Natural World  /  Environmental & Earth Sciences
American Dinosaur Abroad Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9780822945574
Pub Date: 30 Apr 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
In early July 1899, an excavation team of paleontologists sponsored by Andrew Carnegie discovered the fossil remains in Wyoming of what was then the longest and largest dinosaur on record. Named after its benefactor, the Diplodocus carnegii—or Dippy, as it’s known today—was shipped to Pittsburgh and later mounted and unveiled at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 1907. Carnegie’s pursuit of dinosaurs in the American West and the ensuing dinomania of the late nineteenth century coincided with his broader political ambitions to establish a lasting world peace and avoid further international conflict. An ardent philanthropist and patriot, Carnegie gifted his first plaster cast of Dippy to the British Museum at the behest of King Edward VII in 1902, an impulsive diplomatic gesture that would result in the donation of at least seven reproductions to museums across Europe and Latin America over the next decade, in England, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Russia, Argentina, and Spain. In this largely untold history, Ilja Nieuwland explores the influence of Andrew Carnegie’s prized skeleton on European culture through the dissemination, reception, and agency of his plaster casts, revealing much about the social, political, cultural, and scientific context of the early twentieth century.

Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 6, The

The Correspondence, November 1856-February 1859
Format: Hardback
Pages: 576
ISBN: 9780822945338
Pub Date: 30 Apr 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: The Correspondence of John Tyndall
This sixth volume of Tyndall's correspondence contains 302 letters covering a period of twenty-eight months (1856-1859). It begins shortly after Tyndall returned from his first glacier research in the Alps and follows him as he experimented and lectured on physics in central London at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI), visited friends, joined London’s fashionable social circles, published and reviewed scientific articles, corresponded with fellow men of science on a wide range of topics, and developed his theories about the structure and movement of glaciers. Importantly, volume 6 includes Tyndall’s major expeditions to the Alps and also documents some of his most dangerous mountaineering exploits. In letters to his closest friends, Tyndall captured the excitement and achievement of his expeditions. By the end of the period, his is increasingly respected as a scientist in the wider academic world.
Mechanism Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9780822945475
Pub Date: 02 Apr 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The mechanical philosophy first emerged as a leading player on the intellectual scene in the early modern period—seeking to explain all natural phenomena through the physics of matter and motion—and the term mechanism was coined. Over time, natural phenomena came to be understood through machine analogies and explanations and the very word mechanism, a suggestive and ambiguous expression, took on a host of different meanings. Emphasizing the important role of key ancient and early modern protagonists, from Galen to Robert Boyle, this book offers a historical investigation of the term mechanism from the late Renaissance to the end of the seventeenth century, at a time when it was used rather frequently in complex debates about the nature of the notion of the soul. In this rich and detailed study, Domenico Bertoloni Melifocuses on strategies for discussing the notion of mechanism in historically sensitive ways; the relation between mechanism, visual representation, and anatomy; the usage and meaning of the term in early modern times; and Marcello Malpighi and the problems of fecundation and generation, among the most challenging topics to investigate from a mechanistic standpoint.
Reinventing Sustainability Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781785709920
Pub Date: 31 Jan 2019
Imprint: Oxbow Books
There have been many books written about what we can learn from the failures of the past, but I want to take a more optimistic view, focussing on what we have to learn from past successes.   This book is about sustainable agriculture and architecture in the past, and the engineering works that supported them, but it also looks to the future. Ancient technologies are what engineers define as ‘intermediate’, which means that they are often simple, low in cost and they depend on local materials. Significantly, they don’t require fossil fuels. There is a lot that we in the West can learn from the past and from developing countries where people still practice traditional agriculture, and there is now broad agreement among many governments, non-government organisations, engineers and agronomists, as well as the United Nations, that intermediate technologies are often the most appropriate way forward in developing countries. The New Green Revolution is looking to traditional knowledge to solve problems of decreasing yields and environmental impoverishment, rather than to technology that is dependent on the diminishing resource of fossil fuels.   This subject is controversial and I have been accused of suggesting ‘pie in the sky’ ideas, but the re-introductions I’m suggesting are already being carried out in countries all over the world. Water harvesting and other dryland systems are being re-introduced in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Oman. Other early technologies are being put back to work in Peru, Bolivia, India, Bangladesh, Niger, Burkina Faso and many more. I would like to raise awareness of the fact that we already have the technology to make sweeping improvements to the way that we grow food and manage the environment; we could be producing more food per hectare, and we could be doing it more sustainably. I introduce many case studies of successful reintroductions that demonstrate how this can be done. These studies demonstrate that sustainable agriculture is often not only cheaper than industrialised agriculture, but it is also more productive per hectare. As the climate changes, it is imperative that we come up with new ways of managing our environment. Deserts are spreading, wetlands will expand as the sea level rises, and we need to find ways to cope with a growing population. Climate change is increasing the severity of storms, and I discuss the varieties of vernacular architecture that are better suited to withstanding storms and other extreme conditions. I am not advocating a wholesale return to past technologies, nor am I suggesting the adoption of early technology in place of modern engineering and agriculture. What I am suggesting is that we combine some aspects of early technology with new systems and inventions such as solar energy, to create a healthier, more sustainable and environmentally richer planet.
