The History of Science: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The History of Science

1st Edition

Edited by Massimo Mazzotti


2,331 pages

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Hardback: 9780415744416
pub: 2020-03-16
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Science is one of the main features of the contemporary world, and shapes our lives to an extent that has no precedents in history. Yet science as we know it today is the outcome of contingent social processes, and its global success is far from self-explanatory. How did it happen? How did science emerge in history and became the most authoritative source of knowledge available in late modern societies? This set of volumes addresses these crucial questions through a selection of exemplary publications spanning antiquity to the present day. The reader will find an effective survey of the best scholarship in this rapidly growing field, and a map of the main revolutions as well as the long-term continuities that have characterized our understanding the world and our attempts to control it. The collection brings together areas of inquiry that have become increasingly distant and specialized, such as the history of antique science or Cold War studies, within broader narratives of the making of the modern world. They also reassess the traditional assumption of the exclusively Greek and Western origins of modern science, situating relevant knowledge, practices, and artefacts within the global networks that sustained them: in ancient as well as in modern times. The gathered materials address key historiographical issues, such as the relationship between science, magic, and religion; the role of science in nation-building processes; and the relationship between science and technology.

Table of Contents

Volume 1: Ancient Science

1. David Pingree, ‘Hellenophilia vs the History of Science’, Isis, 83, 1992, 30-39.

2. Heinrich von Staden, ‘Affinities and Elisions: Helen and Hellenocentrism’, Isis, 1992, 578-595.

3. Francesca Rochberg, ‘The Historiography of Mesopotamian Science’, in Heavenly Writing: Divination, Horoscopy, and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 14-43.

4. Annette Imhausen, ‘Egyptian Mathematical Texts and Their Context’, Science in Context, 16, 2003, 367-389.

5. Alexander Jones, ‘The Adaptation of Babylonian Methods in Greek Numerical Astronomy’, Isis, 82, 1991, 440-453.

6. Geoffrey Lloyd, ‘Science in Antiquity: The Greek and Chinese Cases and Their Relevance to the Problems of Culture and Cognition’, in M. Biagioli (ed.), The Science Studies Reader (London: Routledge 1999), pp. 302-316. Originally published in D. R. Olson and N. Torrence, Modes of Thought: Explorations in Culture and Cognition (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

7. Markus Asper, ‘Making Up Progress - in Ancient Greek Science Writing’, in Writing Science. Medical and Mathematical Authorship in Ancient Greece (De Gruyter, 2013), pp. 411-430.

8. Raviel Netz, ‘Imagination and Layered Ontology in Greek Mathematics’, Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology, 2009, 17, 19-50.

9. Karin Tybjerg, ‘Hero of Alexandria's Mechanical Geometry’, Apeiron, 2004, 37, 29-56.

10. Serafina Cuomo, ‘A Roman Engineer’s Tales’, Journal of Roman Studies, 101, 2011, 143-165.

11. Emma Gee, ‘Cicero’s Astronomy’, Classical Quarterly, 51, 2001, 520-536.

12. Andrew Wilson, ‘Machines, Power and the Ancient Economy’, Journal of Roman Studies, 92, 2002, 1-32.

13. Rebecca Flemming, ‘Women, Writing, and Medicine in the Classical World’, Classical Quarterly, 2007, 57, 257-279.

14. Daryn Lehoux, ‘Observers, Objects, and the Embedded Eye; or Seeing and Knowing in Ptolemy and Galen’, Isis, 98, 2007, 447-467.

15. Geoffrey Lloyd and Nathan Sivin, ‘The Fundamental Issues of the Chinese Sciences’, in The Way and the Word: Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece (Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 188-238.

16. Maud W. Gleason, ‘Shock and Awe: The Performance Dimension of Galen’s Anatomy Demonstrations’, in C. Gill, T. Withmarsh, J. Wilkins (eds.), Galen and the World of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 85-114.


Volume 2: Medieval Science

17. Edward Grant, ‘When Did Modern Science Begin?’, The American Scholar, 66, 1997, 105–113.

18. David C. Lindberg, ‘Science and the Early Christian Church’, Isis, 74, 1983, 509-530.

19. Abdelhamid Sabra, ‘Situating Arabic Science: Locality Versus Essence, Isis, 87, 1996, 654-670.

20. David Pingree, ‘The Logic of Non-Western Science: Mathematical Discoveries in Medieval India’, Daedalus, 132, 2003, 45-54.

