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Natural World
Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 1, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780822944706
Pub Date: 01 Sep 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: The Correspondence of John Tyndall
The 230 letters in this inaugural volume of The Correspondence of John Tyndall chart Tyndall's emergence into early adulthood, spanning from his arrival in Youghal in May 1840 as a civil assistant with just a year's experience working on the Irish Ordnance Survey to his pseudonymous authorship of an open letter to the prime minister, Robert Peel, protesting the pay and conditions on the English Survey in August 1843. The letters, which include Tyndall's earliest extant correspondence, encompass some of the most significant events of the early 1840s. Tyndall's correspondents also discuss their experiences of British military expansion in India and economic migration to North America, among other topics. The letters show the development of many of the traits and talents, both mathematical and literary, that would subsequently make Tyndall one of most prominent men of science in Victorian Britain. They also afford broader insights into a period of almost unprecedented social upheaval and cultural and technological change that ultimately shaped Tyndall's development into adulthood.
Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 2, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 444
ISBN: 9780822944713
Pub Date: 01 Sep 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: The Correspondence of John Tyndall
The 161 letters in this volume encompass a period of dramatic change for the young John Tyndall, who would become one of Victorian Britain's most famous physicists. They begin in September 1843, in the midst of a fiery public conflict with the Ordnance Survey of England, and end in December 1849 with him as a doctoral student of mathematics and experimental science at the University of Marburg, Germany. In between, Tyndall was fired from his position in the Ordnance Survey, worked as a railway surveyor at the height of British railway mania, read the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, and Lord Byron, taught mathematics, and seriously contemplated emigration to the thriving new city of Cincinnati, Ohio. He began lasting friendships with Thomas Archer Hirst and Edward Frankland, who, along with Tyndall, would eventually become influential figures in nineteenth-century science. The letters also allude to some of the most important events of the 1840s. Documenting a period of political agitation, professional uncertainty, and personal transformation, this volume traces the events that led to Tyndall's decision to devote himself to natural philosophy.
Environmental Reconstruction in Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 225
ISBN: 9781785704000
Pub Date: 31 Aug 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Archaeology of Mediterranean Landscapes
Nineteen essays present wide-ranging approaches to environmental reconstruction across Mediterranean Europe with case studies from southern and central France, central Italy, Spain, Greece, Slovenia and Turkey. It is Volume Two in the Archaeology of Mediterranean Landscapes series, which published five volumes as part of the POPULUS Project which aimed to establish a series of research goals and standards in Mediterranean landscape archaeology, so as to advance the study of ancient demography of the region on a broad comparative front.
Ancient Irrigation Systems of the Aral Sea Area Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781842173848
Pub Date: 24 Jul 2016
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph
Ancient Irrigation Systems in the Aral Sea Area is the English translation of Boris Vasilevich Andrianov's work, Drevnie orositelnye sistemy priaralya, concerning the study of ancient irrigation systems and the settlement pattern in the historical  region of Khorezm, south of the Aral Sea (Uzbekistan). This work holds a special place within the Soviet archaeological school because of the results obtained through a multidisciplinary approach combining aerial survey and fieldwork, surveys, and excavations. This translation has been enriched by the addition of introductions written by several eminent scholars from the region regarding the importance of the Khorezm Archaeological-Ethnographic Expedition and the figure of Boris V. Andrianov and his landmark study almost 50 years after the original publication.
Global Scientific Practice in an Age of Revolutions, 1750-1850 Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 392
ISBN: 9780822944546
Pub Date: 08 Jul 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The century from 1750 to 1850 was a period of dramatic transformations in world history, fostering several types of revolutionary change beyond the political landscape. Independence movements in Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world were catalysts for radical economic, social, and cultural reform. And it was during this age of revolutions—an era of rapidly expanding scientific investigation—that profound changes in scientific knowledge and practice also took place. In this volume, an esteemed group of international historians examines key elements of science in societies across Spanish America, Europe, West Africa, India, and Asia as they overlapped each other increasingly. Chapters focus on the range of participants in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century science, their concentrated effort in description and taxonomy, and advances in techniques for sharing knowledge. Together, contributors highlight the role of scientific change and development in tightening global and imperial connections, encouraging a deeper conversation among historians of science and world historians and shedding new light on a pivotal moment in history for both fields.
