Where do scientific terms come from? Why are they so similar in so many languages? How was the new nomenclature spread across the world? The Language of Science analyses the development of scientific vocabulary from its basic origins in everyday agricultural work, through to the need for a measurement system when it came to trading, to the scientific innovations of the seventeenth century and a subsequent period of consolidation in the eighteenth century.
This is a period of great relevance in history of science and a strong focus of Crosland's work. The time between 1750 and 1800 saw many movements trying to organise and revolutionise scientific names and units - the significance of which is often overlooked. Crosland talks here about the development of language in botany, chemistry and the metric system, drawing a connection between the three fields and the development of the sciences in general. The final chapter pays close attention to how the international conferences helped in the adoption and standardisation of the new language.
Crosland's approach to the subject matter is very clear and concise. The Language of Science will be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about history of language, social history and of course science. The author popularises an often intimidating and complex segment of the English language. Scientists and non-scientists alike will find this book stimulating and thought-provoking.
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