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Servants of Nature explores the fascinating interaction between scientific practice and public life from antiquity to the present. The authors reveal how, in Asia, Europe, and the New World, advances in science have been closely allied to changes in three distinct areas of society: the institutions that sustain science; the moral, religious, political, and philosophical sensibilities of scientists themselves; and the goal of the scientific enterprise.
Tracing the establishment of institutions of higher learning, scientific societies and museums, the authors examine how the bodies that shape scientific tradition and guide innovation have acquired their authority. They proceed to consider how scientific goals have changed, as they analyze the relationship between scientists, militarists, and industrialists in modern times. Servants of Nature is "a wide-ranging and informative introduction to how science and technology became the dominant feature of modern society" (American Scientist).
Lewis Pyenson is professor of history and mathematics at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where the late Susan Sheets-Pyenson was professor of history.