But notice that to make this sort of judgement, one needs to have a reasonably clear sense of where the trajectory of science is heading – at least clear enough to distinguish what has been contingent and necessary to its development. While today’s readers may regard this as an impossibly high epistemic standard, if it is not met, does the ‘history of science’ retain any proper meaning at all? To be sure, it is possible to do a history of the word ‘science’ and its various cognates. But given the word’s clear normative import, that project would amount to tracking the descendants of Plato’s interest in knowledge for statecraft (Fuller 1988: chap. 7). It would thus follow the history of politics a bit more closely than most professional scientists and historians of science would find comfortable, since much of what both groups want to talk about as ‘science’ originated in the margins of power and only fitfully made their way to the centres of epistemic authority. Of course, much of this discussion is obviated, as Erickson rightly points out, because at least professional historians have come to accept that social context is integral to understanding the history of science. But that now widely agreed practise threatens to turn the ‘history of science’ into a history of everything as seen through science, the comic potential of which Bill Bryson’s (2004) best-selling book has already realized.
The fifth article - by Jane Insley - continues this focus on object lessons as a pedagogical strategy in the teaching of science. While many historians find biography or life histories a useful way of approaching research in the history of education, 6 Jane Insley traces instead the genealogy of a particular set of 3D models of mineralogical crystals originally intended as pedagogical tools for teaching the principles of crystallography. Drawing on actor-network theory, she considers the set of 3D models made of pasteboard (and currently held in the collection of the National Museums Scotland) as an ‘object - actor’ capable of influencing developments in crystallography and mineralogy pedagogy in late nineteenth-century Britain. As well as the use of such models in formal educational contexts, the article also considers the significant ‘popular’ role played by inexpensive card models in extending basic instruction in the principles of crystallography to a much wider audience.
Teaching scientific literature in English is not generally an easy task in our schools. Aver- age students usually find it boring, even useless; an analysis of the problem, supported by years of experience in the field of teaching, led to the conclusion that one of the main obstacles to a growing interest towards the study of science was a dramatic lack of knowledge of the proper semantic codes. Learning science through the history of science, to understand the logical and historical relationship between causes and premises before than technical results, was the first aim of the project and reading documents in their original language to appreciate their content and the authors’ aim at the best seemed the right or one of the possible ways to a solution. The search and the use of fonts in order to go back to the fundamentals of science could be attained trough the study of the history and getting, simultaneously, the skills to decode documents while appreciating the authentic meanings through their original connotations. During this experience the pedagogical role of English as a transversal language, according to C.L.I.L. approach (Content and Language Integrated Learning) has been underlined. It can evidently contribute to overturn the split up of cultural environments in sectors and guarantee the circularity of different languages. Even burning in such a context, is to strengthen students’ motivation and involvement through a teaching-learning process according to patterns. For instance:
What was needed, primarily, to adequately understand the nature of science was a new history of science as a discipline – a new history of science prepared, like history of art, to perceive some changes as radical changes (like changes in style). Happily, noted Kuhn, although a minority, there were already historians practicing this new history of science. These new historians of science, among whom Kuhn recognizes the Russian Alexandre Koyré, “rather than seeking the permanent contributions of an older science to our present vantage” as practitioners of traditional history mistakenly do “attempt to display the historical integrity of that science in its own time” (Kuhn 1970, p. 3). Thus the objective of Kuhn´s project is to create “a sketch of the quite different concept of science that can emerge from the historical record of the research activity itself”, or delineate a new image of science by making some of the implications of this new history of science explicit (Kuhn 1970, pp. 1 and 3).
