Methodological Approaches in the History of Science and Technology
Explaining Science Historically
This historiographical paper is an extended commentary on thirteen essays in a forthcoming Focus section of Isis devoted to explanation in history of science. Those essays discuss historical explanation in a bewildering variety of cases, ranging from Babylonian astronomy through Copernicus and Galileo to twentieth century anthropology. My commentary aims at bringing out the many faces of historical explanation suggested by those cases. I start by indicating several ways in which the term ‘explanation’ is used in historiographical discourse. I then point out common themes and points of contention among the thirteen essays, as regards how to go about carrying out a historical explanation. Furthermore, I discuss in more detail two of those points: the problems of causal explanation in history of science and the imperative of avoiding anachronism in historical interpretation. First, I argue that the prospects of causal explanation in history of science are rather dim and I suggest an account of historical explanation based on the intellectual and material resources that are available to historical actors and on the constraints that delimit their available options. Second, I suggest that a mitigated anachronism can be justified from time to time: sticking to actors’ categories and the information accessible to them may not always be the best way for understanding what they were up to. Finally, I conclude by sketching a pluralist take on explaining science historically: Depending on a historian’s interests, skills, sensibilities, and subject matter, her or his choices of explananda and explanatory strategies may legitimately differ.
Moving Perception. On Material Culture and Media in the History of Perception Research
This paper explores the role of material culture in stabilizing and circulating a specific perception as a research object. In 1939, in Louvain, Belgium, the experimental psychologist Albert Michotte (1881-1965) started his experiments on the perception of causality. He designed a large mechanical animation machine, based on painted rotating discs, with which he could show in a controlled way moving figures in many combinations to his experimental subjects. Michotte was convinced that, in order to communicate this research on a topic as controversial as the direct perception of causal relations, he had to make people see: to make them experience for themselves the distinctions between the phenomenal effects that were at stake. Until the 1960s, he and his team continued to develop new techniques to transport the perceptions that the research was about. After travelling with the original discs to many conferences and foreign labs, and even making animation films to demonstrate the effect, they settled on a printed set of discs that could be sent by parcel post (Fig.1). These discs were given to visitors at the lab, or sold and sent by post to interested colleagues. In this way, the discs ended up not only in many cities across Europe: in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Germany, but also in Montreal in Canada, Christchurch, New Zealand, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upon receiving, the discs had to be cut out and mounted on a rotation apparatus, following the enclosed instructions – and watched. Later on, cross-cultural research on the perception of causality would be set up, but at this point, the Louvain psychologists were searching for very basic perceptual mechanisms that were shared by all.
These discs, and the small commercial plan that was rolled out for them, allow us to understand how the problem of internationally transporting a movement-perception, itself understood as context-dependent, was addressed. I study how different media were explored and what this can tell us about how this problem was understood. When comparing the circulation methods that the Louvain psychologists developed with those of other perception scholars – e.g. Adelbert Ames (Hanover Institute), with whom Michotte was corresponding about issues of the circulation of perception research – it becomes clear that very different factors were deemed important in the circulation of perception research.
History of Science Research Resources in the Smithsonian Libraries
This talk intends to draw attention to the unparalleled resources for science history research in the Special Collections of the Smithsonian Libraries. While large university libraries in the US may be better known by scholars of the history of science, the libraries of the Smithsonian will be a surprising discovery for many. The research material covers several disciplines. The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History holds classics of the natural sciences, many of them profusely illustrated. Rare books in the National Air and Space Museum Library give an insight into the development of aviation and space exploration. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum Library holds rich materials in the history of architecture and design, while the Freer-Sackler Gallery Library rare books reflect on oriental culture including scientific literature. The Smithsonian’s largest and oldest special collection, however, is the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.
The Dibner Library encompasses 35,000 rare books, close to 2,000 manuscript groups, several hundred printed portraits, and numerous medals representing the development of Western science from the 13th to the 20th centuries. The strengths of the collection include mathematics, theoretical & experimental physics, astronomy, chemistry, engineering, electricity, magnetism, early photographic processes, and scientific instrumentation. A special segment of the collection features materials from the World’s Fairs including innovations in science and technology from 1851 to the mid-20th century.
The talk will discuss the easy access to these materials, showcase spectacular highlights of the collections, and shed light onto the services that make science history research convenient in the Smithsonian Libraries Special Collections (digitization, research assistance, expert consultation, etc.). Examples for the outreach programs (fellowships, exhibitions, tours, lectures, and publications) will invite scholars and researchers to the Smithsonian Libraries to discover and become engaged with these rich resources in the history of sciences.
Atoms and molecules in history from a global point of view
Globalization is a growingly important aspect of the History of Science as an academic discipline. From local history to regional, from regional history to national, from national history to continental, from continental history to a view of history that embraces our world at large: this is what we lived since the foundation of our Academy (1928). This is not to say that local history went under or that regional history should vanish before national interests. No, they have come to subsist together like the electron shells in a Bohr-Rutherford atom or the membranes of an onion. This is, naturally, a matter of languages and time: individually, we are simply unable to cover all of the world of learning. I would like to sketch in, in my paper, what remains to be done in the field of the history of the atomic and molecular theory. There will be echoes from Greece and from India, from Iraq and from China, from Japan and from Australia, while virtually all of Europe and the United States came to be involved in the spread of the atomic and molecular theory over the world.
The tool of sum-over-states: Research and pedagogy in statistical mechanics, 1902–1944
This paper examines the introduction and dispersion of sum-over-states in research papers and textbooks, exploring the interaction between research and pedagogy in the development of statistical mechanics. Sum-over-states appeared as a calculational tool and reorganized the body of knowledge in statistical mechanics textbooks, which supported the dissemination of the new technique among experts and the production of new research results. When Gibbs wrote Elementary Principles in Statistical Mechanics in 1902, he calculated thermodynamic quantities using ensemble averages, not sum-over-states. In 1913, Debye introduced sum-over-states as a tool to calculate the Helmholtz free energy, reducing the statistico-mechanical problems to the calculation of sum-over-states. Planck discussed a broad range of phenomena using sum-over-states in research papers in the 1910s and 1920s, which resulted in the fourth edition of his textbook Vorlesungen über die Theorie der Wärmestrahlung (Lectures on the Theory of Heat Radiation, 1921), in which the technique of sum-over-states was employed to reorganize the former edition. The 1921 new edition of Planck’s Vorlesungen contributed significantly to disseminating sum-over-states among experts, resulting in its use in many research papers, textbooks, and treatises. For example, following Planck’s adoption of sum-over-states, Schrödinger conducted his research on quantum gases in the 1920s and composed his textbook, Statistical Thermodynamics, in 1944
Science And Hegemony In Gramsci’s “Prison Notebooks”
The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) made his notes on science within his “Quaderni del carcere” (Prison Notebooks) written between 1929 and 1935, while imprisoned by the Italian fascist regime. In this paper, I present an overview of Gramsci’s idea of science from his Prison Notebooks. I concentrate on his polemics against Bukharin analyzing Gramsci’s discard of Bukharin’s belief in the “objectivity of scientific knowledge”. This perspective entails a new reading of the history of science, which appears to be strictly connected to the social and political contexts. This character of science implies a reconsideration of it in the context of the struggle for “hegemony”, i.e., a reassessment within the framework of the political and social transformations analyzed by Gramsci. Gramsci’s interpretation of science as “cultural hegemony” constitutes a fruitful field for historians of science, a starting point to get a deeper understanding of the historical and political mechanisms that govern the success of a scientific theory.
Zeng Huafeng, Huang Boyao, Yang Aihua, Zhao Jingjing and Cheng Baihua
Rational Thought on Disruptive Technology
Starting from the definition of disruptive technology, the paper distinguishes the differences between the technologies and other popular technology types. Meanwhile, it clearly points out the subversive objects of disruptive technology. Besides, this paper also explains four main features of military disruptive technology which includes “innovative”, “instability”, “randomness” and “unstoppable”, and, at the same time, thinks about the future of military disruptive technology by using the research methods of technology and society.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives in the History of Science and Technology
Travelling rhinoceroses: Peregrinations across cultures, politics, science, art, and commerce
In the imaginary of the European Renaissance the wonders of the created world – encountered or expected naturalia overseas – were potential exhibits of a world Kunstkammer. As far as living animals were concerned, their access and potential “use” presupposed knowledge that had to be acquired – partially through transfer from the countries of provenience – and transportation techniques that still had to be developed.
The present study focuses on the travels of two rhinoceroses from India to Europe. The first, in 1515, brought a young female rhinoceros as a gift for the King of Portugal, Manuel I, who sent it further in 1516 to Pope Leo X as a gift too. The second travel was organised for commercial purposes by a Dutch merchant in 1741. Analysing both cases it can be shown how the knowledge transfer from the Indian to the European context accompanies the transformation of the interest to impress by means of the travelling rhinoceros –the transformation from a royal present for the pope in 1516 to a commercial exhibit across Europe in 1741 onwards. The scientific ignorance in the years 1515-1516 – remarkably immortalised through the wood cut by Albrecht Dürer who never saw the rhinoceros himself – was crowned by the tragic death of the rhinoceros in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy. In an early colonial-capitalist context, Clara, the 1741 rhinoceros, travelled first across the oceans, then through 18th century Europe as a register with several layers of inscribed, freshly acquired knowledge on zoology that made her travels and her long survival possible and lucrative.The pachyderm was commercialised in form of event exhibitions and spectacular performances in front of nobility, rulers, and general public. In the present comparative study the two cases yield further evidence on similarities and differences in the historically connoted European perception of the knowledge transferred by the Indians who accompanied and took care of the animals.
The role of the scientific community of Russia in the creation of the object of World Natural Heritage of UNESCO “Virgin Forests of Komi”
“Virgin Forests of Komi” is the first Russian natural object included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List in 1995. The area of the state biosphere reserve is 3.28 million hectares. It includes territories of two protected parts of the Pechora-Ilych Biosphere Reserve and the National Natural Park “Yugyd Va”. Together they make up the largest of the remaining European primary forest massifs which appearance is almost not changed by anthropogenic influence. This is a real treasury of taiga. There are more than 40 species of mammals, 204 bird species, 16 species of fish, many of which are included in the Red Book of Russia. The activities of scientists of Russia who for many years contributed to the creation of the reserve, played the main role in the creation of this recreational territory. Based on the analysis of diverse documentary sources, some of which are introduced into scientific circulation for the first time, the main activities and results of the work of Russian scientists in the field of creation of a natural object “Virgin Forests of Komi” are identified and analyzed.
