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The Organisation of Science in the 19th Century

  • Geert Vanpaemel
Chapter
  • 116 Downloads
Part of the Science Networks · Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 22)

Abstract

The 19th century was a crucial period in the development of modern science.1 New discoveries and ideas appeared one after the other to feed the bourgeoisie’s increasing appetite for knowledge. Museums put on proud displays of their latest prehistoric finds, from dinosaurs to Neanderthals. The chemical industry brought new dyes on to the market, and farmers learned to use chemical fertilisers. The steam engine, the telegraph and photography were seen as the symbols of modern times. Scientists became public figures: Gay-Lussac, Arago and Berthelot in France; Faraday, Thomson (Lord Kelvin) and Darwin in England; Liebig, Haeckel and Ostwald in Germany. The spectacular advances in microbiology against pathogenic bacteria achieved by Louis Pasteur made him science’s first genuine “superstar”.

Keywords

Nobel Prize Academic Freedom German Physicist English Science French Science 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    A useful exposition of the popular perception of nineteenth-century science can be found in David KNIGHT, The Age of Science. The Scientific World-view in the Nineteenth Century,Basil Blackwell, 1986.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Fox, The Rise and Fall of Laplacian Physics, Historical Studies in the physical sciences 4 (1974), pp. 89–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Quoted in Colin RUSSEL, Science and Social Change 1700 —1900,The Macmillan Press, 1983, p. 193.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    T.S. KUHN, Mathematical versus experimental traditions in the development of physical science, The Journal on Interdisciplinary History 7 (1976), pp. 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. CROSLAND, Gay-Lussac, Scientist and Bourgeois, Cambridge University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    According to the analysis of Joseph BEN-DAVID, The Scientist’s Role in Society,Prentice-Hall, 1971. A more positive view of French science is presented in George WEISZ, The Emergence of Modern Universities in France 1863 —1914,Princeton University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hilary ROSE and Steven ROSE, Science and Society,Penguin Books, 1969.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    A more refined analysis with emphasis on the relationship between the universities and the state is given in James MCCLELLAND, State, Society, and University in Germany 1700 — 1914,Cambridge University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Robert Fox, The view over the Rhine: perceptions of German science and technology in France, 1860 —1914, in Yves Cohen and Klaus Manfrass (eds.), Frankreich und Deutschland. Forschung, Technologie und Industrielle Entwicklung im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, C.H. Beck-Verlag, 1990, pp. 1424.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A review of some quantitative estimates of discoveries etc. is given by Joseph BEN-DAVID, The Scientist’s Role. Further estimates can be found in Bastiaan WILLINK, Burgerlijk scièntisme en wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Sociale grondslagen van nationale bloeiperioden in de negentiende eeuwse betawetenschappen, Diss. Univ. Amsterdam, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J L. HEILBRON, Elements of Early Modern Physics, University of California Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J.B. MORRELL, The Chemist Breeders: The Reasearch Schools of Liebig and Thomson, Ambix 19 (1972) pp. 1–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    For example Gert SCHUBRING, The Rise and Decline of the Bonn Natural Sciences Seminar, in Kathryn M. Olesko (ed.) Science in Germany. The Intersection of Institutional and Intellectual Issues. Osiris, second series, vol. 5 (1989), pp. 57–93.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Christa JUNGNICKEL and Russell MtCORNHAGH, The Intellectual Mastery of Nature. Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein (2 vols), The University of Chicago Press, 1986, vol. 1, p. 84–89.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wilhelm OSTWALD, Lebenslinien, eine Selbstbiographie,Klasing, 1927 vol. 3, p. 158.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    A general overview of science funding before 1900 can be found in the first chapter of Elisabeth CRAWFORD, The Beginnings of the Nobel Institution. The Science Prizes, 1901 —1915,Cambridge Universty Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1984. For France see her article The Prize System of the Academy of Sciences, 1850 — 1914, in Robert Fox and George WEISZ (eds.) The Organization of Science and Technology in France 1808 — 1914,Cambridge University Press and Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1980, pp. 283–307.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Harry W. PAUL, From Knowledge to Power. The Rise of the science empire in France 1860 —1939, Cambridge University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frank PEETSCH, Scientific Organisation and Science Policy in Imperial Germany, 1871 — 1914: The Foundation of the Imperial Institute of Physics and Technology, Minerva 8 (1970), pp. 557–580. David CAHAN, An Institute for an Empire. The Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt 1871 — 1918, Cambridge University Press, 1989.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Max PLANCK, “Persönliche Erinnerungen aus alten Zeiten”, (originally published in 1946) repr. in Max PLANCK, Von Wesen der Willensfreiheit und andere Vorträge,Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1991, p. 1934, quotation on p. 23.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Albert MICHELSON, Light Waves and their Uses,Chicago, 1903, p. 23–5.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Paul FORMAN, John HEILBRON and Spencer WEART, Physics circa 1900: Personnel, funding, and productivity of the academic establishments, Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 5 (1975), pp. 1185.Google Scholar

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© Springer Basel AG 1999

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  • Geert Vanpaemel

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