on my side, focusing on mathematics, physics and its relationship, a larger base of analysis should be adopted. it should include not only disciplinary matters but also interdisciplinary issues among history, historical epistemology, logics and foundations of physical and mathematical sciences. a multidisciplinary teaching based on large themes–problems toward a scientific education based on different formulations of the same theory would be appreciated. some of the following case–studies may be discussed reading a textbook related with history of science: e.g., lack of relationship physics–logics, space and time in mechanics, mechanics and thermodynamics, ad absurdum proofs, non–euclidean geometries and the space in physics, planetary model and quantum mechanics, infinite–infinitesimal and measures in laboratory, heat–temperature–friction, and reversibility phenomena, concept of set and field, continuum– discrete models in mechanics and theory of elasticity of the 19 th , hypothesis ad hoc in the
esses only. In this regard, scientific reasoning is not a part of our common knowledge, although we often intuitively compare events, tables etc. Instead, is we consider reasoning such as asso- ciations of ideas within resonance dynamics, some concepts are far from the scientific ones and need to put in resonance with them on dialectic between of scientific and everyday concepts. The result will be pedagogy according to which science education essentially means setting and solving problems and teaching means re–evaluating the between theory and experience and between history and foundations. They could come together with well–structured and practical interdisciplinary work by means of the history of science. The interdisciplinary is in philoso- phy, epistemology, logic and the foundations of physical and mathematical sciences At school, science education need a strong effort for an interdisciplinary approach to teach and learn the relationship physics–mathematics as a discipline of study. The education needs to revaluate scientific reasoning as an integral part of human (humanistic and scientific mixed) culture that could build up an autonomous scientific cultural trend in schools. It would be useful to pay particular attention to the elaboration of the teaching–learning process and modelling 12 based
interest in the history of science is said to have been kindled by attending William Ramsay’s lectures in 1893 and later by reading Benjamin Marten’s New Theory of Consumptions (London, 1720). In 1910 he married Dorothea Waley Cohen (1882–1964), who was descended from another established Anglo-Jewish family. Their shared interest in the history of science and medicine doubtless encouraged him to change his career. This move was institutionalized in 1914 when Sir William Osler brought him back to Oxford by offering him a studentship in pathology with the understanding that Singer would be primarily involved in history and would be responsible for setting up ‘ a departmental library for the study of science in its historical aspects ’."% Not only did Singer set up the History of Science Room in the Radcliffe Camera but he also donated many books from his own library and gave a further £100 per annum for five years towards the purchase of books, some of which appears to have been used for other purposes. Thus, by paying dearly for his privileges at the Radcliffe Camera, Singer became a major benefactor to the history of science and medicine at Oxford. However, with the death of Osler in 1919 and the retirement of Falconer Madan, Bodley’s Librarian, in the same year, Singer lost his main patrons and Madan’s successor appears to have been opposed to the Science Room. "& Although the Natural Science Board appointed Singer to a University lectureship in the history of the biological sciences in 1920, he held this post for two years only and then returned to London where he was appointed to a newly instituted lectureship in the history of medicine at University College. He remained at University College until his retirement in 1942, having been promoted to a professorship in 1930."'
Given the importance of translation in making sense of science in the historical context, it is surprising that historians of science, as Elshakry also points out, have largely ignored the problem of translation (Elshakry, 2008). Even when engaging with translation, they have not, in general, taken into account the theoretical insights from the discipline of translation studies. A primary reason for this indifference is the commonly-held belief that translation is a passive activity. Philosophy and translation studies have for long disputed this belief since a translated text is a new text and the space of meanings created by a translated text is different from that of the original text (A. Benjamin, 1989; L. Venuti, 1998). Elshakry cites the example of Shumayyil’s translation (from yet another translation) to indicate that the ‘languages between which scientific translation takes place may themselves be shifting and, indeed, altered by the process of translation itself’(Elshakry,2008). In early Arabic translation of scientific terms, there was a process of ‘domesticating’ foreign terms. Transliteration of terms often indicates a difficulty in finding appropriate terms in a translated language. Such acts of transliteration, as Elshakry points out, was also politically sensitive since there was resistance to adding new foreign words to a language since, among other things, ‘excessive borrowing’ was seen ‘as a sign of political subservience’(ibid). Thus, in the early period of the 20 th century, there
that Vestiges marked a significant moment in the creation of modern science, when the status of the fledgling scientists was being jeopardised by an outsider who had directed his alternative science, over their heads, to a mass public. The story is now, in outline at least, beginning to become familiar. With the development of a mass readership in the first half of the nineteenth century, promoted both by the increased literacy born of expanding elementary education, and by the cheaper books made possible through the mechanisation of printing, the newly- emerging breed of specialist scientists found the task of policing their intellectual territory against the vocal attacks of opponents outside the scientific establishment increasingly difficult. Faced not only with the atheist firebrand, Richard Carlile, calling upon them in rabble-rousing street literature 'to stand forward and vindicate the truth [viz., atheist materialism] from the foul grasp and persecution of religion', but also with the reformist Edinburgh lawyer, George Combe, naturalising and scientising social reform and progress at 1s. 6d. a time in his Constitution of man, the scientific elite sought ways of defending their carefully-crafted knowledge from the pundits of both the 'blasphemous and seditious press' and the mass- circulation press more generally. Thus, as J. B. Morrell and Arnold Thackray have shown, the British Association for the Advancement of Science was born, in part, out of a desire to enforce the science of the gentlemanly elite among a far wider audience. In my own work on the Bridgewater Treatises, I have sought to show that both the gentlemanly authors, and the educationalists who appropriated their works, were interested in using such works—written for an audience far wider than the scientific elite—to police their own carefully-constructed versions of 'safe' science. In this context, the radically progressivist science of Vestiges, glaringly at odds with the ideology and mores of the gentlemen of science, and very successfully directed at a mass readership, was bound to raise hackles. And, as both Yeo and John Brooke have shown, the nascent class of scientists devoted their energies to finding effective strategies that would enable them to neutralise the threat to their authority.