The problem of the use of natural resources and nature protection in Russia gained global importance only in the XX century. Decrees “On land” (1917), “On forests” (1918), “On protection of nature sanctuaries, gardens and parks” (1921) were the first attempts to lay the basic principles of environmental protection in the country. In 1924, at the initiative of the public of Russia, the All-Russian Society for Nature Protection was organized. Its main tasks were to promote the ideas of nature protection, dissemination of knowledge about the environment. In the 1920s-1930s, the process of creation of the first state reserves began in the USSR. In the country of this period there was an intensive growth of industry that attached great importance to the work on nature protection which involved both public organizations and scientific institutions. The scale of industrial development and transformation of the environment determined the wide involvement of scientific academic knowledge to solving the problems of natural resources conservation.
The European Northeast of the country where at that time valuable mineral deposits (coal, oil) were found, became one of the industrially promising territories of the USSR. The Pechora-Ilych expedition organized in 1929 in the territory of the Komi Autonomous region, was a major scientific event on the study of nature of this region. It was initiated by the All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation, F.F. Shillinger, biologist, directed its work. The main result of the expedition was the proposal to create a reserve in the surveyed territory. The project has got active support from many famous Russian scientists (V.A. Varsanofyeva, A.A. Chernov, S.A. Buturlin, G.A. Kozhevnikov, etc.). The Decree of the Soviet of People’s Commissars of RSFSR of May 4, 1930 on the organization of the Pechora-Ilych reserve in 1930 defined its boundaries, it occupied all the interfluve of the Pechora and its right tributary of Ilych. The main objectives of the reserve were defined: the preservation of plant and animal natural resources, restoration of natural resources of the territory. On its basis, a research institution was established, which carries out its activities today.
In 1944 in the territory of the European Northeast of the USSR, in Syktyvkar – the capital of the Komi ASSR, the scientific institution of the USSR Academy of Sciences was organized. Employees of the scientific organization are actively involved in the conservation of the unique nature of the region. In 1959, a special scientific division – the Commission for nature protection of the Komi ASSR was organized in the Komi Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Thanks to the activities of scientists-initiators – A.P. Brattsev, Cand. Sci. (Geography), and V.P. Gladkov the Commission has developed an active work on scientific inventory of objects of nature requiring protection. On their initiative by the end of the 1980s more than two hundred objects were declared nature sanctuaries in the territory of the Komi ASSR. One of the major research projects was the organization in the territory of the Komi Republic of the national natural park to preserve the natural state of the unique landscapes of the western slope of Northern and Subpolar Urals. The reasons for the allocation of this territory under protection, according to scientists, was the presence of a large number of nature sanctuaries as well as the continuous uncontrolled increase in the number of tourists doing harm to nature. The Bureau of the Komi Regional Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the Komi ASSR in 1971 supported the proposal of scientists by the joint resolution “On formation of a Natural Park in the Komi ASSR”. All kinds of industrial and economic use of land, water, forests disturbing the state of the natural complex were prohibited throughout the territory. However, the actual creation of this recreational territory lasted for decades. The end to creation of this protected territory was put by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation in 1994, according to which the National Natural Park “Yugyd Va” (Light water) was created.
Thanks to the scientific community in Russia the problems of nature protection and rational use of resources were put and successfully solved in the XX century. The efforts of scientists have identified clear principles of allocation of natural objects to be protected. One example of such intensive work was the activity of scientists in the European Northeast of Russia. As a result of activity of representatives of science more than two hundred objects were declared nature sanctuaries, among them the unique territory of the Pechora-Ilych Biosphere Reserve and the large Natural Park of Russia – “Yugyd Va”, which became the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Object.
Alexandra L. Rizhinashvili
The roots of ecology in Russia during the 20th Century
The ecology is a biological science studying the structure and functioning of super-organismic levels of living matter (these are populations and ecosystems). However, in Russian during XX century native tradition of the equation of ecology and nature protection practices and exclamations has been emerged. Such condition persists up to our days and impedes proper development of science itself and also education. I explore the causes of this situation.
In order to study this problem I examine the sources, specifics, and modern condition of Russian ecology. The present historical analysis may explain the roots of mixing ecology and some others branches of biology (and not only biology) in the Russian society. From the very beginning ecology was vaguely separated from adjacent sciences (physiology or zoogeography). Further in the period of the cult of personality in the USSR ecology was considered as applied science aimed to resolve problems of conquest of nature. Approximately from the 1970s it suffers increasingly from growing fusion with nature protection and with ethical/esthetical norms of attitude to the nature. It is idea of harmony in nature that determines such misunderstanding in ecology. Moreover, due to complex kind of its tasks ecology (dealing both with the living organism and with elements of the abiotic medium) unavoidably seems to be a more interdisciplinary science than a purely biological science. Obviously, current misconception of ecology reflects specificity of its historical development. The seeming “disorder” of ecology, even among biologists, should be overcome as soon as possible. On the base of historical analysis I propose some recommendations. The work is supported by Russian Fund of Basic Research (project No. 18-011-00733).
The presence of pseudoscientific ideas in the Greek press of the 19th century
In the nineteenth century, science was organized by Institutions and Universities that developed standards and coordinated practical and theoretical work. Science tested and confirmed positive knowledge of the natural world, based on the positivism founded by August Comte in 1830 and achieved remarkable theoretical development and unimagined practical application. Revolutionary scientific theories and observations were plentiful. Darwin, Wallace and Spencer caused a revolution in biology. Faraday, Maxwell and Hertz contributed seminal ideas in electromagnetic theory.
Researchers noted that the scientific discoveries of the 19th century had been so dramatic and extensive that ordinary people had become over credulous. An army of pseudoscientific quacks who trade upon the imperfect knowledge of the masses had grown up alongside legitimate science. Pseudoscience appeared at precisely the same time during the early part of the 1800s that science was assuming its modern meaning to designate knowledge of the natural world. All these exciting new knowledges was introduced in the newly established Greek State that was trying to follow the steps of the rest of the European countries.
The new achievements of science fascinated equally educated and undereducated people. At the same time, pseudoscientific ideas, that seemed simpler and more understandable, overwhelmed popular magazines and pamphlets. Researching in the press of the time (19th) about the public attitude to pseudoscientific ideas, like Mesmerism and Phrenology, reveals elements about the character of the Greek society of the time. The way people defined themselves toward the imposed European culture and the degree of adaptation of everything it was imported from the European countries, from new scientific and technological achievements to accepted pseudoscientific theories and ideas.
Evangelia Chordaki and Antigoni Lazopoulou
Women’s engagement in science: The case of Greek Feminist Movements for abortion and contraception in the 1970s
After the dynamic Athens Polytechnic uprising in 1973 and the fall of the military regime in Greece in 1974, social movements generated particularly by young people and students, emerged in the public sphere. Among others, between 1976 and 1986, feminist movements for abortion and contraception appeared in the political landscape and women with various ideological and class backgrounds were engaged with OB/GYN practices and ideas.
In the current research we will explore the correlations between feminist and medical theories and practices. In doing so, we will examine primary archival material such as newspapers, posters and feminist magazines (Dini, Skoupa, Poli ton Gynaikon, No woman’s land). By approaching feminist movements for abortion and contraception as “boundary movements” that work inside and outside the boundaries of science, we will emphasize the intersection between history of science and gender studies. Hence, we will not analyze women in science as victims or individual scientific figures, but through their collective and multiple identities.
Towards this direction, we will examine different spatial contexts where science was situated, outside the dominant academic boundaries. Such places often worked as “safe places” for women and will help us to further investigate the development of experience-based expertise and the reconstruction of scientific ideas related to abortion and contraception. The actors of boundary movements question both the professional authority of doctors and the credibility of scientific knowledge while simultaneously construct rival forms of knowledge. We argue that the study of Greek feminist movements as boundary movements can contribute to the ongoing discussion regarding women’s engagement with science beyond the institutional contexts of scientific inquiry.
Sciences, langues et traductions pendant les Lumières néohelléniques
Au cours des siècles pré-révolutionnaires, en particulier à l’époque des Lumières néohelléniques, les traductions se multiplient dans l’ensemble et en particulier dans le domaine des sciences. Les livres scientifiques qui sont édités sont dans leur majorité des traductions, des abrégés, des paraphrases ou des compilations des ouvrages occidentaux, surtout des « modernes ». Les traductions sont réalisées à partir des œuvres originales écrites en latin, français et d’autres langues européennes. Dans le même temps, des problèmes se posent en ce qui concerne la langue des traductions et la terminologie. Les érudits grecs oscillent entre le la langue savante et la langue commune, utilisée par les traducteurs qui désirent d’être compris d’un large public, tandis que la traduction des termes soulève de nombreuses questions. Les traductions des livres scientifiques sont d’ordinaire fidèles à l’original ; dans certains cas elles prennent quelques libertés qui consistent à l’abréviation de chapitres, à l’ajout de précisions supplémentaires et de commentaires ou de notes de bas de page. Afin d’enrichir la langue, les traducteurs refusent les termes d’origine étrangère et recherchent des correspondants grecs, puisés dans « la riche réserve ancestrale », ou proposent la création de néologismes en accord avec la nature de la langue grecque, ce qui n’aboutit pas toujours au résultat désiré. Cette communication a l’intention de fournir des statistiques sur les langues traduites et la langue utilisée dans les traductions. Elle examinera également les efforts visant à créer une terminologie scientifique.
Euclid in Greek modern poetry
Geometry is one of the first branches of Mathematics known to history, due to its direct practical applications. It was originally developed on a strictly empirical level by the Babylonians and the Egyptians. Thales of Miletus was the first Greek to introduce the concept of “proof” as a means of verifying a geometrical proposition. With the Greeks, geometry first came to mean pure knowledge and science, reaching its peak, like the other sciences, during the Hellenistic period, the time of the dominant figures of mathematics, Euclid, Archimedes and Apollonius.
The centuries passed, with Euclidean Geometry bearing the flame of Mathematics, up to the 16th century, when the first steps towards Algebra were taken. Its roots, of course, go far back, to the Greek Diophantus of Alexandria and the Arab Al-Khwarizmi (9th c.). Euclidean Geometry and Algebra continued side-by-side until the birth of Infinitesimal Calculus and non-Euclidean geometries in the 19th century.
