Natural World Hero Image
Natural World
Science of Our Own, A Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 206
ISBN: 9780822945765
Pub Date: 26 Nov 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
When the Reverend Henry Carmichael opened the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts in 1833, he introduced a bold directive: for Australia to advance on the scale of nations, it needed to develop a science of its own. Prominent scientists in the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria answered this call by participating in popular exhibitions far and near, from London’s Crystal Place in 1851 to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane during the final decades of the nineteenth century. A Science of Our Own explores the influential work of local botanists, chemists, and geologists—William B. Clarke, Joseph Bosisto, Robert Brough Smyth, and Ferdinand Mueller—who contributed to shaping a distinctive public science in Australia during the nineteenth century. It extends beyond the political underpinnings of the development of public science to consider the rich social and cultural context at its core. For the Australian colonies, as Peter H. Hoffenberg argues, these exhibitions not only offered a path to progress by promoting both the knowledge and authority of local scientists and public policies; they also ultimately redefined the relationship between science and society by representing and appealing to the growing popularity of science at home and abroad.
Geographies of City Science Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 242
ISBN: 9780822945758
Pub Date: 12 Nov 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century was both the second city of the British Empire and the soon-to-be capital of an emerging nation, presenting a unique space in which to examine the past relationship between science and the city. Drawing on both geography and biography, Geographies of City Science underscores the crucial role urban spaces played in the production of scientific knowledge. Each chapter explores the lives of two practitioners from one of the main religious and political traditions in Dublin (either Protestant and Unionist or Catholic and Nationalist). As Tanya O’Sullivan argues, any variation in their engagement with science had far less to do with their affiliations than with their “life spaces”—domains where human agency and social structures collide. Focusing on nineteenth-century debates on the origins of the universe as well as the origins of form, humans, and language, O’Sullivan explores the numerous ways in which scientific meaning relating to origin theories was established and mobilized in the city. By foregrounding Dublin, her book complements more recent attempts to enrich the historiography of metropolitan science by examining its provenance in less well-known urban centers.
Rethinking History, Science, and Religion Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 324
ISBN: 9780822945741
Pub Date: 05 Nov 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The historical interface between science and religion was depicted as an unbridgeable conflict in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Starting in the 1970s, such a conception was too simplistic and not at all accurate when considering the totality of that relationship. This volume evaluates the utility of the “complexity principle” in past, present, and future scholarship. First put forward by historian John Brooke over twenty-five years ago, the complexity principle rejects the idea of a single thesis of conflict or harmony, or integration or separation, between science and religion. Rethinking History, Science, and Religion brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars at the forefront of their fields to consider whether new approaches to the study of science and culture—such as recent developments in research on science and the history of publishing, the global history of science, the geographical examination of space and place, and science and media—have cast doubt on the complexity thesis, or if it remains a serviceable historiographical model.

British Arboretum, The

Trees, Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780822966203
Pub Date: 01 Nov 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
This study explores the science and culture of nineteenth-century British arboretums, or tree collections. The development of arboretums was fostered by a variety of factors, each of which is explored in detail: global trade and exploration, the popularity of collecting, the significance to the British economy and society, developments in Enlightenment science, changes in landscape gardening aesthetics and agricultural and horticultural improvement. Arboretums were idealized as microcosms of nature, miniature encapsulations of the globe and as living museums. This book critically examines different kinds of arboretum in order to understand the changing practical, scientific, aesthetic and pedagogical principles that underpinned their design, display and the way in which they were viewed. It is the first study of its kind and fills a gap in the literature on Victorian science and culture.
