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Five Machines That Changed the World
Ingenium is medieval English vernacular for “an ingenious contrivance.” In this fascinating book, physicist Mark Denny considers five such contrivances—the bow and arrow, the waterwheel, the counterpoise siege engine (including the trebuchet), the pendulum clock anchor escapement, and the centrifugal governor—and demonstrates how they literally changed the world. Interweaving an entertaining narrative with diagrams, equations, and drawings, Denny shares the history of each device, explains the physics behind it, and describes how it was used, how it evolved, and why it is significant in today's world. Consider the bow and arrow, which transformed warfare by allowing soldiers to attack their enemies at a safe distance. Or the waterwheel, which enabled Old World civilizations to grind grain, pump water, and power machines during a period of extreme labor shortages. Medieval warriors engaged in an early form of biological warfare by using the trebuchet to launch dead animals or plague-ridden corpses over enormous fortress walls. The pendulum clock forever enslaved modern humans to the clock by linking the accurate measure of time to the burdens of schedules, deadlines, promptness, and tardiness. And the centrifugal governor gave rise to an entire branch of modern engineering science: feedback control. Reflecting on the inventors of these ancient machines and the times in which they lived, Denny concludes with thought-provoking observations about inventors, inventiveness, genius, and innovation. Whether you dream of making a better mousetrap or launching pumpkins into the stratosphere, Ingenium will tickle your fancy.
Politics and Logistics at NASA, 1972–2004
Why, Amy E. Foster asks, did it take two decades after the Soviet Union launched its first female cosmonaut for the United States to send its first female astronaut into space? In answering this question, Foster recounts the complicated history of integrating women into NASA’s astronaut corps. NASA selected its first six female astronauts in 1978. Foster examines the political, technological, and cultural challenges that the agency had to overcome to usher in this new era in spaceflight. She shows how NASA had long developed progressive hiring policies but was limited in executing them by a national agenda to beat the Soviets to the moon, budget constraints, and cultural ideas about women’s roles in America. Lively writing and compelling stories, including personal interviews with America’s first women astronauts, propel Foster’s account. Through extensive archival research, Foster also examines NASA’s directives about sexual discrimination, the technological issues in integrating women into the corps, and the popular media’s discussion of women in space. Foster puts together a truly original study of the experiences not only of early women astronauts but also of the managers and engineers who helped launch them into space. In documenting these events, Foster offers a broader understanding of the difficulties in sexually integrating any workplace, even when the organization approaches the situation with as positive an outlook and as strong a motivation as did NASA.
An Intellectual History of Psychology, already a classic in its field, is now available in a concise new third edition. It presents psychological ideas as part of a greater web of thinking throughout history about the essentials of human nature, interwoven with ideas from philosophy, science, religion, art, literature, and politics.
Daniel N. Robinson demonstrates that from the dawn of rigorous and self-critical inquiry in ancient Greece, reflections about human nature have been inextricably linked to the cultures from which they arose, and each definable historical age has added its own character and tone to this long tradition. An Intellectual History of Psychology not only explores the most significant ideas about human nature from ancient to modern times, but also examines the broader social and scientific contexts in which these concepts were articulated and defended. Robinson treats each epoch, whether ancient Greece or Renaissance Florence or Enlightenment France, in its own terms, revealing the problems that dominated the age and engaged the energies of leading thinkers.
Robinson also explores the abiding tension between humanistic and scientific perspectives, assessing the most convincing positions on each side of the debate. Invaluable as a text for students and as a stimulating and insightful overview for scholars and practicing psychologists, this volume can be read either as a history of psychology in both its philosophical and aspiring scientific periods or as a concise history of Western philosophy’s concepts of human nature.
From Spiritism and Occultism to Psychical Research and Metapsychics in France, 1853–1931
Séances were wildly popular in France between 1850 and 1930, when members of the general public and scholars alike turned to the wondrous as a means of understanding and explaining the world. Sofie Lachapelle explores how five distinct groups attempted to use and legitimize séances: spiritists, who tried to create a new “science” concerned with the spiritual realm and the afterlife; occultists, who hoped to connect ancient revelations with contemporary science; physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists, who developed a pathology of supernatural experiences; psychical researchers, who drew on the unexplained experiences of the public to create a new field of research; and metapsychists, who attempted to develop a new science of yet-to-be understood natural forces. Lachapelle examines the practices, aims, and level of success of these five disciplines, paying special attention to how they interacted with each other and with the world of mainstream science. Their practitioners regarded mystical phenomena worthy of serious study; most devotees—with notable exceptions of physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists—also meant to challenge conventional science in general and French science in particular. Through these stories, Lachapelle illuminates the lively relationship between science and the supernatural in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France and relates why this relationship ultimately led to the marginalization of psychical research and metapsychics. An enlightening and entertaining narrative that includes colorful people like "Allan Kardec"—a pseudonymous former mathematics teacher from Lyon who wrote successful works on the science of the séance and what happened after death—Investigating the Supernatural reveals the rich and vibrant diversity of unorthodox beliefs and practices that existed at the borders of the French scientific culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
From "Godless Colleges" to the Celtic Tiger
Science and Roman Catholicism have both acted as powerful agents of change in Ireland and elsewhere. But the interaction between Catholicism and science in Ireland has received very little attention from historians to date. The purpose of this book, therefore, is to address this longstanding deficiency in Irish historical literature. There is a strong international dimension to this study. The period of interest is from the Famine to the “Celtic Tiger.”The subject matter encompasses a diverse range of topics. Issues indigenous to Ireland include recurring controversies about university education, the relative paucity of Catholic scientists in nineteenth-century Ireland, the perception of science as a trait of a Protestant and colonial mindset, anti-Catholicism and science, the economic and political conditions in the Irish Free State which worked against the growth of science in Ireland, and the impact of science and technology on Irish Catholicism in recent decades. These subjects are interwoven with topics which extend far beyond Irish interest - such as evolutionary debates, the question of whether or not Catholicism was compatible with science, anti-modernism in the Catholic Church, Vatican pronouncements on science, the theological implications of extra-terrestrial life and of Big Bang cosmology, whether human freewill is real or not, and the importance of science in arguments about the existence of God.