Is there any relation between Mathematics and Poetry? The prevailing view is that Mathematics and Poetry have nothing in common. However, if we look below the surface and dig a little deeper into two of the most important human activities throughout recorded history, surely we will discover kindred elements and similarities unseen at first glance. The modern Greek poetry will help us to bring them to light, to find their connective tissue, to prove them, as we would say in our science – or what sort of mathematicians would we be?
Since this research field is far too wide to cover in a simple paper, we will focus on the elements of geometry found in the Greek poets.
Medicine and Biology
Headache Palliatives from Dioscorides and Evaluation of their Possible Efficacy
While his De Materia Medica was not the first pharmacopeia, Dioscorides may have had the advantage of experience garnered through extensive regional travel with Roman troops, along with a large contingent of subjects on which to test his methods. His five volumes presented best practices for collection, preparation, and administration of the substances. In his work, there are thirty-eight palliatives for headaches, most of which also treat a range of other maladies that may or may not have caused the symptom. There are also many warnings about preparations to avoid as they will cause headaches, either during collection of the plants or as a result of use for other ailments. Preparation and suggested use of some examples are presented, along with some examples where headaches might result. The materials cited by Dioscorides as translated and published by Osbaldeston and Wood in 2000, are compared to current pharmacological research on safety and efficacy of similar substances wherever possible. The implications of this early materia medica to current trends in alternative treatment practices are also evaluated.
18th-century variolation (smallpox inoculation) and western changes to its eastern origin
Unrecognised as belonging to science for nearly 200 years, the practice of eastern inoculation for smallpox prophylaxis was transmitted from Turkey to Europe and the former Colonies of America in the 18th century. I shall define how the transmitted original method for immunity was adapted in accordance with the traditional socio-cultural, religious and medical mores in host countries.
On continents where the origin of the practice appeared to be indigenous, such as India and Africa, the adaptations were dependant on religious pressures as well as on a variety of the available implements used for variolation – the pre-Jennerian form of inoculation – which used human smallpox scabs or pustule lymph transferred by various methods to unaffected persons to ensure life-long prevention of the disease. With the average mortality rate of 30% for smallpox, and additionally survivors’ disfigurements and deformities, motivation to adopt variolation was based empirically on its proven success, which ensured continuation of the practice. More than thirty cultural variables of the globalising practice were discovered: all were successful, some were closely guarded secrets. These cultural adaptations did not disappear until well into the19th century, when superseded by vaccination which used one uniform method. The common denominator motivating the multiple methods in the transcultural adoption of inoculation on 4 continents as well as China, Turkey and Russia was the principle of necessity combined with efficacy – in this case that, up to its eradication in 1979, there never was a cure for smallpox.
La perception socio-historique dans les sciences de la santé. Epilepsie, comme modèle d’étude
Problématique : Malgré l’innovation biotechnologique dans le domaine des sciences de la santé ,or couplée à d’autres regards puisés des disciplines sociales et humaines, elle offre un large éventail par l’anthropologie médicale et l’approche socio-historique pour une vision analytique concise qui indique le recours constant de l’homme à la médecine traditionnelle et de l’ancrage de l’héritage intergénérationnel des connaissances médicales et pharmaceutiques à propos de certaines maladies à étiquette psychique avec leur descriptif de supranaturel et du sacré. L’objet de notre étude est l’épilepsie qui renvoi à cet amalgame entre le vécu contemporain du patient et les difficultés de l’interprétation du malaise qui sont induites par une imprégnation socio-historique et culturelle.
Méthodologie: Etude descriptive multicentrique .
Discussion: L’étude de l’épilepsie offre une remarquable compréhension pluridisciplinaire notamment socio-historique. Effectivement, le recours à l’héritage socio-historique comme la transmission intergénérationnelle des recettes de remèdes est une pratique ancestrale actualisée, et il demeure accompagné par une connotation religieuse dont le concocta est corroboré par un sacrilège thérapeutique. Cette affiliation socioculturelle avec ses racines historiques est l’une des composantes des traits de personnalité dont son déni ne permet en aucun cas d’aboutir à la bonne compréhension des thématiques socio-familiales. L’épilepsie était mitigée par des préjugés socioculturels qui impliquent des forces démoniaques. Il s’agit d’une image descriptive historique, mais qui ne donne pas en même temps un ancrage spécifique par rapport à la situation réelle de la maladie organique.
Conclusion: L’histoire des sciences de la santé implique une connaissance de la vérité.
La Peste : regard sur la troisième pandémie
During our era, the three pandemics of plague that decimated humanity followed each other like empires, following their enigmatic comings and goings through time. In space, the spread of plague is more readily explained by the development of transport, migratory flows and international trade. Here is the sequence : – The FIRST pandemic, the so-called « Justinian’s plague »: 6th – 8th century killed 25 million people in the surrounding areas of the Mediterranean Sea – The SECOND pandemic, the so-called « Black Death »: 14th – 18th century, killed at least one third of the European population in a series of spreading waves of infection all over Europe. – The THIRD pandemic: late 19th-mid 20th century. It began in the Yunnan (China) and the Baikal Lake (Russia) regions and later spread all around the world. More than 12 million people died in India and China alone. Nowadays, far from being eradicated, infection is still endemic in Asia, America and Africa. FROM THE AGE OF HISTORY TO THE AGE OF SCIENCE or how to eliminate plague: The plague is a disease of rodents transmitted to humans by flea bites from infected animals. The human disease takes two main forms: bubonic (contracted by flea bites) and pulmonary (transmitted by air). 1) FROM THE HOSPITAL TO THE LABORATORY – ALEXANDRE YERSIN, an adventurer in bacteriology The plague kept the secret of its causative agent until Alexander Yersin discovered the bacillus, called Yersinia pestis, Hong Kong, 1894. – PAUL-LOUIS SIMOND discovered the role of the fleas in the transmission of the bacillus from rat to rat or from rat to humans, Bombay (India), Karachi (Pakistan), 1898. – ON THE PATH OF DNA: a single strain is at the origin of plague pandemics. In 2016, a team of researchers traced the evolution of the plague bacillus from Europe to Asia, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The phylogenetic analysis of DNA samples established that a single strain of Y. pestis is at the origin of the so-called « Black Death ». Scientists demonstrated that the causative strains of the European second pandemic had strong genetic similarities with these of the third plague pandemic. 2) FROM THE LABORATORY TO THE FIELD EXPERIENCE where plague bacillus is lurking – MARCEL BALTAZARD, as a scout for outbreaks of plague in the highlands of Iranian Kurdistan. 3) FROM THE FIELD EXPERIENCE TO THE ADMINISTRATION: the World Health Organization – EDOUARD BRYGOO, Member of the WHO Expert Committee on Plague THE THIRD PANDEMIC IN RUSSIA / SOVIET UNION AND CENTRAL ASIA 1) PLAGUE REAPPEARED IN THE CASPIAN SEA, AT THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY – Vetlianka (1878-1879) by Charles RICHET – Tarbagan marmots in Transbaikalia (1888-1891) by A. RESHETNIKOV 2) PLAGUE EPIDEMIOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY IN THE USSR: an overview on research institutes and some of their workers – A.A. LEVINA studied latent plague in Turkmenistan. – G. G. SONIN was a microbiologist working at the anti-plague Institute of Irkutsk (Siberia). – A.D. GARMIZOVA and the team of microbiologists at the Irkutsk anti-plague Institute and the Chita anti-plague Station. – N.I. KALABUKHOV, an epidemiologist at the Laboratory of Ecology and Physiology at the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Astrakhan – L. A. TIMOFEEVA studied soil plague, at the Irkutsk Institute. – I.I. TCHERTCHENKO, an immunologist for the history of plague. 3) PLAGUE AND GLASNOST in 1990 : Boris VELIMIROVIC : about cases of human plague in the 20th century in Russia and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) Epidemiological studies established that 10 autonomous natural plague foci existed in the USSR, whose geographical boundaries and species hosts (rodents and ectoparasites) had been characterized: 1) North-West Caspian Sea 2) Volga-Ural 3) Asia Central Desert 4) Trans-Ural 5) Mountains of Central Asia 6) Plains of Transcaucasia 7) Mountains of Transcaucasia 8) Transbaikal 9) Gorno-Altai 10) Tuva. VELIMIROVIC wrote that, despite the enormous efforts made in the USSR to fight against plague, the Soviet authorities have refrained from openly communicating to the WHO sporadic cases of human plague since 1928, although a reality.
Transcultural features of modernity in 19th century Greek medical science and public health
The paper departs from the idea that knowledge and scientific transfer or appropriation provided the conditions of modernity, as it had been shaped in the long 19th century in Europe. The focus of discussion is the newly founded state of Greece after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which developed a sense of belonging to the European and generally the advanced, modern and civilized western body. During this process medicine and public health, together with other disciplines, served as major pillars in Greece’s modernizing program throughout the so-called long 19th century.
In order to better understand the impact of European culture on Greece and the receptiveness of the latter, I study the scientific arguments and the rhetorical schemata the medical scientists have used in their effort not only to shape their discipline but also to forge a modern Greek identity. I argue that the interrelation between the two poles formed a transcultural scientific identity with strong national connotations in the Greek territory. The term captures a dynamic that on one hand reveals the process of shaping a European profile for modern Greece, but also the changing concepts about her ancient past, heritage and tradition by the Greek physicians.
The paper will discuss this transcultural argumentation of the Greek doctors and scientists of neighboring disciplines, as it was first conceptualized at the end of the 19th century and took clear form by the interwar period. I will show how their rhetoric, and occasionally their practice, connected ancient tradition with western modernity, the notion of race with that of nation and culture, and how they tried to justify this connection by scientific terms. This process resulted in a ‘knowledge product’ that for the Greek scientists transformed their country from recipient of western culture that revived the ancient glory, into a nation with the mission to acculturate anew others, starting with its neighbors.
Andreas Vourtsis and Eleni-Ersi Bakou
The creation of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute in Interwar Greece: Zaharoff, Venizelos and the French connection
In early 20th century Europe, addressing public health issues was one of the fundamental steps for a state to become ‘modern’ and for a nation to become sustainable. Countries like Greece, that didn’t quite belong to the Western world, but wanted to join the club of the so-called ‘progressive’ nations, tried to deal with their hygiene problems in many ways. In several occasions they asked for help and guidelines from western institutions specialized in public health and biomedical sciences. The Hellenic Pasteur Institute (HPI), founded in 1919 in Athens, could be seen as an example of this tendency. Its creation can be traced to an initiative of officers of the French Mission for the reorganization of the Greek Army (General Joseph-Paul Eydoux, Medicine Colonel Odilon Arnaud); Bazil Zaharoff, a notorious arms dealer of Greek descent, made the necessary donation and became the official founder and benefactor till his death in 1936. The Greek prime minister, Eleftherios Venizelos, also contributed substantially to the creation of the HPI.The institute was funded by Albert Calmette, Pasteur’s student and deputy director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. HPI had strong ties to the mother institute in Paris, as any other of the affiliated institutes around the world, and was also a symbol of the superiority of French science.
