Books  General Natural History  Natural History 

The Culture of Science in France, 1700-1900

Series: Variorum Collected Studies Series

By: Robert Fox

352 pages, 5 illus


Hardback | Nov 1992 | #153747 | ISBN: 0860783391
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £80.00 $108/€91 approx

About this book

This volume treats a remarkable period in the history of science in France. The articles in the first of its two sections, concerned with patronage and institutions, explore the structures that fostered research and the diffusion of scientific and technological knowledge, not only in the great institutions under state control but also in the very different world of the independent academies and the many scientific and industrial societies in Paris and the provinces. The second section focuses on the physical sciences, in particular the physics of heat and the imponderable fluids, and their relations with experimental and technological practice. It contains studies of figures of outstanding importance in the history of French science, including J.H. Lambert, P.S. de Laplace, and Sadi Carnot. Taken together, the articles provide an unusually coherent picture of a nation's science over a period of a century, developing a methodological perspective that unites cognitive and social considerations.


Preface; Scientific enterprise and the patronage of research in France, 1800-1870; The savant confronts his peers: scientific societies in France, 1815-1914; Learning, politics, and polite culture in provincial France: the societes savantes in the 19th century; The early history of the Societe Zoologique de France; Science, industry, and the social order in Mulhouse, 1798-1871; From Corfu to Caledonia: the early travels of Charles Dupin, 1808-20; The science of fire: J. H. Lambert and the study of heat; The background to the discovery of Dulong and Petit's law; The rise and fall of Laplacian physics; The fire piston and its origins in Europe; The challenge of a new technology: theorists and the high-pressure steam engine before 1824; Watt's expansive principle in the work of Sadi Carnot and Nicolas Clement; Index

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