21. Maria Mavroudi, ‘Occult Science and Society in Byzantium: Considerations for Future Research’, in P. Magdalino and M. Mavroudi (eds), The Occult Sciences in Byzantium, (Geneva: La Pomme d’Or, 2006), pp. 39–95.

22. Robert G. Morrison,’Natural Theology and the Qur’ān’, Journal of Qur’ānic Studies, 2013, 15, 1-22.

23. F. Jamil Ragep, ‘Freeing Astronomy from Philosophy: An Aspect of Islamic Influence on Science’, Osiris, 16, 2001, 49-71.

24. Charles Burnett, ‘The Transmission of Arabic Astronomy via Antioch and Pisa in the Second Quarter of the Twelfth Century’, in J. P. Hogendijk and A. I. Sabra (eds), The Enterprise of Science in Islam: New Perspectives (MIT Press, 2003), pp. 23–51.

25. Y. Tzvi Langermann, ‘Cosmology and Cosmogony in Doresh Reshumot, a Thirteenth Century Commentary on the Torah’, Harvard Theological Review, 97, 2004, 199-227.

26. Jean-Patrice Boudet, ‘A "College of Astrology and Medicine"? Charles V, Gervais Chrétien, and the Scientific Manuscripts of Maître Gervais’s College’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 41, 2010, 99-108.

27. Leah DeVun, ‘The Jesus Hermaphrodite: Science and Sex Difference in Premodern Europe’, Journal of the History of Ideas,69, 2008, 193-218.

28. Monica H. Green, ‘Gendering the History of Women’s Healthcare’, Gender & History, 20, 2008, 487–518.

29. Joel Kaye, ‘The Impact of Money on the Development of Fourteenth-Century Scientific Thought’, Journal of Medieval History, 14, 1988, 251-270.

30. William Newman, ‘Technology and Alchemical Debate in the Late Middle Ages’, Isis, 80,1989, 423-445.

31. Laura Smoller, ‘Defining the Boundaries of the Natural in the Fifteenth-Century Brittany: The Inquest into the Miracles of St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419), Viator, 28, 1997, 333-359.



Volume 3: Early Modern Science

32. Roy Porter, ‘The Scientific Revolution: A Spoke in the Wheel?’, in R. Porter and M. Teich (eds), Revolution and History (Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 290-316.

33. Brian P. Copenhaver, ‘Did Science Have a Renaissance?’, Isis, 83, 1992, 387-407.

34. George Saliba, ‘A Sixteenth-Century Arabic Critique of Ptolemaic Astronomy: The Work of Shams al-Din al- Khafri’, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 25, 1994, 15-38.

35. Robert Morrison, ‘A Scholarly Intermediary Between the Ottoman Empire and Renaissance Europe’, Isis, 105, 2014, 32-57.

36. John Henry, ‘Animism and Empiricism: Copernican Physics and the Origins of William Gilbert’s Experimental Method’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 62, 2001, 99-119.

37. Pamela H. Smith, ‘Knowledge in Motion: Following Itineraries of Matter in the Early Modern World’, in Daniel Rogers, Bhavani Raman and Helmut Reimitz (eds), Cultures in Motion (Princeton University Press, 2014), 109-133. 

38. Mario Biagioli, ‘Galileo the Emblem Maker’, Isis, 81, 1990, 230-258.

39. Paula Findlen, ‘Possessing the Past: The Material World of the Italian Renaissance’, American Historical Review, 103, 1998, 83-114.

40. Katherine Park, ‘Dissecting the Female Body: From Women’s Secrets to the Secrets of Nature’, in Adele Seeff and Jane Donawerth (eds), Attending to Early Modern Women (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2000), pp. 29-47.

41. Peter Dear, ‘Miracles, Experiments, and the Ordinary Course of Nature’, Isis,

81, 1990, 663-683.