Logodaedalus Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780822945413
Pub Date: 15 Jan 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Before Romantic genius, there was ingenuity. Early modern ingenuity defined every person—not just exceptional individuals—as having their own attributes and talents, stemming from an “inborn nature” that included many qualities, not just intelligence. Through ingenuity and its family of related terms, early moderns sought to understand and appreciate differences between peoples, places, and things in an attempt to classify their ingenuities and assign professions that were best suited to one’s abilities. Logodaedalus, a prehistory of genius, explores the various ways this language of ingenuity was defined, used, and manipulated between 1470 and 1750. By analyzing printed dictionaries and other lexical works across a range of languages—Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, English, German, and Dutch—the authors reveal the ways in which significant words produced meaning in history and found expression in natural philosophy, medicine, natural history, mathematics, mechanics, poetics, and artistic theory.
Virtues of Renewal Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 246
ISBN: 9780813176406
Pub Date: 14 Dec 2018
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Culture of the Land
For over fifty years, Wendell Berry has argued that our most pressing ecological and cultural need is a renewed formal intelligence -- a mode of thinking and acting that fosters the health of the earth and its beings. Yet the present industrial economy prioritizes a technical, self-centered way of relating to the world that often demands and rewards busyness over thoughtful observation, independence over relationships, and replacing over repairing. Such a system is both unsustainable and results in destructive, far-reaching consequences for our society and land. In Virtues of Renewal: Wendell Berry's Sustainable Forms, Jeffrey Bilbro combines textual analysis and cultural criticism to explain how Berry's literary forms encourage readers to practice virtues of renewal. While the written word alone cannot enact change, Bilbro asserts that Berry's poetry, essays, and fiction can inspire people to, as Berry writes, "practice resurrection." Bilbro examines the distinct, yet symbiotic, features of these three genres, demonstrating the importance of the humanities in supporting tenable economies. He uses Berry's pieces to suggest the need for more robust language for discussing conservation, ecology, and the natural -- and regenerative -- process of death. Bilbro additionally translates Berry's literature to a wider audience, putting him in conversation with philosophers and theologians such as Ivan Illich, Willie Jennings, Charles Taylor, and Augustine. The lessons that Berry and his work have to offer are not only for those interested in cultivating the land, but also for those who cultivate their communities and live mindfully. In short, these lessons are pertinent to all who are willing to make an effort to live the examined life. Such formative work is not dramatic or quick, but it can foster the deep and lasting transformation necessary to develop a more sustainable culture and economy.
Knowledge in Translation Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780822945376
Pub Date: 23 Oct 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
In the second millennium CE, long before English became the language of science in the twentieth century, the act of translation was crucial for understanding and disseminating knowledge and information across linguistic and geographic boundaries. This volume considers the complexities of knowledge exchange through the practice of translation over the course of a millennium, across fields of knowledge—cartography, health and medicine, material construction, astronomy—and a wide geographical range, from Eurasia to Africa and the Americas. Contributors literate in Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Minnan, Ottoman, and Persian explore the history of science in the context of world and global history, investigating global patterns and implications in a multilingual and increasingly interconnected world. Chapters reveal cosmopolitan networks of shared practice and knowledge about the natural world from 1000 to 1800 CE, emphasizing both evolving scientific exchange and the emergence of innovative science. By unraveling the role of translation in cross-cultural communication, Knowledge in Translation highlights key moments of transmission, insight, and critical interpretation across linguistic and faith communities.