Entangled histories: karyotyping and populations genetics in Cold War Mexico. Salvador Armendares and Rubén Lisker characterization of child and indigenous populations, 1960s-1980s
This paper focuses on Mexican physicians-turned-geneticists Salvador Armendares´ and Rubén Lisker´s studies from the 1960s to the 1980s, to explore how their work fits in the larger tapestry of post-1945 human biological studies, and also, how the populations they studied, child and indigenous, can be considered laboratories of knowledge production or sites of cognition. This paper describes how populations were considered specific entities for different purposes: scientific inquiry, standardization of medical practices, and for the production or application of medicines. Through the narrative of the different trajectories and future collaborations between Armendares and Lisker, this paper also attempts to show the contact of their scientific practices, which brought cytogenetics and population genetics together at the local and global levels from a transnational perspective.
The History of the Establishment of New Zhuang Medicine and the Construction of its Core Theory of “Three Ways and Two Roads”
For China, there are great differences among the body theories of ethno-medicine, and because they originated long time ago and there almost no records about their origination were left, their formation process is mostly unknown now. But Zhuang medicine is an exception. Since the 1980s, the Chinese local government has organized relevant researchers to construct a set of standardized and nationally recognized standard Zhuang medicine through extensive investigation, excavation and collation in Guangxi Zhuang region and through the integration of research teams.The Zhuang medicine standardized and recognized by the state (that is, with the official sense of legitimacy) of this kind can be also called “new Zhuang medicine”.
Based on the medical culture background in the history of Zhuang medicine, this paper makes a historical investigation of the process of establishing “New Zhuang Medicine” through relevant literature materials and interviews with members of research team at that time. Among them, the construction process of body theory of the new Zhuang medicine is the most prominent one.The theory of “Three Ways and Two Paths” (“Valley Way”, “Airway”, “Water way”, and “Dragon Path”, “Fire Path”) can be said to be the core of the body theory in the medical theory system of the Zhuang Nationality. Its construction process was influenced by various social and cultural factors, and is the result of the selection, refinement and integration of the experience of the Zhuang Nationality’s folk medicine by the researchers of the Zhuang Nationality.Through the analysis of its establishment process, we found that the relevant researchers excluded the explanation of “ghost-god-witch” system which was quite popular in past, and chose the new revised concept of “three ways and two paths”, so that the theory can not only meet the requirements of modern medical theory, but also take into account its own uniqueness and the similarities with traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine theory. Finally, it was successfully incorporated into the national medical system, which also reflectsunique construction strategy of the researchers of Zhuang medicine.
“Cholera” in Chinese and Western medicine reference
1817 is an indicator year of the Cholera world pandemic and the starting point for the development of all cholera medical history. In the book Mark Jackson “The history of Medicine”, the author believes that the first case of Cholera should be in India in the late eighteenth century. This is the first time that Cholera has been described as a unique condition that is different from other forms of fever.The first Cholera pandemic emerged out of the Ganges Delta(恆河三角洲)with an outbreak in India, in 1817, stemming from contaminated rice. The disease quickly spread throughout most of India, modern-day Myanmar(緬甸), and modern-day Sri Lanka (斯里蘭卡)by traveling along trade routes established by Europeans.Yu yun xiu (余雲岫) believed that the popularity of true Cholera in China is in Fujian (福建省) in the 23rd year of Jiaqing (嘉慶23年，1818). In the first year of Daoguang (道光元年，1821), it spread to Southeast region. Chen Bang-xian (陳邦賢), through county research(縣誌), believes that Cholera was first popular in China for 25 years in Jiaqing(嘉慶25年，1820).This article mainly wants to explore whether there is any “Real Cholera”, caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, in China in the history of history.This word “cholera(霍亂轉筋，huo luan chuan chin)” can be founded in Chinese classical literature very early, but it is not equivalent to Cholera in Western medicine. But is there a prevalence of true Cholera , caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, in China before 1817? The research method used in this paper is to collect and sort out the word “cholera” in the medical case and the local literature. Then analyze its description of cholera symptoms. Find out about the description of the symptoms and whether the prevalence is the same as true cholera in Western medicine.The study found that in the description of medical records and local records, China did have the same symptoms in the past with the true cholera of Western medicine. For example , from the Qing Dynasty medical records(清朝醫案), the capital of the capital popular cholera ribs emergency. This disease is difficult to treat. In just one month, there were more than a hundred thousand people dead. This situation is very similar to the six-year plague of Ming Chongzhen(明崇禎6年，1633). The case of the Sui Dynasty(隋朝醫案) has also been diagnosed with “cholera(霍亂轉筋，huo luan chuan chin)”.Therefore, I believe that cholera had a pandemic in China as early as 1817.
Polyclinics in 1950s China: Medicine and Politics
Polyclinics was a vital segment in the chain of China’s cooperative healthcare system, and played a vital role in combing traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine, disease control of grass-root mass, as well as socialist transformation. The number of polyclinics went through a dramatic increase and decrease in 1950s. Based on archives, local health records, memoir and oral histories, as well as news reports, the origin and development trajectory of polyclinics will be traced from Yugoslavia, Britain and Soviet Union to the Republic of China and early People’s Republic of China. Relevant policies and government orientation will be carefully examined within their specific sociocultural context, thereby the transformation of policlinics’ notion, function, scale and operation will be clarified and analyzed.
Mathematics and Astronomy
Jean Michel Delire
Euclid’s Elements, from Alexandria to China, via India – especially India
It is well known that the Elements have been composed by an enigmatic scholar working at the Museion of Alexandria, a kind of Bourbaki of the 3rd century BC. Commented, augmented, criticized, the Elements remained nevertheless the basis of mathematics learning, even though these constantly got enriched by new discoveries. Though well informed about these developments, numerous scholars remained fascinated by the Elements and translated them into various languages. Often, these translations aimed at political or religious ends. By instance, Jesuit missionaries, well educated in science, were sent to China in order to organize the Emperor’s astronomy, and to proselytize, hence there is now a Chinese version of the Elements. A similar project was considered in India, when Rāja Jai Singh II (1688-1743) of Jaipur asked the colonial governments for a scientific help. It must be noted that, before asking help from Europe, Jai Singh II knew about classical mathematics and astronomy and had the Almagest and Elements translated for him from Persian and Arabic into Sanskrit. We will illustrate the lecture with extracts from the Taḥrīr kitāb uṣūl al-handasa of Naṣīr ad-Dīn aṭ-Ṭūsī, an Arabic ‘translation’ of the Elements and from the Rekhāgaṇita of Jagannātha Saṃrāṭ, a translation into Sanskrit of Naṣīr ad-Dīn’s Taḥrīr.
The Algebra of al-Karağī (10th-11th c.): circulation and novelty
Inspired by the algebraic heritage of al-Ḫwārizmī, his successors have enlarged algebra and developed new chapters of this discipline. Al-Karağī is one of those how retook the chapter on equations with different approaches, precisely in his ʽIlal ḥisāb al-ğabr, a less known treatise compared to his works al-Faḫrī, al-Badīʽ and al-Kāfī. On the other side, the school of the latter has well spread in the Maghreb and Europe, mainly through Hebrew algebraic texts. We intend here to bring out novelties related to his approach when dealing with equations and retrace the eventual circulation of his Algebra in the Mediterranean area.