“I think the fundamental science would be the same, no matter who we are. I feel like science would always be the same. I don’t see it in a different context or different rules.” In her reflective writing assignment student FN explained her understanding of a Kuhn paradigm shift: “The idea that scientists need to have a paradigm to discover things seems off. Shouldn’t it be possible for someone to just decide to explore even though this is not the norm something that piques their curiosity and still come to the same conclusion as someone who would have encountered a problem to reach that conclusion.”It seems that she critically evaluated Kuhn’s point of view and challenged the idea of a paradigm shift. However, on the last day of the course, in responding to the question of how scientific theories evolve, she changed her attitude about the NOS and explained that science changes in the manner of a paradigm shift as described by Kuhn: “scientific theories have to go through that phase of resistance pretty much like in Darwin and Galileo. … you have to have tribulations kind of like a paradigm shift. There’s a crisis and you have those big debates going on. So, it’s like a Cir- cle event that happens I feel like it’s a pattern but the way it plays out won’t nec- essarily be the same in both. I feel like with Galileo he was in court but it’s pretty much the same thing that happened with Darwin with just like scientist debat- ing.” She also showed an impressive change in her conception of science. The pre-interview transcript showed that she thought for science she should rely on her teachers and books and what is presented to her. The post-interview showed that she didn’t think science is straightforward anymore: “Science is not just like: okay! Here is a question and I solved it this is the answer that I want.” she also stated that:
But more to the point, where does all this leave the new enterprise we are initiating in Pittsburgh this weekend? Is there room for yet another permutation of the busy combination of H, P, and S? The aim of the new society is to promote work that blends history and philosophy of science in a single unified inquiry. The motif of integration could easily be misunderstood if it were taken to propose that history of science and philosophy of science should lose their separate identities as distinct ways of approach to the sciences, each with its own methods and concerns. This is clearly out of the question for a whole variety of reasons. No, the aim of our joint venture is much more modest. It is simply to secure a place for work that does further the interests of both sides simultaneously, without for a moment suggesting that this is the only model to be followed.
Big cases are particularly prone to the underdetermination problem of HPS (see the introduction to this volume by Sauer and Scholl): the same historical episode is usually told again and again in different philosophical terms, which raises concerns that philosophical concepts hinder rather than help our understanding of science. Most influential scientists have had multiple careers in the literature: as good in- ductivists, as resourceful hypothetico-deductivists, as epistemically cautious Poppe- rian falsificationists, perhaps as methodological anarchists, and finally as contingent products of mostly social forces. Not all of these accounts can be true, but deciding among them is hindered by the fact that the key questions often concern cognitive processes of past scientists – to which we have little access. The best defense against the mindless retelling of big cases according to prevailing philosophical fashion is not, however, to retreat to some form of historical positivism, but to take the cyclical model of HPS seriously: We must consider a wide range of cases from the history of science, use them to improve our conceptual tools, and deploy these tools to un- derstand episodes at different levels of importance. We will have more to say about how cases are used to evaluate and refine concepts in section 5.
