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Science as Public Culture

Science as Public Culture
Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760–1820

£22.99

  • Date Published: September 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521659529

£ 22.99
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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Provides a new interpretation of the careers of prominent chemists of the period
    • Makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between scientific activity and the processes of social and political change
    • Sets the major discoveries of the time in the context of the European Enlightenment
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521659529
    • length: 358 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    List of illustrations
    1. Introduction: science as public culture
    2. 'The study of a gentlemen': chemistry as a public science in the Scottish Enlightenment
    3. Joseph Priestley and the English Enlightement
    4. Airs and their uses
    5. The coming of the chemical revolution
    6. 'Dr Beddoes's Breath': nitrous oxide and the culmination of Enlightenment medical chemistry
    7. Humphry Davy: the public face of genius
    8. Analysis, education and the chemical community
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Jan Golinski, University of New Hampshire

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