Exploratory Experiments Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780822944508
Pub Date: 18 May 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
The nineteenth century was a formative period for electromagnetism and electrodynamics. Hans Christian Orsted's groundbreaking discovery of the interaction between electricity and magnetism in 1820 inspired a wave of research, led to the science of electrodynamics, and resulted in the development of electromagnetic theory. Remarkably, in response, Andre-Marie Ampere and Michael Faraday developed two incompatible, competing theories. Although their approaches and conceptual frameworks were fundamentally different, together their work launched a technological revolution—laying the foundation for our modern scientific understanding of electricity—and one of the most important debates in physics, between electrodynamic action-at-a-distance and field theories. In this foundational study, Friedrich Steinle compares the influential work of Ampere and Faraday to reveal the prominent role of exploratory experimentation in the development of science. While this exploratory phase was responsible for decisive conceptual innovations, it has yet to be examined in such great detail. Focusing on Ampere's and Faraday's research practices, reconstructed from previously unknown archival materials, including laboratory notes, diaries, letters, and interactions with instrument makers, this book considers both the historic and epistemological basis of exploratory experimentation and its importance to scientific development.
Andean Wonder Drug, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780822944522
Pub Date: 12 May 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
In the eighteenth century, malaria was a prevalent and deadly disease, and the only effective treatment was found in the Andean forests of Spanish America: a medicinal bark harvested from cinchona trees that would later give rise to the antimalarial drug quinine. In 1751, the Spanish Crown asserted control over the production and distribution of this medicament by establishing a royal reserve of "fever trees" in Quito. Through this pilot project, the Crown pursued a new vision of imperialism informed by science and invigorated through commerce. But ultimately this project failed, much like the broader imperial reforms that it represented. Drawing on extensive archival research, Matthew Crawford explains why, showing how indigenous healers, laborers, merchants, colonial officials, and creole elites contested European science and thwarted imperial reform by asserting their authority to speak for the natural world. The Andean Wonder Drug uses the story of cinchona bark to demonstrate how the imperial politics of knowledge in the Spanish Atlantic ultimately undermined efforts to transform European science into a tool of empire.
Old Age, New Science Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780822944492
Pub Date: 12 May 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Between 1870 and 1940, life expectancy in the United States skyrocketed while the percentage of senior citizens age sixty-five and older more than doubled—a phenomenon owed largely to innovations in medicine and public health. At the same time, the Great Depression was a major tipping point for age discrimination and poverty in the West: seniors were living longer and retiring earlier, but without adequate means to support themselves and their families. The economic disaster of the 1930s alerted scientists, who were actively researching the processes of aging, to the profound social implications of their work—and by the end of the 1950s, the field of gerontology emerged. Old Age, New Science explores how a group of American and British life scientists contributed to gerontology's development as a multidisciplinary field. It examines the foundational "biosocial visions" they shared, a byproduct of both their research and the social problems they encountered. Hyung Wook Park shows how these visions shaped popular discourses on aging, directly influenced the institutionalization of gerontology, and also reflected the class, gender, and race biases of their founders.