О математике в арабо-исламской цивилизации
Mathematics in Arab Islamic Civilization
Мировая культура прошла несколько этапов, и она достигала, в разные времена развития человечества, определенные успехи. Арабско-исламская цивилизация укрепилась в мировой истории как неотъемлемая часть мировой культуры. Древние цивилизации как Вавилонская, Египетская, Китайская, Индийская и Греческая внесли весомые вклады в накоплении новых научных знаний и культурного наследия. Выделяется здесь, безусловно, греческая наука и особенно математика и философия. Знаменитые труды греческих ученых и философов, переведенные на арабский язык начиная с 8-го века, создали прочную базу для арабских ученых в усвоении этих знаний, их комментарий и выдвижение новых научных теорий и идей. Арабское научное наследие вместе с переведенными сочинениями греческих ученых и стали достоянием европейских ученых начина с 12 в. (в переводе на латинском языке). Все это подтверждает глобальности и единства науки, в создании которой участвовали разные народы на Востоке и на Западе. В этой работе я фокусировалься на основных достижениях развития математики в период исламской цивилизации, исходя из мысли, что арабская математика является неотъемлемой частью математической науки. Основные особенности арабской математики в период 8-16 вв., которая была написана на арабском язык – как главный язык науки того времени- состоят в следующем: – Арабская наука формировалась на основе древних наук, через перевод на арабский язык, который являлся языком современной науки того времени. Можно отметить некоторые важные черты арабской науки как: 1- мировой характер арабской науки (новая черта в мировой науке), 2- новое математическое мышление и 3- использование экспериментального подхода как метод доказательства (Рашед). – В создании арабской науки участвовали представители разных народов и религий и в этом сила науки и ее универсальности. – Арабские ученые исходили из того факта, что нужно критически изучать наследие предшествующих ученых и продолжать эти исследования и исправления неточности или создать новые направления в науке. – Арабская наука, в целом развивалась как продолжение древней науки и по свидетельству видных историков науки, был проделан значительный прогресс в разных областях науки и в особенности математики и астрономии. – Необходимо напомнить об арабском термине Аль-Джабр (Алгебра), который был введен впервые великим математиком средних веков Мохаммад бин Муса аль-Хорезми (8 в.) в своей книге «Искусство аль-Джабр и аль-Мукабала», где был изобретен этот термин и затем стал обозначать целую математическую науку (алгебра) на всех языках мира. Другой важный математический термин — это «Алгоритм», который производился от имени Аль-Хорезми при переводе на латинский язык. – Одним из главных успехов арабских математиков в средние века была арифметизация алгебры, которая была у греков преимущественно геометрической. – В 10-м веке впервые были использованы методы комбинаторики для составления словаря арабского языка (Аль-Фарахиди). – Аль-Бируни и др. находили численное решение кубических уравнений. – Известно, что десятичные дроби были впервые применены ибн аль-Самавал (12 в.), хотя долгое время считалось, что Аль-каши был первым кто ввел десятичные дроби. – Ибн Аль-Самавал также знал разложение бинома (двучлена) в n–ой степени (известный ныне как бином Ньютона), и в его рукописи был написан треугольник коэффициентов разложения двучлена (известный ныне как треугольник Паскаля) – О. аль-Хайям и др. использовали геометрические методы (методами конических сечений) в решении кубических уравнений. – Ибн Курры и Ибн аль-Хайсама вычисляли площади и объёмы методами, близкими к современным методам интегрирования. – В работах Шараф аль-Дин аль-Туси были применены подходы похожи на понятие производной в изучении многочленов и для нахождения точек максимума и минимума (исследования Р. Рашед) – Алгебраическая символика была придумана и использована для описания алгебраических уравнений. Это было у Ибн аль-Ясимин (12в.). Хотя некоторые историки считали, что Аль-Каласади (15 в.) был первым в этом деле. – В математике западной части исламского мира (Марокко и Андалусия) были получены научные результаты по теме «правила двух ложных положении», которое называлось у них «правило чаш весов» и получилась некоторая параллель этого правила со структурой физических весов. С другой стороны, заметим связь этого правила чаш весов с алгебраическими линейными уравнениями. – Тригонометрические методы, с которыми оперировались ученые как часть астрономии) были преобразованы в самостоятельную науку. – Было уделено особое внимание для развития сферической тригонометрии. – Арабскими математиками был сделан значительный прогресс в определении понятия действительного числа, Ибн аль-Багдади (12 в.) исследовал десятой книги Евклида и комментировал ее, где сделал переход от понятия числа как геометрическое к числу как арифметическое и, тем самым, четко и математически оперировал с иррациональными числами (которые Евклидом рассматривались как геометрические величины). Ибн аль-Багддади также дал абстрактное определение числа, близкое к современному философскому определению (Б. Рассел). И наконец была выдвинута гипотеза о плотности несчетных чисел на прямой (которая была строго сформулирована несколько веков позже). – Были сделаны важные попытки в изучении пятой постулаты Евклида (аксиома о параллельных) особенно в трудах Насира аль-Дина аль-Туси (13 в.), работа которого была переведена на русский язык Казым Беком Заде для Н. Лобачевского (великого русского математика, создателя гиперболический вариант неевклидовой геометрии в первой половине 19-го века). В данной работе также изучены были основные причины упадка арабской науки (которая развивалась успешно в средние века 8-14 вв.) и рассматривался важный научно-исторический и философский вопрос: почему арабская наука, которая была несколько веков, не переросла в классическую науку, созданную позже в Европе. Изучалась также в данной работе проблема свободы научного поиска и ее проявления в средние века и в современности. Особенно о связи науки и религии. В этой работе были включены основные полученные результаты в моих исследованиях по истории арабской математики в средние века, и которые опубликовались в разных журналах и были предоставлены на разных международных конференциях во периоде моей работы в Институте Истории Естествознания и Техники им. С. Вавилова РАН в Москве (2002-2016 гг.) и до сих пор. В работе также уделяется особое внимание роли российских историков арабской науки, таких как А. Юшкевича, Б. Розенфельда, Г. Матвиевкой и М. Рожанской (с последней имел честь сотрудничать в течение 12 лет), которые внесли огромный вклад в изучении научных арабских рукописей и давали объективную научную оценку арабской науки в целом и арабской математики в частности.
The didactic dimension of pre-modern Chinese and Vietnamese mathematical treatises
Interpretations of pre-modern East- and Southeast Asian mathematical texts offered by modern historians of science are often based on implicit assumptions concerning the circumstances under which these texts were compiled and the ways in which they were used. It can be argued that interpretations of one and the same text may vary considerably depending on whether it is considered a “mathematical treatise” addressed primarily to the members of a community of contemporaneous working mathematicians, a “mathematical classic”, that is, the starting point of a commentarial tradition, or a “mathematical manual” used for educational purposes. An ideal methodology for a study of a given pre-modern mathematical text therefore should include a thorough investigation of the social context in which it was used; in the cases when this information is insufficient or unavailable, the very contents of the text may help offer sensible conjectures concerning the modalities of its functioning.
It can be shown that a considerable number of pre-modern Chinese and Vietnamese mathematical texts were used in educational context, that is, were originally designed, or at least adapted later, for mathematical instruction. Even when the information about the use of a given text for educational purposes is insufficient or unavailable, its very structure and the numerical parameters of the problems may provide sufficient materials for a reconstruction of its use in educational context, while the same elements would appear irrelevant if the text was designed for other purposes. In my paper I will show how the numerical values in series of problems in Chinese and Vietnamese mathematical treatises may have been chosen to introduce to the learners new theoretical concepts and reasoning strategies.
The Unity of Being in Aristotle’s Physical Universe
The Aristotelian universe is characterized by a strict demarcation between a sublunary and a superlunary region. According to Aristotle, aether is the stuff of the celestial bodies in the superlunary region, while the four traditional elements have their place in the sublunary region. The natural form of motion of the stars is circular, since they are made of aether, which has a natural circular movement. The motion in the superlunary region is conceived as eternal and well-ordered, while the motion in the sublunary region is conceived as irregular and ephemeral.
Since the division between these two regions is explicitly justified by Aristotle, the question raised is whether the universe as a whole can have an inner orderliness and unity. I will argue that this is the case here, namely that the Aristotelian cosmos itself forms an overall unity. It is Aristotle’s conception of motion that allows him to conceive of the entire world as keeping its essential unity. The peculiar form of motion in each region becomes the dynamic manifestation of the working of teleology in the physical universe. The inner orderliness of the cosmos results from its entire teleological structure. For Aristotle, every part in the cosmic chain has its specific function. The Aristotelian universe is a closed system, in which everything is connected to the whole; it is something perfect and limited, though the processes in it are infinite. The universe as the totality of all beings, of all that exists, is orderly and unified.
Antikythera Mechanism: was it a clock? Similar instruments
The Antikythera Mechanism is the oldest known complex scientific instrument that works with carefully designed and constructed gears made of bronze, it is the oldest known computer and automaton, a mechanical Cosmos, a clockwork Cosmos. It is the oldest tablet too as it was originally called PINAKIDION, tablet in Greek.Made during the second half of the 2nd century BC, somewhere in Greece, by a philosopher and found in an enormous ship that sank around 62 BC at Antikythera, a small Greek island.
The Antikythera Mechanism calculates with its gears the position of the Sun, the position of the Moon, the phases of the Moon any time during the month. The mechanism has many remarkable features and functions for its era of construction. Comparing the Antikythera Mechanism with descriptions in ancient Greek and Latin texts it is discussed if it is possible that it was a planetarium and a clockwork cosmos with continuous motion like the clock of Archimedes, the one of Gaza or Islamic clocks that ar probably off springs of the Antikythera Mechanism.
Hipparchos vs Ptolemaeos and the Antikythera Mechanism: Pin-Slot Device Parameter directly linked to the eccentricity of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth
The Antikythera Mechanism is a complex bronze geared mechanism recovered from a Roman wreck, near the island of Antikythera, in 1900. The wreck was dated 50 BCE – 60 BCE. It has been the subject of research for nearly the whole of the 20th century. Recent findings were reported in Freeth et al3. It is now accepted that the device was an advanced astronomical calculator which predicted accurately solar and lunar eclipses, dating from the first century BCE.
An important feature within the device was a set of coupled gears. They were linked by a “Pin-and-Slot” arrangement. This was reported in detail in Freeth et al3. Using a specialist X-ray scanner, crucial parameters of the Pin-and-Slot arrangement were measured to 0.1 mm. It is now generally believed that the Pin-and-Slot arrangement was a concrete realization of Hipparchos’s epicyclical model for the Lunar Anomaly. This is the variation of the Moon’s longitudinal angular velocity with time. And, it is a consequence of Kepler’s laws of planetary motions. In this work, I was successful in linking a dimensionless parameter associated with the device to the real eccentricity of the moon’s orbit. I did this by expanding an exact formula for the linked gears into a power series of the small dimensionless parameter. I also expanded in a similar way the Moon’s elliptical orbit as a series of the orbital eccentricity. The two series agree to first order if and only if the dimensionless parameter associated with the device were exactly twice the eccentricity of the moon’s orbit. The value of the parameter was measured as 0.1031 to 0.1263 This is in excellent agreement with double the moon’s eccentricity of 0.0549.
The work is prefaced by a short introduction detailing the importance of dimensionless parameters in Engineering and physics, facts well-known to Engineers but perhaps not appreciated by the general Public. This work concludes with a speculative but plausible argument pertaining to mathematical-astronomical knowledge available to our ancestors. A separate paragraph is devoted to the importance of Popular Science and the risks of slipping into the black hole that awaits most literature published for commercial benefit.
Le fighure degl’Indi or The Spread of the Algorismi
The mathematical works entitled or called algorismi are treatises, composed during the Late Middle Ages in Latin and later also in vernacular. Mostly resulting from Latin translations of the Kitab al-Hisab al-Hindi by the 10th-century mathematician al-Khawarizmi, such works testify the gradual replacement of the methods based on abacus (and on digital calculation) with the one based upon the Indo-Arabic numerals. The increasing distance from the Arab source is proven by the fact that the etymology of the term algorismus, which derives from the name of al-Khawarizmi, is almost unanimously misunderstood.
The main and most famous authors, starting from the 12th century, were Alexandre de Villedieu (Alexander de Villa Dei), John of Halifax, or of Holywood, better known with the Latinized name of Sacrobosco, but many more, renown, unknown, and even anonymous, composed original treatises on the topic or reworked the models. The landscape of the authors who dealt with these topics, is very rich and far from being explored in depth.
Having these works as a starting point, both for the title and for the content, a research has been carried out along time and constantly updated with more online and offline sources (incipitaries and catalogues), to collect and syndicate the highest possible number of references to manuscripts with the same title (or a variation) and approximately the same content. All available information about the single manuscript instance of the work (like the content, the author, the place of origin and/or of housing, the date, the language, the scribe, and also the possible relationship with other scientific works present in the same manuscript) has been taken into account and analysed from both a qualitative and a quantitative point of view. Such a corpus allow to highlight the historical and geographical spread of the algorismi.
