Knowledge and Power shows how science has developed in different historical settings by focusing on four episodes in the history of world science from the Middle Ages to the mid-twentieth century.
The title of this book comes from a famous saying by the English Renaissance philosopher Francis Bacon: "Knowledge is Power." Through a combination of narrative and primary sources, author William Burns explores the following topics in order to provide students with an understanding of how different cultures throughout time and across the globe approached science: Science in the Medieval Mediterranean, The Jesuits and World Science ca. 1540-1773, Science in Russia and Japan ca. 1684-1860s, and Africa in the Age of Imperialism and Nationalism ca. 1860-1960.