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science•culture is a series with a special agenda. We aim to encourage and publish books that deal with the sciences – past and present – as forms of culture and in a manner accessible to the generally educated public. We also want to reach out to those scholars whose work in other fields – literature, art history, cultural anthropology, social and intellectual history, or the sciences themselves – could be enhanced by an appreciation of the cultures of science.
science•culture welcomes books that focus on any period, that address any aspect of the sciences, and that draw attention to any mode of relationship between the sciences and the broader culture. Authors may focus on results of their own research or synthesize their own findings with the work of other scholars, but we expect authors to express their individual points of view rather than to attempt the bland expression of scholarly consensus. We are, however, deeply committed to encouraging ways of writing that make these materials appealing to intelligent readers with no special expertise in the subject at hand. These books should be accessible without being condescending. They should not be thought of as popularizations but as contributions to a general intellectual culture.
In order to reach a wider audience, we are committed to certain generic conditions. science•culture books are short – around 200 printed pages – and we encourage the liberal use of black-and-white illustrations. Instead of footnotes, an extended bibliographic essay will guide readers to the pertinent scholarly literature. Books in science•culture will be published first as trade cloth titles with full-color jackets at attractive prices and subsequently in paperback. Four books in science•culture have now been published and each can serve as a model for size, illustration, referencing, and the bibliographic essay.
We hope to talk with scholars interested in writing for science•culture while they are still developing plans for a book and well before a manuscript is completed.