Jan Śleszyński’s study of the foundations of mathematics
Jan Śleszyński (1854-1931), one of the pioneers of mathematical logic in Russia and Poland, received his mathematical education in Russia and in Germany. In 1882-1909 he worked at the University of Odessa and since 1911 at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. His interest in logic and logical analysis started in the Odessan times. It was then that he translated into Russian „L’Algèbre de la logique” by L. Couturat and when for several years he conducted the seminar at which, among the others things, the foundations of geometry were examined by means of logical methods. The impulse to this research was the development of non-Euclidean geometries and its aim was to build a coherent system of concepts and axioms for geometry. The works of significance importance is the two-volume publication “Theory of Evidence” (1925), lecture “On tradiotional logic” as well as the texts on “About the significance of logic for mathematics” and “The Development of Infinitesimal Concepts”.
In „The theory of evidence” Śleszyński demonstrated his method of logical research and some interpretation of history of logic. He showed how by the historical analysis of Aristotle’s logic and its influence upon other scientists the logic itself may contribute to mathematical explorations. Among other things, he explained how Aristotle’s idea of syllogism helped Newton and Leibniz to make their discoveries. It was the logical analysis which allows to notice the gaps in allegedly obvious evidence and in effect leading to new discoveries. In the preserved manuscripts we find many analyses of mathematical and logical studies of the time, such as of S. Zaremba and S. Leśniewski. It is thanks to Śleszyński that mathematical logic attracted A. Hoborski, W. Wilkosz and O. Nikodem. Śleszyski’s method of historical research and reconstruction of mathematical evidence was continued in the school of J. Łukasiewicz.
It is important that at the source of his logical research was his creative work in the field of mathematics and reflection on its condition. He saw the urgent need to reform mathematics and clarify its foundations. First of all, Śleszyński notes that for the study of mathematics it is sufficient the traditional logic. In case of future mathematics it would be necessary to build new tools of logic. He states that in his time the origins of new logic are contained in the famous work of two English philosophers Principia Mathematica, in which one can notice the abandonment of the standard criteria of obviousness (so intuitive and logical); the scope becomes to establish a logical connection between assertions.
However, the state of the contemporary mathematics, as Śleszyński thought, left a lot to be desired. Therefore, he analyzed logic from the historical and logical point of view in order to separate the useful elements which are needed for the research on the foundations of mathematics. Each deductive science (including logic) contains, according to Śleszyński, two parts: static and dynamic. In the case of logic the static part is particularly important. The tools and structures elaborated within that framework could be used to study the foundations of mathematics. We can find there the system of sentences connected by proofs. However, the content of such sentences does not depend on their form of expression, either of who and when articulates them, or whether anyone and whenever will articulate them; the content is an invariant form of its expression. Hence, we have a pure abstract form and we are not conditioned by metaphysical, epistemological and psychological analysis. We have axioms, postulates and definitions and we do not demand their justification, nor do we seek their sources. Regardless of whether there is any link between these basic sentences and reality (mental or extrasensory) we only look for any logical relationship between them and other theorems. Śleszyński believes that this study is the most important task of science. The first historical example of such a logical relationship was discovered by Aristotle’s syllogism; a necessary link between the demands (premises) and the conclusion. “However, this wonderful relationship, not based on any rape, any criminal law nor on any solemnity; it lies in ourselves! You have to make it alive in yourself and affirm a sense of this relationship, you need to work out a sensitivity and sensibility for it”. The Polish logician thinks that the determination of this type of logical relationship is not only the most important task of science, but it is also a central goal of teaching of every human being.
Śleszyński noted that the logic which Aristotle developed was a theory of relations between two, non-empty classes. However, in the new logic (that of Russell and Whitehead), there are also empty classes. This, as it might seem, a very modest change, dramatically increases the research possibilities of logic. From the point of view of the new logic, it appears that syllogistics contains errors (e.g. the modes Durapti, Felapton, Bamalip and Fesapo are no longer true), but you cannot forget that both logics are based on different assumptions, so the logical fallacy would be to argue the falsity of the logic of the Greek philosopher. Śleszyński shows that Aristotle’s logic is correct.
Regarding the dynamic part of logic, logic is creation, in which intuition, philosophical reflection, psychology and others play a key role. Without them it would not be possible the development of logic; hence, it is not possible to reduce any science (even mathematics) to logic. It is only possible “the technical logicisation”, and therefore the use of established logical relationships to examine proofs, their completeness or their logical shortcuts (for the purposes of teaching and simplifying their presentation). In the dynamic part, the historical studies on science are necessary. Definitions and theorems (and proofs) are complicated and might seem artificial and unnecessary for those who begin their adventure with mathematics. The historical perspective allows to show the questions that lead people to look for these formulations. You can see the way in which the greatest minds struggle with their own intuition and misunderstanding; you can see the gradual achievement of precision.
Stanislaw Domoradzki, Mykhaylo Zarichnyy and Malgorzata Stawiska
Diverse faces of mathematical Lwów between two world wars
Lwów is mostly known by its school of functional analysis lead by Stefan Banach. In the paper we are going to present some information concerning the process of forming contemporary mathematics in Lwów initiated by Józef Puzyna (1856-1919) and his outstanding collaborators (Wacław Sierpiński (1882-1969), Zygmunt Janiszewski (1888-1920), Stefan Mazurkiewicz (1888-1945), H. Steinhaus (1887-1972)) at the beginning of 20th century. We are going to emphasize that some other directions of mathematics were also developed in Lwów between two world wars: topology, algebra, topological algebra (theory of topological groups and semigroups), logics, game theory, differential equations, iteration theory etc. We indicate: the role of General Department of the Lwów Polytechnic; the role of university education that required teaching different subjects and therefore creative development of professors in the corresponding directions; existence of mathematicians that are not in the mainstream of the school.
Lives and Works of Scientists
Wang Gong and Yang Jian
Joseph Needham and nutrition research in China during WWII
During WWII, the famous British scientist Joseph Needham came to China as an official of the Allies and a member of the Royal Society, and established a bridge of wartime cooperation between Chinese and British scientists. During this period, Joseph Needham also turned to the study of ancient Chinese science and civilization through his contacts with Chinese academic circles, and formed SCC, a world-famous masterpiece. However, most of the current historical research on Joseph Needham’s experience focuses on his dual status as a British government official and a fan and explorer of ancient Chinese civilization. However, there is little research on the contribution of Joseph Needham himself as a biochemist in his field of professional support to the Chinese war and his exchanges and cooperation between scientists in the relevant fields of China and Britain.
Recent research has shown that nutrition is an important area in wartime scientific research. Compared with military science, although nutrition has no direct effect on the effective killing of enemy forces. However, for the Chinese military and civilians who persist in the enduring war of resistance, whether or not they can win this war depends on whether it can be Persistence persists in the face of strong military and economic pressure. In this sense, the indispensable nutritional research in the construction of the battlefield and the rear security system constitutes an invaluable part of Chinese science in wartime.
The newly discovered archives show that Joseph Needham came to China during World War II, not only as a scientific official sent by the British government to do a lot of organization and liaison work in promoting the connection between Chinese science and allies, but also as a scientist directly in close contact with his Chinese counterparts. He introduced the nutrition research under the British biochemical tradition to China, at the meantime, he also introduced China’s wartime valuable nutritional research results to the allies.
Therefore, we can not only see that the science of wartime China constitutes an integral part of the anti-fascist scientific community, but also shows that the nutrition research promoted and developed under the special environment of the Chinese battlefield contribute to the progress of human knowledge. What’s more, through the case study of the development of wartime Chinese nutrition in which Joseph Needham himself participated, we can not only gain a deeper understanding of Chinese science during the Anti-Japanese War, but also a deeper understanding of international cooperation in science.
Entanglements of history of science and Egyptology: Frans Jonckheere and the upcoming study of ancient Egyptian medicine in Belgium (1930-1956)
Frans Jonckheere was a medical practitioner, born in Brussels on 30 June 1903 and deceased in the same city on 10 March 1956. His scientific career has hardly been studied. However, it offers the opportunity for a case study on the interweaving of history of science and Egyptology in the 1930s to 1950s, at a time when both disciplines were fully implicated in a process of professionalization, reflected in the formation of specialized institutions and expert communities.
We investigate how the young surgeon, a graduate of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, after passionate literature study and a trip to Egypt in 1939 was taken under the wings of the renowned Egyptologist Jean Capart (1877-1947) who encouraged him to conduct research on ancient Egyptian medical practices. Under Capart’s impulse Brussels had become an international meeting place for Egyptologists. The collections of the Royal Museums of Art and History and the research projects of the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth (FERE, founded in 1923), offered Jonckheere opportunities to make contributions to medical Egyptology.
We pay attention to the impact of Jonckheere’s experimental work with mummies and his application of X-rays, which provided new insights in mummification techniques and the conservation of human remains. We also investigate his analyses of a series of papyri, enabling him to make a comprehensive prosopographic study of the physicians in ancient Egypt. Due to this work, Jonckheere grew into a respected scholar with international contacts. On March 5, 1952, he became a corresponding member of the International Academy of the History of Science.
Finally, we reflect on Jonckheere’s structural mark on history of science in Belgium. After his death several institutions received donations from Jonckheere’s relatives, making possible the foundation of both the Jonckheere Prize for History of Science (Belgian Committee for the History of Science) and the Jonckheere Prize for History of Medicine (Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique), the organization of a free course in the history of medicine (Ghent University), and project funds and library purchases for the FERE.
This paper is based on Jonckheere’s publications as well as on recently discovered correspondence from the archives of the FERE (Brussels). Our research is part of the EOS-granted project “Pyramids and Progress: Belgian expansionism and the making of Egyptology, 1830-1952” – a collaboration between researchers from Ghent University, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the KU Leuven, the Royal Museums of Art and History and the Musée Royal de Mariemont.
