Books  General Natural History  History of Science 

Public Understanding of Science: A History of Communicating Scientific Ideas

Series: Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

By: David Knight(Author)

232 pages, no illustrations


Paperback | Feb 2011 | #241275 | ISBN-13: 9780415591676
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £32.99 $46/€37 approx
Hardback | Dec 2006 | #157003 | ISBN: 0415206383
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £110.00 $153/€125 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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