different theorists might be resolved at a political rather than conceptual level. What we need then is not an integrated history and philosophy of science but a political philosophy of science. This leads me to a broader point about the nature of the history of science today. As this collection of articles demonstrates, the history of science as a discipline developed in response to Cold War politics. From an emphasis on socialist planning to a concern with postcolonial science, the clash between communism and capitalism structured how historians approached the sciences. Within this context, much of the history of science worked as a form of critique against the scientific establishment. With the threat of nuclear war, the growth of the military-industrial complex, and the immense power invested in scientists, engineers and doctors, it is easy to understand why. To an extent, this continued in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall. If anything, the 1990s and early 2000s produced an even greater concentration in the power of science. Pharmaceuticals, mobile phones, and the internet all penetrated deeper and deeper into everyday life. Once again, historians of science, particularly feminist and postcolonial scholars, used history as a form of critique. Yet at the same time, many found the new cultural approach to society, filled with competing identity and truth claims, profoundly troubling. The ‘science wars’ and ‘culture wars’ of the 1990s highlight this best. They also reveal the ways in which neoliberalism permeated the historiography. For better or worse, everything was up for grabs in the marketplace: identity, culture, even truth itself. 124
approaches to intellectual history that have been advanced by two very different schol- ars: Mark Bevir and Dominick LaCapra. Informed by post-analytic philosophy – and hence no easy read for historians unfamiliar with the philosophical discipline – Bevir's Logic of the History of Ideas, published in 1999, provides a normative second-order study of intellectual history and the human sciences in general, exploring key concepts of the field such as tradition, meaning and belief. As Bevir explained in one of the numer- ous debates on his book, the Logic may also be read as an attempt to put the approach of the Cambridge School on a surer philosophical footing. 39 Taking his cue from the philosophical strands of "holism", "postfoundationalism" and "folk psychology", and drawing on philosophies of mind, language and action as developed by Wittgenstein, Quine and Davidson, Bevir maintains that ideas cannot have any innate meanings but possess meaning only in relation to agents, which alone are able to provide the "back- ground theories" that lend meaning to ideas. Therefore, ideas only exist as beliefs, which historians are to ascribe to people while being governed by logical presump- tions in favour of sincere, conscious and rational beliefs – "rational" being defined as "consistent". These beliefs are, moreover, part of wider "webs of belief" which arise against the background of intellectual and social traditions. "Webs of belief" is one of the Logic's pivotal terms, one which Bevir borrows from Quine and Ullian's classic in- troduction to the study of rational belief, 40 and which is, in fact, at the heart of Bevir's
understandings of the history of SF. However, as we gathered and began to visualize data from the collection, we started to think through the differing perspectives of the diverse audiences the tool might reach and we began to ask more clearly articulated questions. Some questions directly responded to the early visualization, such as: 1) What are the relationships or points of contrast between two particular symbols? or 2) How could we better represent the interaction between Gibson’s classifications and those of Bleiler through the visualization?. Such questions led to changes to the visualization itself through both our radial tree diagram and our tag cloud. Other questions were suggested by our interactions with the visualization as we attempted to decipher the Gibson symbols. These include, for example: 1) Are certain Gibson symbols more commonly associated with certain source magazines and/or with certain authors and/or time periods? 2) Do Gibson’s symbols and/or Bleiler’s motifs suggest specific hybrid or sub-genres of SF that are specific to particular decades and/or periodicals? 3) Is there a difference between the kinds of topics treated by male or female writers? Such questions emerged from the ease with which the visualization provides simultaneous information on multiple variables and led us to incorporate more targeted filters mentioned above. As our questions narrow, we are also considering whether we should maintain a tool that tries to address both public and academic
As one traces back through the history of a current theory, one finds various alternatives. This historical research opens up a space of theoretical possibilities that were earlier rejected, or not considered, but in the light of current problems, may seem interesting and suggestive. Stephen J. Gould often mines the history of science in search of alternatives to neo-Darwinism, for example. His claims about ‘the hardening of the Neo-darwinian synthesis’ are claims that a variety of theoretical options available for exploration in the early work of people like Sewall Wright and George G. Simpson were simply not pursued. Why weren’t they? Should they have been? Would those options help us with some of the foundational problems in evolutionary biology today? These are historical questions with philosophical pay-offs.