Science, Religion, and the Protestant Tradition Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 309
ISBN: 9780822945819
Pub Date: 29 Oct 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
The story of the “conflict thesis” between science and religion—the notion of perennial conflict or warfare between the two—is part of our modern self-understanding. As the story goes, John William Draper (1811–1882) and Andrew Dickson White (1832–1918) constructed dramatic narratives in the nineteenth century that cast religion as the relentless enemy of scientific progress. And yet, despite its resilience in popular culture, historians today have largely debunked the conflict thesis. Unravelling its origins, James Ungureanu argues that Draper and White actually hoped their narratives would preserve religious belief. For them, science was ultimately a scapegoat for a much larger and more important argument dating back to the Protestant Reformation, where one theological tradition was pitted against another—a more progressive, liberal, and diffusive Christianity against a more traditional, conservative, and orthodox Christianity. By the mid-nineteenth century, narratives of conflict between “science and religion” were largely deployed between contending theological schools of thought. However, these narratives were later appropriated by secularists, freethinkers, and atheists as weapons against all religion. By revisiting its origins, development, and popularization, Ungureanu ultimately reveals that the “conflict thesis” was just one of the many unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation.
From Commodification to the Common Good Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 246
ISBN: 9780822945796
Pub Date: 24 Sep 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The commodification of science—often identified with commercialization, or the selling of expertise and research results and the “capitalization of knowledge” in academia and beyond—has been investigated as a threat to the autonomy of science and academic culture and criticized for undermining the social responsibility of modern science. In From Commodification to the Common Good, Hans Radder revisits the commodification of the sciences from a philosophical perspective to focus instead on a potential alternative, the notion of public-interest science. Scientific knowledge, he argues, constitutes a common good only if it serves those affected by the issues at stake, irrespective of commercial gain. Scrutinizing the theory and practices of scientific and technological patenting, Radder challenges the legitimacy of commercial monopolies and the private appropriation and exploitation of research results. His book invites us to reevaluate established laws and to question doctrines and practices that may impede or even prohibit scientific research and social progress so that we might achieve real and significant transformations in service of the common good.
World's Fairs in the Cold War Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780822945789
Pub Date: 24 Sep 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The post–World War II science-based technological revolution inevitably found its way into almost all international expositions with displays on atomic energy, space exploration, transportation, communications, and computers. Major advancements in Cold War science and technology helped to shape new visions of utopian futures, the stock-in-trade of world’s fairs. From the 1940s to the 1980s, expositions in the United States and around the world, from Brussels to Osaka to Brisbane, mirrored Cold War culture in a variety of ways, and also played an active role in shaping it. This volume illustrates the cultural change and strain spurred by the Cold War, a disruptive period of scientific and technological progress that ignited growing concern over the impact of such progress on the environment and humanistic and spiritual values. Through the lens of world’s fairs, contributors across disciplines offer an integrated exploration of the US–USSR rivalry from a global perspective and in the context of broader social and cultural phenomena—faith and religion, gender and family relations, urbanization and urban planning, fashion, modernization, and national identity—all of which were fundamentally reshaped by tensions and anxieties of the Atomic Age.
News from Mars Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780822945529
Pub Date: 17 Sep 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Mass media in the late nineteenth century was full of news from Mars. In the wake of Giovanni Schiaparelli’s 1877 discovery of enigmatic dark, straight lines on the red planet, astronomers and the public at large vigorously debated the possibility that it might be inhabited. As rivalling scientific practitioners looked to marshal allies and sway public opinion—through newspapers, periodicals, popular books, exhibitions, and encyclopaedias—they exposed disagreements over how the discipline of astronomy should be organized and how it should establish acceptable conventions of discourse. News from Mars provides a new account of this extraordinary episode in the history of astronomy, revealing how major transformations in astronomical practice across Britain and America were inextricably tied up with popular scientific culture and a transatlantic news economy that enabled knowledge to travel. As Joshua Nall argues, astronomers were journalists, too, eliding practice with communication in consequential ways. As writers and editors, they played a pivotal role in the emergence of a “new astronomy” dedicated to the study of the physical constitution and life history of celestial objects, blurring harsh distinctions between those who produced esoteric knowledge and those who disseminated it.