42. Steven Shapin, ‘The House of Experiment in Seventeenth-Century England’, Isis, 79, 1988, 373-404.

43. Lawrence M. Principe, ‘Alchemy Restored’, Isis, 102, 2011, 305-312.

44. Harold J. Cook, ‘Body and Passions: Materialism and the Early Modern State’, Osiris, 17, 2002, 25-48.

45. Domenico Bertoloni Meli, ‘Patterns of Transformation in Seventeenth-Century Mechanics’, The Monist, 93, 2010, 580-597.

46. Matthew L. Jones, ‘Descartes's Geometry as Spiritual Exercise’, Critical Inquiry, 28, 2001, 40-71.

47. Carla Nappi, ‘On Yeti and Being Just: Carving the Borders of Humanity in Early Modern China’, in A. Gross and A. Vallely (eds), Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies (Columbia University Press, 2012), pp. 55-78.


Volume 4: Science in the Age of Enlightenment

48. Jan Golinski, ‘Science in the Enlightenment, Revisited’, History of Science, 49, 2011, 49, 217-231.

49. Lissa Roberts, ‘Situating Science in Global History: Local Exchanges and Networks of Circulation’, Itinerario, 33, 2009, 9-30.

50. Simon Schaffer, ‘Enlightened Automata’, in W. Clark, J. Golinski and S. Schaffer (eds), The Sciences in Enlightened Europe’, (Chicago University Press, 1999), pp. 126-165.

51. Niccolo Guicciardini, ‘The Role of Musical Analogies in Newton’s Optical and Cosmological Work’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 74, 2013, 45-67.

52. Massimo Mazzotti, ‘Newton for Ladies: Gentility, Gender, and Radical Culture’, British Journal for the History of Science, 37, 2004, 119-146.

53. Jessica Riskin, ‘Machines in the Garden’, Republic of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts, 1, 2010, 16-43.

54. Ken Alder, ‘French Engineers become Professionals; or How Meritocracy Made Knowledge Objective’, in in W. Clark, J. Golinski and S. Schaffer (eds), The Sciences in Enlightened Europe’, (Chicago University Press, 1999), pp. 94-125.

55. Andre Wakefield, ‘The Fiscal Logic of Enlightened German Science’, in B. Schmidt and P. Smith (eds), Knowledge and Its Making in Early Modern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2008), pp. 273-287.

56. Lorraine Daston, ‘Enlightenment Calculations’, Critical Inquiry, 21, 1994, 182-202.

57. Neil Safier, ‘Global Knowledge on the Move; Itineraries, Amerindian Narratives, and Deep Histories of Science’, Isis, 101, 2010, 133-145.

58. Kapil Raj, ‘Colonial Encounters, and the Forging of New Knowledge and National Identities: Great Britain and India, 1760-1850’, in S. Irfan Habib and Dhruv Raina (eds), Social History of Science in Colonial India (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 83-101. Originally published in Osiris, 15, 2001, 119-34.

59. Daniela Bleichmar, ‘Visible Empire: Scientific Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment’, Postcolonial Studies, 12, 2009, 441–466.

60. Londa Schiebinger, ‘Medical Experimentation and Race in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World’, Social History of Medicine, 26, 2013, 364–382.

61. Mary Terrall, ‘Salon, Academy and Boudoir: Generation and Desire in Maupertuis’s Science of Life’, Isis, 87, 1996, 217-229.

62. Staffan Mueller-Wille, ‘Nature as a Marketplace: The Political Economy of Linnaean Botany’, History of Political Economy, 35, 2003, 154-172.

63. Larry Stewart, ‘Experimental Spaces and the Knowledge Economy’, History of Science, 45, 2007, 1-23.

64. William J. Ashworth, ‘The Ghost of Rostow: Science, Culture and the British Industrial Revolution’, History of Science, 46, 2008, 249-274.

Volume 5: The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences

65. Theodore M. Porter, ‘Quantification and the Accounting Ideal in Science’, Social Studies of Science, 22, 1992, 633-652.

67. Michael D. Gordin, ‘The Organic Roots of Mendeleev’s Periodic Law’, Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, 32, 2002, 263-290.

68. Peter Galison, ‘Einstein's Clocks: The Place of Time’, Critical Inquiry, 26, 2000, 355-389.

69. Matthew Stanley, ‘"An Expedition to Heal the Wounds of War": The 1919 Eclipse and Eddington as Quaker Adventurer’, Isis, 94, 2003, 57-89.

