Natural World Hero Image
Natural World
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.

Nature From Within

Gustav Theodor Fechner And His Psychophysical Worldview
Format: Paperback
Pages: 456
ISBN: 9780822965473
Pub Date: 18 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887) was a German physicist, psychologist, and philosopher, best known to historians of science as the founder of psychophysics, the experimental study of the relation between mental and physical processes. Michael Heidelberger's exhaustive exploration of Fechner's writings, in relation to current issues in the field, successfully reestablishes Fechner's place in the history and philosophy of science.
Vision, Science and Literature, 1870-1920 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780822965466
Pub Date: 11 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
This book explores the role of vision and the culture of observation in Victorian and modernist ways of seeing. Willis charts the characterization of vision through four organizing principles—small, large, past and future—to survey Victorian conceptions of what vision was. He then explores how this Victorian vision influenced twentieth-century ways of seeing, when anxieties over visual "truth" became entwined with modernist rejections of objectivity.
Love, Order, and Progress Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780822945222
Pub Date: 07 May 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Auguste Comte's doctrine of positivism was both a philosophy of science and a political philosophy designed to organize a new, secular, stable society based on positive or scientific, ideas, rather than the theological dogmas and metaphysical speculations associated with the ancien regime. This volume offers the most comprehensive English-language overview of Auguste Comte's philosophy, the relation of his work to the sciences of his day, and the extensive, continuing impact of his thinking on philosophy and especially secular political movements in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Contributors consider Comte’s reasons for establishing a Religion of Humanity as well as his views on domestic life and the arts in his positivist utopia. The volume further details Comte's attempt to apply his "positive method," first to social science and then to politics and morality, thereby defending the continuity of his career while also critically examining the limits of his approach.
James Watt, Chemist Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780822965305
Pub Date: 26 Feb 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
In the Victorian era, James Watt became an iconic engineer, but in his own time he was also an influential chemist. Miller examines Watt’s illustrious engineering career in light of his parallel interest in chemistry, arguing that Watt’s conception of steam engineering relied upon chemical understandings.Part I of the book—Representations—examines the way James Watt has been portrayed over time, emphasizing sculptural, pictorial and textual representations from the nineteenth century. As an important contributor to the development of arguably the most important technology of industrialization, Watt became a symbol that many groups of thinkers were anxious to claim. Part II—Realities—focuses on reconstructing the unsung "chemical Watt" instead of the lionized engineer.
Shale Dilemma, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780822945130
Pub Date: 15 Feb 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The US shale boom and efforts by other countries to exploit their shale resources could reshape energy and environmental landscapes across the world. But how might those landscapes change? Will countries with significant physical reserves try to exploit them? Will they protect or harm local communities and the global climate? Will the benefits be shared or retained by powerful interests? And how will these decisions be made?The Shale Dilemma brings together experts working at the forefront of shale gas issues on four continents to explain how countries reach their decisions on shale development. Using a common analytical framework, the authors identify both local factors and transnational patterns in the decision-making process. Eight case studies reveal the trade-offs each country makes as it decides whether to pursue, delay, or block development. Those outcomes in turn reflect the nature of a country's political process and the power of interest groups on both sides of the issue. The contributors also ask whether the economic arguments made by the shale industry and its government supporters have overshadowed the concerns of local communities for information on the effects of shale operations, and for tax policies and regulations to ensure broad-based economic development and environmental protection. As an informative and even-handed account, The Shale Dilemma recommends practical steps to help countries reach better, more transparent, and more far-sighted decisions.
Science in an Extreme Environment Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9780822945116
Pub Date: 07 Feb 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
On February 20, 1963, a team of nineteen Americans embarked on the first expedition that would combine high-altitude climbing with scientific research. The primary objective of the six scientists on the team—who procured funding by appealing to the military and political applications of their work—was to study how severe stress at high altitudes affected human behavior. The expedition would land the first American on the summit of Mount Everest nearly three years after a successful (though widely disputed) Chinese ascent. At the height of the Cold War, this struggle for the Himalaya turned Everest into both a contested political space and a remote, unpredictable laboratory. The US expedition promised to resurrect American heroism, embodied in a show of physical strength and skill that, when combined with scientific expertise, would dominate international rivals on the frontiers of territorial exploration. It propelled mountaineers, scientists, and their test subjects 29,029 feet above sea level, the highest point of Chinese-occupied Tibet. There they faced hostile conditions that challenged and ultimately compromised standard research protocols, yielding results that were too exceptional to be generalized to other environments. With this book, Philip W. Clements offers a nuanced exploration of the impact of extremity on the production of scientific knowledge and the role of masculinity and nationalism in scientific inquiry.
Domesticating Electricity Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780822965299
Pub Date: 05 Feb 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
This is an innovative and original socio-cultural study of the history of electricity during the late Victorian and Edward periods. Gooday shows how technology, authority and gender interacted in pre-World War I Britain. The rapid take-up of electrical light and domestic appliances on both sides of the Atlantic had a wide-ranging effect on consumer habits and the division of labour within the home. Electricity was viewed by non-experts as potential threat to domestic order and welfare. This broadly interdisciplinary study relates to a website developed by the author on the history of electricity.
Brewing Science, Technology and Print, 1700-1880 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780822965312
Pub Date: 23 Jan 2018
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
How did the brewing of beer become a scientific process? Sumner explores this question by charting the theory and practice of the trade in Britain and Ireland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.From an oral culture derived from home-based skills, brewing industrialized rapidly and developed an extensive trade literature, based increasingly on the authority of chemical experiment. The role of taxation is also examined, and the emergence of brewing as a profession is set within its social and technical context.
Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 3, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 656
ISBN: 9780822945093
Pub Date: 29 Dec 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: The Correspondence of John Tyndall
As this volume begins, John Tyndall was a PhD student living in Marburg. He was unknown, almost broke, and working himself to the brink of mental and physical exhaustion in his determination to forge a reputation in science. In the period covered by this volume, he completed his degree, published his first scientific papers, became a regular participant in the British Association meetings, established friendships with leading men of science in Berlin and London, was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and applied for, but failed to obtain, various scientific positions. As the volume ends, he was preparing his first lecture to the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the catalyst for a profound transition in his life. Taken together, the 305 letters herein offer a behind-the-scenes view of nineteenth-century publishing processes, the practices and challenges of diamagnetic research, the application procedures for university positions, the use of patronage in establishing a scientific career, and the often anxious and weary-worn personality of Tyndall, the ambitious protagonist.
Water in Kentucky Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780813175157
Pub Date: 31 Oct 2017
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Home to sprawling Appalachian forests, rolling prairies, and the longest cave system in the world, Kentucky is among the most ecologically diverse states in the nation. Lakes, rivers, and springs have shaped and nourished life in the Commonwealth for centuries, and water has played a pivotal role in determining Kentucky's physical, cultural, and economic landscapes. The management and preservation of this precious natural resource remain a priority for the state's government and citizens. In this generously illustrated book, experts from a variety of fields explain how water has defined regions across the Commonwealth. Together, they illuminate the ways in which this resource has affected the lives of Kentuckians since the state's settlement, exploring the complex relationship among humans, landscapes, and waterways. They examine topics such as water quality, erosion and sediment control, and emerging water management approaches. Through detailed analysis and case studies, the contributors offer scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and general readers a wide perspective on the state's valuable water resources.
Pathways to Our Sustainable Future Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780822965015
Pub Date: 25 Sep 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh has a rich history of social consciousness in calls for justice and equity. Today, the movement for more sustainable practices is rising in Pittsburgh. Against a backdrop of Marcellus shale gas development, initiatives emerge for a sustainable and resilient response to the climate change and pollution challenges of the twenty-first century. People, institutions, communities, and corporations in Pittsburgh are leading the way to a more sustainable future. Examining the experience of a single city, with vast social and political complexities and a long industrial history, allows a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in adapting to change throughout the world. The case studies in this book respond to ethical challenges and give specific examples of successful ways forward. Choices include transforming the energy system, restoring infertile ground, and preventing pollution through green chemistry. Inspired by the pioneering voice of Rachel Carson, this is a book about empowerment and hope.
Molluscs in Archaeology Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781785706080
Pub Date: 30 Jun 2017
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Studying Scientific Archaeology
The subject of ‘Molluscs in Archaeology’ has not been dealt with collectively for several decades as most previous volumes in this subject area have been confined to studies of either land or marine molluscs, or mollusc shells as artefacts. The 23 specially commissioned papers presented here address many aspects of molluscs in archaeology. Marine molluscs are a common find on archaeological sites, where they may represent food waste or their shells having been utilised as tools, artefacts and ornaments. Land snails are also found as food waste in middens, but more commonly their microscopic remains are used to examine site environmental and land use histories. This comprehensive collection by most of the leading researchers in the field will give the reader an overview of the whole topic: methods of analysis and approaches to interpretation. It aims to be a broad-based textbook giving readers an insight into how to apply analysis to different present and past landscapes, and how to interpret those landscapes. Contributors present marine, freshwater and land snail studies, and examine topics such as diet, economy, climate, environment and land-use, isotopes and molluscs as artefacts, providing archaeologists and students with the first port of call regarding a) methods and principles, and b) the potential information molluscs can provide. Combining authoritative overviews with a range of case studies, Molluscs in Archaeology concentrates on analysis and interpretation that most archaeologists and students can undertake and understand, and reviews the ‘heavier’ science in terms of potential, application and interpretational value.
Human and Animal Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy and Medicine Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 408
ISBN: 9780822944720
Pub Date: 19 Jun 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, new anatomical investigations of the brain and the nervous system, together with a renewed interest in comparative anatomy, allowed doctors and philosophers to ground their theories on sense perception, the emergence of human intelligence, and the soul/body relationship in modern science. They investigated the anatomical structures and the physiological processes underlying the rise, differentiation, and articulation of human cognitive activities, and looked for the "anatomical roots" of the specificity of human intelligence when compared to other forms of animal sensibility.This edited volume focuses on medical and philosophical debates on human intelligence and animal perception in the early modern age, providing fresh insights into the influence of medical discourse on the rise of modern philosophical anthropology. Contributions from distinguished historians of philosophy and medicine focus on sixteenth-century zoological, psychological, and embryological discourses on man; the impact of mechanism and comparative anatomy on philosophical conceptions of body and soul; and the key status of sensibility in the medical and philosophical enlightenment.
Foundations of Scientific Inference, The Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780822964568
Pub Date: 16 Jun 2017
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
After its publication in 1967, The Foundations of Scientific Inference taught a generation of students and researchers about the problem of induction, the interpretation of probability, and confirmation theory. Fifty years later, Wesley C. Salmon’s book remains one of the clearest introductions to these fundamental problems in the philosophy of science. This anniversary edition of Salmon’s foundational work features a detailed introduction by Christopher Hitchcock, which examines the book’s origins, influences, and major themes, its impact and enduring effects, the disputes it raised, and its place in current studies, revisiting Salmon’s ideas for a new audience of philosophers, historians, scientists, and students.
Experimentation and Reconstruction in Environmental Archaeology Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 278
ISBN: 9780946897230
Pub Date: 31 May 2017
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Eighteen papers and six abstracts from the ninth symposium of the Association of Environmental Archaeology held at Roskilde, Denmark, in 1988.