Everything for the Garden Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9780989059848
Pub Date: 01 Sep 2019
Imprint: Historic New England
Everything for the Garden is for anyone who enjoys gardening at home, visiting historic landscapes, or admiring plants and flowers in art and culture. Colorfully illustrated by material from Historic New England’s extensive collection, the book celebrates the objects and literature that people used to make and enjoy gardens from the mid-nineteenth century to today. Essays by well-known experts include Virginia Lopez Begg on garden clubs and horticultural societies, Alan Emmet on garden portraits, Richard Nylander on a cornucopia of catalogues and on garden architecture and ornament, and Judith Tankard on designing and making the garden.
Solid State Insurrection Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780822966036
Pub Date: 27 Aug 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Solid state physics, the study of the physical properties of solid matter, was the most populous subfield of Cold War American physics. Despite prolific contributions to consumer and medical technology, such as the transistor and magnetic resonance imaging, it garnered less professional prestige and public attention than nuclear and particle physics.Solid State Insurrection argues that solid state physics was essential to securing the vast social, political, and financial capital Cold War physics enjoyed in the twentieth century. Solid state’s technological bent, and its challenge to the “pure science” ideal many physicists cherished, helped physics as a whole respond more readily to Cold War social, political, and economic pressures. Its research kept physics economically and technologically relevant, sustaining its cultural standing and policy influence long after the sheen of the Manhattan Project had faded. With this book, Joseph D. Martin brings a new perspective to some of the most enduring questions about the role of physics in American history.
Working with Paper Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 376
ISBN: 9780822945598
Pub Date: 25 Jun 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Working with Paper builds on a growing interest in the materials of science by exploring the gendered uses and meanings of paper tools and technologies, considering how notions of gender impacted paper practices and in turn how paper may have structured knowledge about gender. Through a series of dynamic investigations covering Europe and North America and spanning the early modern period to the twentieth century, this volume breaks new ground by examining material histories of paper and the gendered worlds that made them. Contributors explore diverse uses of paper—from healing to phrenological analysis to model making to data processing—which often occurred in highly gendered, yet seemingly divergent spaces, such as laboratories and kitchens, court rooms and boutiques, ladies’ chambers and artisanal workshops, foundling houses and colonial hospitals, and college gymnasiums and state office buildings. Together, they reveal how notions of masculinity and femininity became embedded in and expressed through the materials of daily life. Working with Paper uncovers the intricate negotiations of power and difference underlying epistemic practices, forging a material history of knowledge in which quotidian and scholarly practices are intimately linked.
Experimenting at the Boundaries of Life Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 552
ISBN: 9780822945536
Pub Date: 18 Jun 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Attempts to distinguish a science of life at the turn of the nineteenth century faced a number of challenges. A central difficulty was clearly demarcating the living from the nonliving experimentally and conceptually. The more closely the boundaries between organic and inorganic phenomena were examined, the more they expanded and thwarted any clear delineation. Experimenting at the Boundaries of Life traces the debates surrounding the first articulations of a science of life in a variety of texts and practices centered on German contexts. Joan Steigerwald examines the experiments on the processes of organic vitality, such as excitability and generation, undertaken across the fields of natural history, physiology, physics and chemistry. She highlights the sophisticated reflections on the problem of experimenting on living beings by investigators, and relates these epistemic concerns directly to the philosophies of nature of Kant and Schelling. Her book skillfully ties these epistemic reflections to arguments by the Romantic writers Novalis and Goethe for the aesthetic aspects of inquiries into the living world and the figurative languages in which understandings of nature were expressed.