Selected Writings on Science, Race, and Religion
John Bachman (1790–1874) was an internationally renowned naturalist and a prominent Lutheran minister. This is the first collection of his writings, containing selections from his three major books, his letters, and his articles on plants and animals, education, religion, agriculture, and the human species.
Bachman was the leading authority on North American mammals. He was responsible for the descriptions of the 147 mammal species included in Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, a massive work produced in collaboration with John James Audubon. Bachman relied entirely on scientific evidence in his work and was exceptional among his fellow naturalists for studying the whole of natural history.
Bachman also relied on scientific evidence in his Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race. He showed that human beings constitute a single species that developed as varieties equivalent to the varieties of domesticated animals. In this work, perhaps his most significant accomplishment, Bachman stood nearly alone in challenging the polygenetic views of Louis Agassiz and others that white and black people descended from different progenitors.Bachman was also an important figure in the establishment of Lutheranism in the Southeast. He wrote the first American monograph on the doctrines of Martin Luther and the history of the Reformation. Bachman served for fifty-six years as minister of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and was one of the founders of Newberry College.
New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences
Knowing Global Environments brings together nine leading scholars whose work spans a variety of environmental and field sciences, including archaeology, agriculture, botany, climatology, ecology, evolutionary biology, oceanography, ornithology, and tidology. Collectively their essays explore the history of the field sciences, through the lens of place, practice, and the production of scientific knowledge, with a wide-ranging perspective extending outwards from the local to regional, national, imperial, and global scales.
An Introduction to Post-Disaster Engineering and Ethics
The aftermath of September 11, 2001, brought the subject of engineering-failure forensics to public attention as had no previous catastrophe. In keeping with the engineering profession's long tradition of building a positive future out of disasters, Lessons amid the Rubble uses the collapse of the World Trade Center towers to explore the nature and future of engineering education in the United States. Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher draws on historical and current practice in engineering design, construction, and curricula to discuss how engineers should conceive, organize, and execute a search for the reasons behind the failure of man-made structures. Her survey traces the analytical journey engineers take after a disaster and discusses the technical, social, and moral implications of their work. After providing an overview of the investigations into the collapse of the Twin Towers, Pfatteicher explores six related events to reveal deceptively simple lessons about the engineering enterprise, each of which embodies an ethical dilemma at the heart of the profession. In tying these themes together, Pfatteicher highlights issues of professionalism and professional identity infused in engineering education and encourages an explicit, direct conversation about their meaning. Sophisticated and engagingly written, this volume combines history, engineering, ethics, and philosophy to provoke a deep discussion about the symbolic meaning of buildings and other structures and the nature of engineering.
The Stories and Their Meanings
The issues constituting the history of medicine are consequential: how societies organize health care, how individuals or states relate to sickness, how we understand our own identity and agency as sufferers or healers. In Locating Medical History: The Stories and Their Meanings, Frank Huisman, John Harley Warner, and other eminent historians explore and reflect on a field that accommodates a remarkable diversity of practitioners and approaches. At a time when medical history is facing profound choices about its future, these scholars explore the discipline in the distant and recent past in order to rethink its missions and methods today. They discuss such issues as the periodic estrangement of medical history from medicine, the influence of Foucault on the writing of medical history, and the shifts from social to cultural history and back again. Chapters explore the early history of the field, its transformations since the 1970s, and its prospects for the future. With diverse constituencies, a multiplicity of approaches, styles, and aims is both expected and desired. This volume locates medical history within itself and within larger historiographic trends, to provide a springboard for discussions about what the history of medicine should be, and what aims it should serve. Contributors: Olga Amsterdamska, University of Amsterdam; Warwick Anderson, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Allan M. Brandt, Harvard Medical School; Theodore M. Brown, University of Rochester; Roger Cooter, University College London; Martin Dinges, Institut f