Science in Print
Essays on the History of Science and the Culture of Print
Publication Year: 2012
Ever since the threads of seventeenth-century natural philosophy began to coalesce into an understanding of the natural world, printed artifacts such as laboratory notebooks, research journals, college textbooks, and popular paperbacks have been instrumental to the development of what we think of today as “science.” But just as the history of science involves more than recording discoveries, so too does the study of print culture extend beyond the mere cataloguing of books. In both disciplines, researchers attempt to comprehend how social structures of power, reputation, and meaning permeate both the written record and the intellectual scaffolding through which scientific debate takes place.
Science in Print brings together scholars from the fields of print culture, environmental history, science and technology studies, medical history, and library and information studies. This ambitious volume paints a rich picture of those tools and techniques of printing, publishing, and reading that shaped the ideas and practices that grew into modern science, from the days of the Royal Society of London in the late 1600s to the beginning of the modern U.S. environmental movement in the early 1960s.
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
Title Page, Copyright
What a stupid book!” As the children’s author Annie Carey pointed out in The History of a Book of 1874, such a dismissal was only possible in an era in which printed materials were common enough for some to be dismissed as trash. Books, journals, preprints, catalogues...
As the crucial means of recording, distributing, and consuming knowledge for centuries, the practices and products of print culture— books and journals, pamphlets and posters, newspapers and magazines— have been essential to virtually every human endeavor...
Part 1: Natural Philosophy and Mathematics in Print
Creating Standards of Accuracy: Faithorne’s The Art of Graveing and the Royal Society
This essay argues that standards of accuracy developed over the course of the seventeenth century and came to govern the printed representation of the natural world as a consequence of being deployed in the production of images used for natural history and natural philosophy texts; furthermore, it shows how such standards were developed through...
“Perspicuity and Neatness of Expression”: Algebra Textbooks in the Early American Republic
Booksellers in the early American republic offered their clientele a mix of mathematical books: some British works, both old and new, French titles available by special order, and a small but growing number of American works.1 Their wares included many textbooks, published with the hope of tapping into a growing market in grammar...
Part 2: The Circulation of Scientific Knowledge in Print
Voyaging and the Scientific Expedition Report, 1800–1940
From June to November 1889, the German steamer National traversed some sixteen thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean in a gigantic figure eight, carrying along with its sailing crew a team of six scientists and an artist (see figure 9). Their object was to collect samples...
Crossing Borders:The Smithsonian Institution and Nineteenth-Century Diffusion of Scientific Information between the United States and Canada
In late spring 1876, a letter written by Roderick MacFarlane, an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company stationed in Fort Chipewyan, Athabasca District (now northern Alberta), reached Spencer Baird, assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution...
Writing Medicine: George M. Gould and Medical Print Culture in Progressive America
Just when the twentieth century was dawning, in December 1899, an American medical editor told his audience about “the shocking abuses that have sprung up in the realm of medical journalism.” By recounting “evil tendencies” of journals owned by proprietary medicine manufacturers and self- promoting medical men, he maintained...
Part 3: Science Education and Health Activism in Print
Evolution in Children’s Science Books, 1882–1922
In 1922, Hendrik Van Loon received the first Newbery Medal, for his book The Story of Mankind, a tour of humankind through the ages, beginning with the evolution of human beings. The Children’s Librarian’s Section of the American Library Association created the Newbery Medal to be given to the best book published in the United...
“Through Books to Nature”: Texts and Objects in Nature Study Curricula
Educators in the early twentieth century faced the dilemma of how to build the skills of teachers so that they could teach directly from nature in a new progressive pedagogy emerging in the late nineteenth century known as nature study. How should printed materials...
Basic Seven, Basic Four, Mary Mutton, and a Pyramid: The Ideology of Meat in Print Culture
American love of meat has been and continues to be renowned. Nutritionists could and did claim that so much meat was unhealthful or unnecessary and advised that families eat less meat...
What Two Books Can (and Cannot) Do: Stewart Udall’s The Quiet Crisis and Its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition
Priscilla Coit Murphy, in What a Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring, writes: “What a book does... can tell us what we use books for, giving us the opportunity to consider ...whether any other medium would perform the same function or fill the same...
Note on Sources
Further Reading, Back Cover