Traveling for Knowledge: Pehr Kalm and the Linnean enterprise of collecting
Pehr Kalm (1716-79) was a Finnish scholar who travelled widely for his time. He executed journeys on Linnaeus’ behalf with the aim of collecting plants and other natural historical items. Kalm travelled not only within the borders of the 18th-century Sweden, but also in Moscow, Ukraine, and most notably for his later fame, in England and North America in 1747-51. In Finnish historiography of science Kalm has gained a reputation as something like a hero of Finnish science, but I argue that his travels and actions can better be seen as a part of Carl von Linneus’ global enterprise of collecting, and his network of collectors. In many ways, Kalm’s travels can also be seen as a part of Sweden’s silenced colonial past. I argue that if Kalm’s North American travel diary and other source materials left by him are read from a new viewpoint, they prove out to be rich sources for the societal side of 18th-century natural history. My present paper concentrates on one particular, often neglected source in Kalm-studies: the report of his travel expenses during the journey to England and North America, and I show how this document sheds light on the everyday life of a travelling naturalist.
Three case studies of mathematicians in the Third Reich: Bessel-Hagen, Hausdorff, and van der Waerden
The mathematician Erich Bessel-Hagen (1898−1946) is perhaps best known for the many jokes that still circulate about him although having been an excellent and very decent mathematician. Hel Braun tells in her autobiography that Carl Siegel threw on a sea trip the only copy of Bessel-Hagen’s habilitation thesis overboard − which he had to review − because this task hindered him in his own work. Another well-known joke goes back to Kerékjártó who referred in his book on topology to Bessel-Hagen by a topological diagram with oversized ears. Bessel-Hagen did not publish much. However, during World War II, he was because of his physical handicap the only mathematician remaining at Bonn University, and helped to preserve the papers of his Jewish colleagues for posterity. Bessel-Hagen’s papers are an important source for mathematics under the Nazi regime. They contain besides his extensive correspondence great parts of the literary remains of Otto Toeplitz, who emigrated in 1939 to Palestine. Bessel-Hagen was one of the very few persons who held close contacts with Felix Hausdorff during these difficult years. It is therefore not surprising that I discovered around 1990 when I arranged the papers of Bessel-Hagen in the University Archive in Bonn Felix Hausdorff’s farewell letter. Another important source for the Nazi period is the voluminous correspondence of B. L. van der Waerden. A review article on this correspondence is in print and a partial edition of these letters will be published soon.
Luiz Carlos Soares
Trading the Newtonian Science in Eighteenth-Century England – The Trajectory of Benjamin Martin as Itinerant Lecturer and Scientific Instrument Maker
Benjamin Martin was one of the greatest propagandists of Sir Isaac Newton’s Natural and Experimental Philosophy, mainly through the numerous courses of lectures he had given in many provincial English cities from the late 1730’s up to the early 1750’s. Martin attracted a diversified clientele to his courses of lectures with efficient advertisement in which his publications (textbooks and treatises) played an important role as means of divulgation of his professional activities. These publications were sold by himself, during his travels to the interior of England, or by authorized booksellers. From the 1750’s until his death, Martin established himself as an important mathematical and scientific Instrument maker at Fleet Street, London, manufacturing and selling many of his inventions and improvements. Among them, were several models and sizes of telescopes, microscopes and glasses for correcting the vision.
We can, definitely, give Martin the credit of greatest diffuser of Newtonianism in eighteenth century England, mainly due to the great diversity of his works, since he wrote either to specialized readers – broaching the technical and complex aspects of his inventions and improvements and the most abstract mathematical and metaphysical foundations of Newtonian theory – and to those beginners who intended to be initiated in this perspective of Natural Philosophy. From 1735 onwards, Martin published several pamphlets and treatises, divulgating his inventions and improvements, and compendiums, textbooks and dictionaries about the most diversified subjects, including Natural Philosophy (Newtonian Physics and Optics), Mathematics, Navigation, Geography, Cartography, Chemistry, Natural History and English Language.
On Tseng Kuofan’s Practices of Science and Technology
The present article, based on Tseng Kuofan’s biographical sketch and historical documents, intends to explore Tseng’s thought of science and technology embedded through his series of science and technology practices, which includes: adapting advanced western equipment, establishing modern arsenals to manufacture machineries, setting up translation agency to translate scientific and technological works, sending students overseas to receive benefits from western education of modern civilization and promoting new-style science and technology education to cultivate local science and engineering talents. After that, the paper concluded the characteristics of Tseng’s science thoughts, which is opening, complexity and systematicness. Meanwhile the discussion of the thesis indicates that Tseng’s success is twofold: being militarily and politically empowered, and creating favorable conditions through his social and political influence.
Constructing Humphry Davy’s Biographical Image
This paper, which is also a contribution to the somewhat understudied area of the history of biography, discusses a couple of short accounts of the life of the English chemist Humphry Davy (1778-1829) and the three major biographies published in the years following his death. These latter were an ‘anti-biography’ by John Ayrton Paris (1831) and two admiring biographies by Davy’s younger brother John Davy (1836, 1858). By examining the processes surrounding their writing and publication, including the involvement (or rather lack thereof) by his widow, Jane Davy, this paper will illustrate how Davy’s biographical reputation was constructed. Furthermore, this approach reveals how his surviving manuscripts and related documents came to be collected and preserved and so help us understand the effects they continue to exert on our understanding of Davy in particular and nineteenth-century science in general.
The Crystallization of the First Research Programme in Genetics: Bateson’s “Mendelism”
Genetics crystallized as a distinct biological discipline with difficulty through the work of William Bateson and his collaborators. This happened neither overnight nor without opposition. On the contrary, this is a process that took place during a great part of the first decade of the twentieth century and in which Bateson’s so called “Mendelism” had to take stand against other perspectives that addressed the problem of heredity at the time, such as biometrics, cytology and experimental embryology. However, and despite the lack of complete agreement on the part of the scientific community either before or after such crystallization on the issues of which were the problems to be solved, which the acceptable answers, which the criteria that such answers should satisfy, which the appropriate techniques and which the interesting phenomena, it was the research programme founded by Bateson the one that would come to bear the name “genetics” and would have the greatest acceptance by the scientific community early in the second decade of the twentieth century. This research programme, on the other hand, differs both from the work done by Mendel and his rediscoverers and from that carried out later by Morgan and his collaborators.
This communication has a triple purpose. First, it seeks to expose some of the conceptual, and methodological changes that took place within the study of the problems of heredity during the first decade of the twentieth century and lead to the appearance of the first defined research programme in genetics through the theoretical developments known by the name of “Mendelism” due to William Bateson and his collaborators. Second, it seeks to analyze these changes by means of the introduced category of “initial revolution”, “emergence” or “crystallization”. Third, it seeks to characterize such research programme.
X. Moussas, K. Athanasaki, G. Marakis, S. Mandalaki & E. Kountouri
Ancient Greek Optical instruments, Lenses, Mirrors and Complex Systems
A study of ancient Greek optical instruments mirrors and lenses and combinations of them, which could possibly even allow performing astronomical observations, has been made and presented here. There is evidence supported by measurements that such optical devices were available and used by philosophers and craftsmen that enable them to perform observations using them as microscopes and create miniatures like seals. Philosophers and scientists observe astronomical and other natural phenomena, possibly thunders, clouds and rainbow and perform studies in laboratories. Philosophers like Euclid, Hero and Diocles study in the laboratory and develop exact theories using mathematics, mainly eometry. They are very much interested at the qualities of the mirrors and possibly lenses. Some of them have been measured and their optical characteristics are known.
This study is based on both actual data of existing ancient lenses that are in Greek Museums and in parallel Greek, Latin and Arabic literature. In parallel I this study have been used ancient scientific books by Greek philosophers, with texts referred to optics, lenses, mirrors and multiple refection instuments. These facts and texts have been neglected or misinterpreted up to now and even some specialists ignore the existence of lenses, spherical mirrors and other types of convex mirrors and possibly more complex optical instruments.
The oldest of the lenses that has been measured for this study is probably 4000 years old, from Crete, Greece, while the others are of various time periods of antiquity. Several other lenses of various focal lengths of the 8th or 7th century BC from Rhodes are also presented. These have several focal lengths and magnifications and are provided with handles to be held by the user, who is probably an artist, who designs and manufactures miniatures, seals, jewelry.
There are ancient texts referred to complex optical systems made up of more than one mirror or, possibly, lenses from the Greek philosophers and even a theatrical writer like Aristophanes with many detailed descriptions and studies by prominent ones like Euclid and Hero both from Alexandria. Greek natural philosophers and other authors mention optical systems of two or more mirrors, concave and convex, that have appropriate qualities that enable the user to create real or imaginary idols, that they call images and spectra respectively. In some of these texts it is evident that they were in use for astronomical purposes to see “stars”, as they write, they name comets, and we can assume they possibly mean planets and even the moon in particular by Thales.
All these prove that humans in Greece have developed complex optical systems, possibly used for observations of objects at the Earth and celestial bodies like comets and the moon.
Vasiliki Christine Christopoulou
Lord Rayleigh versus Werner von Siemens on the determination of the Ohm
In the second half of the nineteenth century there was a longlasting debate for the determination and construction of electrical standards, particularly that of resistance. Would it be an arbitrary one, such as the Siemens column, or would it be based on an absolute system of units? In both cases, how that standard was to be constructed and reproduced, and the limits of accuracy within which it would be acceptable were of great importance, for scientific and commercial reasons alike. The standardization process had a social character in several respects.
The British and the Germans had different approaches from the start, not only with respect to the absolute system, but also in the way they treated measurement and/or the materials involved in it. Accuracy, precision and error, as much as reporting strategies of the experimental results, were key elements in their approaches. The research teams and the scientific communities interacted with their local cultures, in Great Britain and Germany, and did not act in a universally accepted manner. As regards Great Britain, Lord Rayleigh and his research team played a prominent role in the standardization of the Ohm unit. Their experimental work for the determination of the Ohm, which took place in the Cavendish Laboratory during that period, is the primary focus of this paper. Rayleigh’s name became synonymous with accuracy and care in late nineteenth century Britain, a fame which had a lot to do with his experimental work for that project. However what he meant with ‘precision measurement’ and ‘accuracy’ is not straightforward. I will analyze the meanings of those concepts in Rayleigh’s work, and contrast them with the measurement practices of German scientists, such as Siemens and Kohlrausch.