Correspondence of John Tyndall Volume 5, The

Format: Hardback
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780822945321
Pub Date: 16 Oct 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: The Correspondence of John Tyndall
This volume contains 266 letters covering a period of twenty-two months, when Tyndall was in his midthirties and had been employed by the Royal Institution as professor of natural philosophysince September 1853. Many of the letters printed here concern the lectures he delivered at the RI and other institutions and his attempt to establish his reputation as a researcher. Although he published in several other areas—including the cleavage of rocks, colorblindness, and glaciers—the main focus of his research was the newly discovered and problematic phenomenon of diamagnetism. Tyndall reported his experimental results and theoretical views on this subject in several lectures and papers that greatly enhanced his scientific standing, which was further extended by his contact with other scientists, not only in London but across the British Isles and in France and Germany. By the end of this period, Tyndall was a man of science with a European reputation that was recognized in November 1856 when the Royal Society elected him a member of its Council.
Liberty and the Pursuit of Knowledge Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780822945352
Pub Date: 09 Oct 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
French philosopher Charles Renouvier played an influential role in reviving philosophy in France after it was proscribed during the Second Empire. Drawn to the ideals of the French Revolution, Renouvier came to recognize that the free will and civil liberties he supported were essential to the pursuit of science, contrary to the ideologies of positivists and socialists who would restrict liberty in the name of science. He struggled against monarchy and religious authority in the period up through 1848 and defended a liberal, secular form of political organization at a critical turning point in French history, the beginning of the Third Republic. As Warren Schmaus argues, Renouvier’s work provides an example of one way in which philosophy of science can succeed in bringing about change in political life—by critiquing political ideologies that falsely claim absolute certainty on religious, scientific, or any other grounds. Liberty and the Pursuit of Knowledge explores the understudied relationship between Renouvier’s philosophy of science and his political philosophy, shedding new light on the significance of his thought for the history of philosophy.
Elkhorn Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780813176017
Pub Date: 21 Sep 2018
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
When former Kentucky Poet Laureate Richard Taylor took a job at Kentucky State University in 1975, he purchased a fixer-upper -- in need of a roof, a paint job, city water, and central heating -- that became known to his friends as "Taylor's Folly." The historic Giltner-Holt House, which was built in 1859 and sits close by the Elkhorn Creek a few miles outside of Frankfort, became the poet's entrance into the area's history and culture, and the Elkhorn became a source of inspiration for his writing. Driven by topophilia (love of place), Taylor focuses on the eight-mile stretch of the creek from the Forks of the Elkhorn to Knight's Bridge to provide a glimpse into the economic, social, and cultural transformation of Kentucky from wilderness to its current landscape. He explores both the natural history of the region and the formation of the Forks community. Taylor recounts the Elkhorn Valley's inhabitants from the earliest surveyors and settlers to artist Paul Sawyier, who memorably documented the creek in watercolors, oils, and pastels. Interspersed with photographs and illustrations -- contemporary and historic -- and intermixed with short vignettes about historical figures of the region, Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape delivers a history that is by turns a vibrant and meditative personal response to the creek and its many wonders. Flowing across four counties in central Kentucky, Elkhorn Creek is the second largest tributary of the Kentucky River. Known for its beauty and recreational opportunities, Elkhorn Creek has become an increasingly popular location for canoeing, kayaking, and camping and is one of the state's best-known streams for smallmouth bass, bluegills, and crawfish. Like Walden Pond for Henry David Thoreau, the Elkhorn has been a touchstone for Taylor. A beautiful blend of creative storytelling and historical exploration of one of the state's beloved waterways, Elkhorn celebrates a gem in the heart of central Kentucky.
Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 4, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 616
ISBN: 9780822945253
Pub Date: 31 Jul 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: The Correspondence of John Tyndall
The 329 letters in this volume represent a period of immense transition in John Tyndall's life. A noticeable spike in his extant correspondence during the early 1850s is linked to his expanding international network, growing reputation as a leading scientific figure in Britain and abroad, and his employment at the Royal Institution. By December 1854, Tyndall had firmly established himself as a significant man of science, complete with an influential position at the center of the British scientific establishment.Tyndall's letters throughout the period covered by this volume provide great insight into how he navigated a complicated course that led him into the upper echelons of the Victorian scientific world. And yet, while Tyndall was no longer as anxious about his scientific future as he was in previous volumes of his correspondence, these letters show a man struggling to come to terms with his newfound status, a struggle that was often reflected in his obsession with maintaining an "inflexible integrity" that guided his actions and deeds.
