Abstract

This article presents an analysis of the satire of science contained in Dickens’s second and third Mudfog Papers. In these sketches, Dickens satirizes science by targeting the distance that is beginning to materialize between science and culture at large, science enthusiasts’ alleged lack of mental prowess, and the institutionalization of science, especially with regard to the science’s exaggerated sense of self-importance and its craving of governmental funding and legal intervention in support of science. Dickens pillories the institutionalization of science even as he champions the professionalization of literature and the arts; this apparent paradox is explored. Additionally, the incipient interdisciplinary conversation between artists and science enthusiasts that is contained in The Mudfog Papers is considered. Finally, the importance of the satire of science as an example of rhetorical diversity necessary to achieve scientific literacy within the context of science’s nascent institutionalization is discussed, as is the potential of the satire of science to help hold science accountable.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6520
Print ISSN
1063-1801
Pages
pp. 197-227
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-14
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.