70. Richard Staley, ‘Worldviews and the Physicists’ Experience of Disciplinary Change: On the Uses of "Classical" Physics’, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 39, 2008, 298-311.

71. Cathryn Carson, ‘Objectivity and the Scientist: Heisenberg Rethinks’, Science in Context, 16, 2003, 243-269.

72. Alexei Kojevnikov, ‘Freedom, Collectivism, and Quasiparticles: Social Metaphors in Quantum Physics’, Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, 29, 1999, 295-331.

73. Jennifer S. Light, ‘When Computers Were Women’, Technology and Culture, 40, 1999, 455-483.

74. David Kaiser, ‘Stick-Figure Realism: Conventions, Reification, and the Persistence of Feynman Diagrams, 1948-1964’, Representations, 33, 2000, 49-86.

75. Jon Agar, ‘What Difference Did Computer Make’, Social Studies of Science, 36, 2006, 869-907.

76. Donald MacKenzie, ‘Negotiating Arithmetic, Constructing Proof: the Sociology of Mathematics and Information Technology’, Social Studies of Science, 23, 1993, 37-65.

77. Gabrielle Hecht, ‘Negotiating Global Nuclearities: Apartheid, Decolonization, and the Cold War in the Making of the IAEA’, Osiris, 21, 2006, 25-48.


Volume 6: The Modern Life and Earth Sciences

78. Anne Secord, ‘Artisan Botany’, in Nicholas Jardine, James A. Secord and Emma C. Spary (eds), Cultures of Natural History (Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 378-393.

79. Bernard Lightman, ‘The Creed of Science and Its Critics’, in M. Hewitt (ed.), The Victorian World (Routledge, 2012), pp. 449-465.

80. Gyan Prakash, ‘Science "Gone Native" in Colonial India’, Representations, 40, 1992, 153-178.

81. Gregory Radick, ‘Race and Language in the Darwinian Tradition (and what Darwin 's Language-Species Parallels Have to Do with It)’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 39, 2008, 359-370.

82. Angela N. H. Creager and Gregory J. Morgan, ‘After the Double Helix: Rosalin Franklin’s Research on Tobacco mosaic virus’, Isis, 99, 2008, 239-272.

83. Robert Bud, ‘Life, DNA and the Model’, British Journal for the History of Science, 46, 2013, 311-334.

84. Erika Lorraine Milam, ‘Making Males Aggressive and Females Coy: Gender Across the Animal-Human Boundary’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 37, 2012, 935-959.

85. Rebecca Lemov, ‘Towards a Data Base of Dreams: Assembling an Archive of Elusive Materials, c. 1947–61’, History Workshop Journal, 67, 2009, 44-68.

86. Peter Galison, ‘The Ontology of the Enemy: Norbert Wiener and the Cybernetic Vision’, Critical Inquiry, 21, 1994, 228-266.

87. Edward Jones-Imhotep, ‘Communicating the North: Scientific Practice and Canadian Postwar Identity’, Osiris, 24, 2009, 144-164.

88. Fa-ti Fan, ‘"Collective Monitoring, Collective Defense": Science, Earthquakes, and Politics in Communist China’, Science in Context, 25, 2012, 127-154.

89. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, ‘Challenging Knowledge: How Climate Science became a victim of the Cold War’, in R. Proctor and L. Schiebinger (eds), Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance (Stanford University Press, 2008), pp. 55-89.

90. Deborah R. Coen, ‘Imperial Climatographies from Tyrol to Turkestan’, Osiris, 26, 2011, 45-65.

91. Paul N. Edwards, ‘Meteorology as Infrastructural Globalism’, Osiris, 21, 2006, 229-250.







About the Editor

Professor Massimo Mazzotti is Director, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

About the Series

Critical Concepts in Historical Studies

The Critical Concepts in Historical Studies series spans a broad period of history, with titles ranging from The Celtic World through to Genocide, the series focusses not on one single era, but rather draws upon some of the most significant events in our history. The latest edition to this series, Slavery, examines the history of the slave trade across 4 volumes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General