SCIENCE IN HISTORY
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 November 2018
What is the history of science? How has it changed over the course of the twentieth century? And what does the future hold for the discipline? This ‘Retrospect’ provides an introduction to the historiography of science as it developed in the Anglophone world. It begins with the foundation of the Cambridge History of Science Committee in the 1940s and ends with the growth of cultural history in the 2000s. At the broadest level, it emphasizes the need to consider the close relationship between history and the history of science. All too often the historiography of science is treated separately from history at large. But as this essay shows, these seemingly distinct fields often developed in relation to one another. This essay also reveals the ways in which Cold War politics shaped the history of science as a discipline. It then concludes by considering the future, suggesting that the history of science and the history of political thought would benefit from greater engagement with one another.
- Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018
I would like to thank Michael Bycroft, Nick Jardine, Geoffrey Lloyd, Thomas Simpson, Claudia Stein as well as an anonymous referee who all provided invaluable comments on earlier drafts of this article.
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116 Sujit Sivasundaram (co-editor), James A. Secord (editorial board), and Emma Spary (editorial board).
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130 A number of historians of political thought and historians of science are crossing this divide, often combining training in both disciplines or working collaboratively. Recent exemplars include Bashford, Alison and Chaplin, Joyce, The New Worlds of Thomas Robert Malthus: rereading the Principle of Population (Princeton, NJ, 2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Jonsson, Fredrik Albritton, ‘Rival ecologies of global commerce: Adam Smith and the natural historians’, American Historical Review, 115 (2010), pp. 1342–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Forrester, Katrina and Smith, Sophie, eds., Nature, action and the future: political thought and the environment (Cambridge, 2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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134 Shapin and Schaffer, ‘Up for air’, pp. xxxiv–xxxvii.
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136 Recent work at the intersection of environmental history and political philosophy is exemplary in this respect, see Katrina Forrester and Sophie Smith, ‘History, theory and the environment’, in Forrester and Smith, eds., Nature, action and the future.