What Makes a Good Experiment? Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780822944416
Pub Date: 03 May 2016
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
What makes a good experiment? Although experimental evidence plays an essential role in science, as Franklin argues, there is no algorithm or simple set of criteria for ranking or evaluating good experiments, and therefore no definitive answer to the question. Experiments can, in fact, be good in any number of ways: conceptually good, methodologically good, technically good, and pedagogically important. And perfection is not a requirement: even experiments with incorrect results can be good, though they must, he argues, be methodologically good, providing good reasons for belief in their results. Franklin revisits the same important question he posed in his 1981 article in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, when it was generally believed that the only significant role of experiment in science was to test theories. But experiments can actually play a lot of different roles in science—they can, for example, investigate a subject for which a theory does not exist, help to articulate an existing theory, call for a new theory, or correct incorrect or misinterpreted results. This book provides details of good experiments, with examples from physics and biology, illustrating the various ways they can be good and the different roles they can play.
Return to Nature? Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9780813166346
Pub Date: 31 Dec 2015
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Sustainability has become a compelling topic of domestic and international debate as the world searches for effective solutions to accumulating ecological problems. In Return to Nature? An Ecological Counterhistory, Fred Dallmayr demonstrates how nature has been marginalized, colonized, and abused in the modern era. Although nature was regarded as a matrix that encompassed all beings in premodern and classical thought, modern Western thinkers tend to disregard this original unity, essentially exiling nature from human life. By means of a philosophical counterhistory leading from Spinoza to Dewey and beyond, the book traces successive efforts to correct this tendency. Grounding his writing in a holistic relationism that reconnects humanity with ecology, Dallmayr pleads for the reintroduction of nature into contemporary philosophical discussion and sociopolitical practice. Return to Nature? unites learning, intelligence, sensibility, and moral passion to offer a multifaceted history of philosophy with regard to our place in the natural world. Dallmayr's visionary writings provide an informed foundation for environmental policy and represent an impassioned call to reclaim nature in our everyday lives.
Sacred Mountains Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 212
ISBN: 9780813165998
Pub Date: 18 Dec 2015
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Place Matters: New Directions in Appalachian Studies
On a misty morning in eastern Kentucky, cross-bearing Christians gather for a service on a surface-mined mountain. They pray for the health and renewal of the land and for their communities, lamenting the corporate greed of the mining companies. On another day, in southern West Virginia, Andrew Jordon hosts Bible study in a small cabin overlooking a disused 1,400-acre surface mine. He believes his efforts to reclaim sites like these represent responsible environmental stewardship. In Sacred Mountains, Andrew R. H. Thompson highlights scenes such as these in order to propose a Christian ethical analysis of the controversial mining practice that has increasingly divided the nation and has often led to fierce and even violent confrontations. Thompson draws from the arguments of H. Richard Niebuhr, whose work establishes an ideal foundation for understanding Appalachia. Thompson provides a thorough introduction to the issues surrounding surface mining, including the environmental consequences and the resultant religious debates, and highlights the discussions being carried out in the media and by scholarly works. He also considers five popular perspectives (ecofeminism, liberation theology, environmental justice, environmental pragmatism, and political ecology) and offers his own framework and guidelines for moral engagement with the subject. Thompson's arguments add to the work of other ethicists and theologians by examining the implications of culture in a variety of social, historical, and religious contexts. A groundbreaking and nuanced study that looks past the traditionally conflicting stereotypes about religion and environmental consciousness in Appalachia, Sacred Mountains offers a new approach that unifies all communities, regardless of their beliefs.
Science as It Could Have Been Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 472
ISBN: 9780822944454
Pub Date: 30 Nov 2015
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Could all or part of our taken-as-established scientific conclusions, theories, experimental data, ontological commitments, and so forth have been significantly different? Science as It Could Have Been focuses on a crucial issue that contemporary science studies have often neglected: the issue of contingency within science. It considers a number of case studies, past and present, from a wide range of scientific disciplines—physics, biology, geology, mathematics, and psychology—to explore whether components of human science are inevitable, or if we could have developed an alternative successful science based on essentially different notions, conceptions, and results. Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors in philosophy, sociology, and history of science, this edited volume offers a comprehensive analysis of the contingency/inevitability problem and a lively and up-to-date portrait of current debates in science studies.