Global Transformations in the Life Sciences, 1945–1980 Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780822945277
Pub Date: 03 Jul 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The second half of the twentieth century brought extraordinary transformations in knowledge and practice of the life sciences. In an era of decolonization, mass social welfare policies, and the formation of new international institutions such as UNESCO and the WHO, monumental advances were made in both theoretical and practical applications of the life sciences, including the discovery of life’s molecular processes and substantive improvements in global public health and medicine. Combining perspectives from the history of science and world history, this volume examines the impact of major world-historical processes of the postwar period on the evolution of the life sciences. Contributors consider the long-term evolution of scientific practice, research, and innovation across a range of fields and subfields in the life sciences, and in the context of Cold War anxieties and ambitions. Together, they examine how the formation of international organizations and global research programs allowed for transnational exchange and cooperation, but in a period rife with competition and nationalist interests, which influenced dramatic changes in the field as the postcolonial world order unfolded.
Making Stars Physical Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780822945307
Pub Date: 31 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Making Stars Physical offers the first extensive look at the astronomical career of John Herschel, son of William Herschel and one of the leading scientific figures in Britain throughout much of the nineteenth century. Herschel’s astronomical career is usually relegated to a continuation of his father, William’s, sweeps for nebulae. However, as Stephen Case argues, John Herschel was pivotal in establishing the sidereal revolution his father had begun: a shift of attention from the planetary system to the study of nebulous regions in the heavens and speculations on the nature of the Milky Way and the sun’s position within it.Through John Herschel’s astronomical career—in particular his work on constellation reform, double stars, and variable stars—the study of stellar objects became part of mainstream astronomy. He leveraged his mathematical expertise and his position within the scientific community to make sidereal astronomy accessible even to casual observers, allowing amateurs to make useful observations that could contribute to theories on the nature of stars. With this book, Case shows how Herschel’s work made the stars physical and laid the foundations for modern astrophysics.
Above the Gene, Beyond Biology Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9780822945215
Pub Date: 29 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Epigenetics is currently one of the fastest-growing fields in the sciences. Epigenetic information not only controls DNA expression but links genetic factors with the environmental experiences that influence the traits and characteristics of an individual. What we eat, where we work, and how we live affects not only the activity of our genes but that of our offspring as well. This discovery has imposed a revolutionary theoretical shift on modern biology, especially on evolutionary theory. It has helped to uncover the developmental processes leading to cancer, obesity, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and aging, and to facilitate associated medial applications such as stem cell therapy and cloning.Above the Gene, Beyond Biology explores how biologists in this booming field investigate and explain living systems. Jan Baedke offers the first comprehensive philosophical discussion of epigenetic concepts, explanations, and methodologies so that we can better understand this “epigenetic turn” in the life sciences from a philosophical perspective.
Historicizing Humans Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780822945291
Pub Date: 25 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
With an Afterword by Theodore KoditschekA number of important developments and discoveries across the British Empire's imperial landscape during the nineteenth century invited new questions about human ancestry. The rise of secularism and scientific naturalism; new evidence, such as skeletal and archaeological remains; and European encounters with different people all over the world challenged the existing harmony between science and religion and threatened traditional biblical ideas about special creation and the timeline of human history. Advances in print culture and voyages of exploration also provided researchers with a wealth of material that contributed to their investigations into humanity’s past.Historicizing Humans takes a critical approach to nineteenth-century human history, as the contributors consider how these histories were shaped by the colonial world, and for various scientific, religious, and sociopolitical purposes. This volume highlights the underlying questions and shared assumptions that emerged as various human developmental theories competed for dominance throughout the British Empire.
Kew Observatory and the Evolution of Victorian Science, 1840–1910 Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780822945260
Pub Date: 18 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Kew Observatory was originally built in 1769 for King George III, a keen amateur astronomer, so that he could observe the transit of Venus. By the mid-nineteenth century, it was a world-leading center for four major sciences: geomagnetism, meteorology, solar physics, and standardization. Long before government cutbacks forced its closure in 1980, the observatory was run by both major bodies responsible for the management of science in Britain: first the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and then, from 1871, the Royal Society. Kew Observatory influenced and was influenced by many of the larger developments in the physical sciences during the second half of the nineteenth century, while many of the major figures involved were in some way affiliated with Kew.Lee T. Macdonald explores the extraordinary story of this important scientific institution as it rose to prominence during the Victorian era. His book offers fresh new insights into key historical issues in nineteenth-century science: the patronage of science; relations between science and government; the evolution of the observatory sciences; and the origins and early years of the National Physical Laboratory, once an extension of Kew and now the largest applied physics organization in the United Kingdom.