Inevitably Toxic Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780822966128
Pub Date: 18 Jun 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: History of the Urban Environment
Not a day goes by that humans aren’t exposed to toxins in our environment - be it at home, in the car, or workplace. But what about those toxic places and items that aren’t marked? Why are we warned about some toxic spaces’ substances and not others? The essays in Inevitably Toxic consider the exposure of bodies in the United States, Canada and Japan to radiation, industrial waste, and pesticides. Research shows that appeals to uncertainty have led to social inaction even when evidence, e.g. the link between carbon emissions and global warming, stares us in the face. In some cases, influential scientists, engineers and doctors have deliberately “manufactured doubt” and uncertainty but as the essays in this collection show, there is often no deliberate deception. We tend to think that if we can’t see contamination and experts deem it safe, then we are okay. Yet, having knowledge about the uncertainty behind expert claims can awaken us from a false sense of security and alert us to decisions and practices that may in fact cause harm.
New Order of Medicine, A Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780822945604
Pub Date: 18 Jun 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The sixteenth century saw an unprecedented growth in the number of educated physicians practicing in German cities. Concentrating on Nuremberg, A New Order of Medicine follows the intertwined careers of municipal physicians as they encountered the challenges of the Reformation city for the first time. Although conservative in their professed Galenism, these men were eclectic in their practices, which ranged from book collecting to botany to subversive anatomical experimentations. Their interests and ambitions lead to local controversy. Over a twenty-year campaign, apothecaries were wrested from their place at the forefront of medical practice, no longer able to innovate remedies, while physicians, recent arrivals in the city, established themselves as the leading authorities. Examining archives, manuscript records, printed texts, and material and visual sources, and considering a wide range of diseases, Hannah Murphy offers the first systematic interpretation of the growth of elite medical “practice,” its relationship to Galenic theory, and the emergence of medical order in the contested world of the German city.
Destined for the Stars Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780822945567
Pub Date: 28 May 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Where did humanity get the idea that outer space is a frontier waiting to be explored? Destined for the Stars unravels the popularization of the science of space exploration in America between 1944 and 1955, arguing that the success of the US space program was due not to technological or economic superiority, but was sustained by a culture that had long believed it was called by God to settle new frontiers and prepare for the inevitable end of time and God’s final judgment. Religious forces, Newell finds, were in no small way responsible for the crescendo of support for and interest in space exploration in the early 1950s, well before Project Mercury—the United States’ first human spaceflight program—began in 1959. In this remarkable history, Newell explores the connection between the art of Chesley Bonestell—the father of modern space art whose paintings drew inspiration from depictions of the American West—and the popularity of that art in Cold War America; Bonestell’s working partnership with science writer and rocket expert Willy Ley; and Ley and Bonestell’s relationship with Wernher von Braun, father of both the V-2 missile and the Saturn V rocket, whose millennial conviction that God wanted humankind to leave Earth and explore other planets animated his life’s work. Together, they inspired a technological and scientific faith that awoke a deep-seated belief in a sense of divine destiny to reach the heavens. The origins of their quest, Newell concludes, had less to do with the Cold War strife commonly associated with the space race and everything to do with the religious culture that contributed to the invention of space as the final frontier.

Entangled Itineraries

Materials, Practices, and Knowledges across Eurasia
Format: Hardback
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780822965770
Pub Date: 28 May 2019
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Trade flowed across Eurasia, around the Indian Ocean, and over the Mediterranean for millennia, but in the early modern period, larger parts of the globe became connected through these established trade routes. Knowledge, embodied in various people, materials, texts, objects, and practices, also moved and came together along these routes in hubs of exchange where different social and cultural groups intersected and interacted. Entangled Itineraries traces this movement of knowledge across the Eurasian continent from the early years of the Common Era to the nineteenth century, following local goods, techniques, tools, and writings as they traveled and transformed into new material and intellectual objects and ways of knowing. Focusing on nonlinear trajectories of knowledge in motion, this volume follows itineraries that weaved in and out of busy, crowded cosmopolitan cities in China; in the trade hubs of Kucha and Malacca; and in centers of Arabic scholarship, such as Reyy and Baghdad, which resonated in Bursa, Assam, and even as far as southern France. Contributors explore the many ways in which materials, practices, and knowledge systems were transformed and codified as they converged, swelled, at times disappeared, and often reemerged anew.