Crown and the Cosmos, The Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9780822944430
Pub Date: 18 Nov 2015
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Despite its popular association today with magic, astrology was once a complex and sophisticated practice, grounded in technical training provided by a university education. The Crown and the Cosmos examines the complex ways that political practice and astrological discourse interacted at the Habsburg court, a key center of political and cultural power in early modern Europe. Like other monarchs, Maximilian I used astrology to help guide political actions, turning to astrologers and their predictions to find the most propitious times to sign treaties or arrange marriage contracts. Perhaps more significantly, the emperor employed astrology as a political tool to gain support for his reforms and to reinforce his own legitimacy as well as that of the Habsburg dynasty. Darin Hayton analyzes the various rhetorical tools astrologers used to argue for the nobility, antiquity, and utility of their discipline, and how they strove to justify their "science" on the grounds that through its rigorous interpretation of the natural world, astrology could offer more reliable predictions. This book draws on extensive printed and manuscript sources from archives across northern and central Europe, including Poland, Germany, France, and England.
World's Fairs on the Eve of War Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9780822944447
Pub Date: 06 Nov 2015
Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Since the first world's fair in London in 1851, at the dawn of the era of industrialization, international expositions served as ideal platforms for rival nations to showcase their advancements in design, architecture, science and technology, industry, and politics. Before the outbreak of World War II, countries competing for leadership on the world stage waged a different kind of war—with cultural achievements and propaganda—appealing to their own national strengths and versions of modernity in the struggle for power. World's Fairs on the Eve of War examines five fairs and expositions from across the globe—including three that were staged (Paris, 1937; Dusseldorf, 1937; and New York, 1939-40), and two that were in development before the war began but never executed (Tokyo, 1940; and Rome, 1942). This coauthored work considers representations of science and technology at world's fairs as influential cultural forces and at a critical moment in history, when tensions and ideological divisions between political regimes would soon lead to war.
Venerable Trees Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780813165660
Pub Date: 23 Oct 2015
Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
When the first settlers arrived in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, they found an astonishing landscape of open woodland grazed by vast herds of bison. Farmers quickly replaced the bison with cattle, sheep, and horses, but left many of the trees to shade their pastures. Today, central Kentucky and central Tennessee still boast one of the largest populations of presettlement trees in the nation, found in both rural and urban areas. In Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conservation in the Bluegrass, Tom Kimmerer showcases the beauty, age, size, and splendor of these ancient trees and the remaining woodland pastures. Documenting the distinctive settlement history that allowed for their preservation, Kimmerer explains the biology of Bluegrass trees and explores the reasons why they are now in danger. He also reveals the dedication and creativity of those fighting to conserve these remarkable three-hundred- to five-hundred-year-old plants -- from innovative, conscientious developers who build around them rather than clearing the land to farmers who use lightning rods to protect them from natural disasters. Featuring more than one hundred color photographs, this beautifully illustrated book offers guidelines for conserving ancient trees worldwide while educating readers about their life cycle. Venerable Trees is an informative call to understand the challenges faced by the companions so deeply rooted in the region's heritage and a passionate plea for their preservation.
Animals in the Neolithic of Britain and Europe Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781842172148
Pub Date: 31 Aug 2015
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers
The twelve papers in this edited volume originated from the Neolithic Studies Group seminar held at the British Museum on 10th November 2003 on the subject of Animals in the Neolithic. This book includes most of the papers delivered and debated at the meeting and others contributed later. The aim of the book is to cover the range of current approaches to animals in the Neolithic, and to encompass as wide a geographical scope as possible in Europe. In particular, it is attempted to ensure that both wild and domestic animals are discussed and that their social as well as economic roles are given appropriate attention. Umberto Albarella, a discussant at the meeting in 2003, has rounded off the volume with a commentary and discussion on the papers which puts them into the perspective of changing views of animals in the Neolithic of Europe.