Enlightenment
Joseph Priestley and the English Enlightement
Airs and their uses
The coming of the chemical revolution
'Dr Beddoes's Breath': nitrous oxide and the culmination of Enlightenment medical chemistry
Humphry Davy: the public face of genius
Analysis, education and the chemical community
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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