Books  General Natural History  Natural History 

Public Understanding of Science: A History of Communicating Scientific Ideas

By: David Knight

232 pages, no illustrations


Hardback | Dec 2006 | #157003 | ISBN: 0415206383
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £90.00 $119/€101 approx

About this book

Between the French Revolution (1789) and the `Chemists' War' (1914-18) science became culturally and economically crucial: it seemed pervasive but difficult. David Knight explores how science was disseminated in this period, moving from a time in the late eighteenth century when science was not widely regarded as a necessary tool for investigating the world to the start of the twentieth century when it was crucial.

Asking questions, such as did scientists have an easily-learned method? Or could the interesting parts of science be communicated in sermons, poems, pictures, lectures, museums, travel books, or journalism? Who was best at communicating it: scientists, popularisers or critics? David Knight examines the history of science to reveal that the successes and failures of our ancestors can help us to achieve understanding.


1. Understanding 2. God's Clockworld 3. Holding Forth 4. Poetry, Metaphor and Algebra 5. Picturing Science 6. Ballyhoo 7. Display 8. Travel 9. Imagining 10. Science Gossip 11. Suspending Judgement 12. Classical Physics 13. Promoters and Popularisers

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University of Durham, UK

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