Grigoris Panoutsopoulos & Theodore Arabatzis
Revisiting the Crisis in High Energy Physics
In recent years, and especially after the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, a sense of crisis pervades the field of High Energy Physics (HEP), as the “hunt” for the Standard Model particles has come to an end and a new theory with specific predictions that could be tested through experimentation has yet to be produced. Most of the commentators on the current state of HEP, however, approach the issue of crisis from a theory-dominated perspective, where theory overshadows other aspects of scientific practice, such as experimentation and instrumentation. The goal of this paper is to revisit this widely perceived crisis through the lens of contemporary historiography of experimental practice. In particular, we will build on Peter Galison’s insight that three distinct and relatively autonomous levels are at play in modern physics: theory, experiment, and instrument-making. As we will argue in the case of recent HEP, when one of those levels faces a crisis, the other two are not necessarily affected by it. Whereas the community of theoretical particle physics is, indeed, shaken by a great crisis, experimentation and instrument-building continue undeterred, as shown by the fact that plans for ever new and bigger accelerators (FCC at CERN, ILC in Japan, CEPC in China) are on the table. Our presentation will be based on field research at CERN, on interviews with physicists who have played a major role in its recent history and on the primary and secondary literature that addresses the crisis in question.
The impact of Gibbs’ and Duhem’s approaches to thermodynamics on the development of chemical thermodynamics
By the mid-19th century the two laws of thermodynamics were formulated by a number of physicists: Robert Mayer, James Joule, Ludwig Colding, and Herman von Helmholtz discovered the conservation of energy and calculated the mechanical equivalent of heat, whereas Rudolf Clausius, William Thomson, and William John Macquorn Rankine enunciated the second law of thermodynamics.
The foundation of the two basic laws of thermodynamics was the starting point for the development of a number of theoretical constructions that aimed at widening the scope of thermodynamics in explaining various physical and chemical phenomena. One may distinguish two general trends that appeared in the last quarter of the 19th century: The first trend was represented by James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann, who pursued the integration of thermodynamics into a mechanical framework based on the kinetic theory of gases. Both scientists attempted to go beyond the visible chemical and physical phenomena in order to find the truth hidden in their microscopic nature. They dealt with microscopic particles (atoms and/or molecules) and applied statistical models in order to disclose the internal causes of their properties. The second trend personified by the physicists Francois Massieu, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Hermann von Helmholtz, Pierre Duhem, Max Planck, Rankine, and Arthur von Oettingen invented macroscopic, highly abstract representations of thermodynamics using rigorous mathematical languages. These scientists made use of the entropy, a concept not in use for a long time after its introduction by Clausius in 1865. The restricted use of entropy even by its inventor as a summarizing concept of thermodynamics, and not as an aid for the interpretation of experimental results was one of the reasons that contemporaries paid little attention to this concept. Thomson ignored entropy completely in his methodological approach to the second law of thermodynamics.
Massieu, a mining engineer and a professor at the University of Rennes, was able to demonstrate that mechanical and thermal properties of physical systems could be derived by two characteristic functions of energy and entropy. Gibbs and Helmholtz developed an abstract re-interpretation of classical thermodynamics introducing an analogy between mechanics and thermodynamics. Between 1973 and 1978, Gibbs published three papers on thermodynamics. The first two described the use of general graphical methods in two and three dimensions in terms of the extensive variables volume, energy and entropy and the intensive variables pressure and temperature, which could exhibit all the thermodynamic properties of a fluid undergone reversible process. Apart from the theoretical, didactic, and practical usefulness, these two papers were the preamble of Gibbs’ most important contribution to thermodynamics; his third long paper entitled On the equilibrium of heterogeneous substances, which was recognized as an event of great importance in the history of chemistry. The heterogeneous substances embodied pertinent theoretical methods and results able to resolve the long -standing problems of chemistry, namely the chemical affinity and chemical equilibrium. The chemical potential and Gibbs’ free energy (it constituted one of his three fundamental functions) at constant temperature and pressure proved to be valuable tools for the examination of states of equilibrium and stability in multicomponent (heterogeneous) systems. Furthermore, the chemical potential served the study of equilibrium states in physical systems including the coexistence of phases, theories of catalysis, osmotic phenomena through semi-permeable diaphragms and osmotic pressure, dilute solutions, and others. In any event, Gibbs’ thermodynamics did not include dynamical processes. It was designed to describe systems in the context of statics.
Duhem moved to the opposite route in the construction of his thermodynamics. He formulated an alternative pathway in the search for the development of advanced but abstract thermodynamics. His efforts were directed towards the establishment of generalized thermodynamics characterized by the conceptual unification of mechanics and chemistry in the context of thermodynamics, which was couched in the language of mathematics. He strove to give a dynamical character to thermodynamics by employing Lagrange’s analytical mechanics. Duhem realized that thermodynamics could be extended to a much more general domain, embracing the whole of physical and chemical modifications that bodies are likely to experience. Both Gibbs and Duhem opposed the mechanical explanation of physical and chemical phenomena by invoking molecular models and/or molecular structures, though Gibbs was less prone to this restriction especially when more satisfactory and complete answers could be obtained for new experimental findings.
The present article is divided into three parts. In the first part, the interplay between personalities and characters of each individual and their scientific styles will be examined in a comparative manner. Often, the scientific style of a scientist reflects his personal temperament and the way he perceives the physical world around him. It appears that Gibbs’ scientific style is the mirror of its author’s character. However, the same sort of connection between Duhem’s personality and his scientific style cannot be easily alleged. Duhem’s ideas and beliefs were heavily influenced by the intellectual and political environment of his time, as well as by major tendencies of science (maxwellian dynamics, atomism, quanta) that were out of his scientific steps.
It is out of the question to give even in brief any adequate outline of the remarkable works of Gibbs and Duhem on thermodynamics. Therefore, in the second part of this paper, I will focus my discussion on the origin and the uses of Gibbs’ chemical potential and the fundamental functions, and Duhem’s theoretical approach to the unification of chemistry and thermodynamics. Furthermore, Gibbs’ and Duhem‘s distinct attitude toward molecular mechanics and molecular structure will be discussed as well.
I will conclude this study by exploring the impact of Gibbs’ and Duhem’s thermodynamics on the development of chemical thermodynamics. It will be shown that Gibbs’ thermodynamics was more effective than that of Duhem’s and that both approaches found fertile ground to nourish in America rather than in Europe.
Crafting Europe from CERN to Dubna: The diplomatic function of physics in the foundation and early activities of the European Physical Society, 1965-1973
The year 1968 is universally considered a watershed in history as the world experienced an accelerated growth of anti-establishment protests with long-lasting impacts on the cultural, social and political spheres of human life. Amid the social and political unrest across the globe, on September 26 sixty-two physicists gathered in Geneva to found the European Physical Society (EPS). Among these were the official representatives of the national physical societies of seventeen countries, of both Eastern and Western Europe, who signed the constitution in spite of the political divides of the Cold War. According to the main proponent of the Society, Italian physicist Gilberto Bernardini, the success of the initiative was the realization of a dream: the institutional formation of a single European physics community, a representation of a culturally unified “European nation.” The analysis of yet unexplored archival materials by Bernardini and other protagonists in the establishment of the society allows for the elucidation of how the involved physicists interpreted their role as diplomats in laying the basis of a pan-European international community that would provide a contrast to the dominance of American physics. It will be shown that political motivations were deeply intertwined with the socio-professional interests of a specific community, mostly involved with CERN. This approach clarifies the contradictory roots of the vision held by some European physicists that physics was a particularly suitable field to experiment in science diplomacy without the involvement of policy-makers. I argue that in the process of constructing the society, dramatic political events led many of the involved Western physicists to reframe the role of the EPS as a tool to diffuse liberal ideals in Eastern Europe.
Local Aspects of the History of Science and Technology
Historiography on History of Meteorological Science in China and the Enlightenment of Civilization
There is no doubt that meteorology is a very important branch of today’s scientific system, which can be traced back to the time of the origin of human civilization. The ancient Chinese science and technology are brilliant, among which meteorological science and technology is an inseparable part of it. A complete understanding of the history of meteorological science and technology in China can be obtained within the framework of the history of meteorological science and technology in the world.
Section I: the achievements of ancient Chinese meteorological science. China has such a long and rich meteorological historical heritage, such as observations of exotic atmospheric light images and ancient clouds atlas, wind, humidity, precipitation observations and instruments, weather proverbs and weather forecasts, and ancient weather phenomenon theory, etc. In particular, the 24 Solar Terms was included in the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2016, which reflecting the wisdom and creativity of human beings living in harmony with nature. China is the country with the longest duration of astronomical meteorological observations in the world. According to the latest archaeological findings, Shanxi Pottery Temple Ancient Observatory and Nanjing Ancient Observatory are the world’s earliest preservation observatories up to date. Starting from the Ming Dynasty, the responsible officials of the national counties were asked to report the rainwater to the central government on a monthly basis. This system was maintained in the Qing Dynasty, so now the Forbidden City library still retains a large number of the Ming and Qing dynasties reported the sutra of Yu Ze.
Section II: semi-colonial nature of the development of meteorological science and technology in modern China. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, many Jesuit missionaries from the West came to China, bringing about Western science and culture, especially in astronomy and meteorology, which had an important influence on the theory and practice for Chinese meteorologists. For example, French missionary, Jean-Francois Gerbillon, has been conducting meteorological observations in China from 1687. In 1897, Russia set up the Middle East Railway Corporation (Board of Directors), which built a survey institute in Harbin. Since then, a total of 14 meteorological observatories have been established in the north-east China. Under the planning of the Japan Central Meteorological station, the Taiwan Government House set up a survey office in Taipei for Meteorological observation. Within half a century, Japan has set up dozens of meteorological observatories across China before 1949. In 1869, Robert Hart who was the director of Customs of Qing Dynasty presented the No.28 Circular Issued, which detailing the importance of observing meteorology and set up a large number of weather stations belong of Customs Department. Large number of decades of standardized meteorological data was obtained by these weather stations. Zhang Jian was elected president of the China Meteorological Society in 1924, and first set up the Chinese people’s own weather stations. Coching Chu made several years of efforts, more than 40 weather stations and more than 100 rainfall measurement stations have been established in China, which became the Chinese meteorological Observation network.
Section III: the rapid development of meteorological science and technology in China since 1949. After the founding of New China, Coching Chu was appointed vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who committed to promoting the development of China’s meteorological industry, including weather science, China’s climate zoning, Monsoon and historical climate, which has made a world-level outstanding contribution. Jiuzhang Zhao was the director of Institute of Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and dean of the Satellite Design Institute in 1950s to 1960s. Zhao created China’s dynamic meteorology and promoted the modernization of meteorology. Chinese meteorologists took a great deal of research on the cold wave, plum rain, rainstorm, and typhoon and so on, and a series of significant achievements have been made. Especially, China has made remarkable achievements in advanced meteorological detection operations such as meteorological satellites and weather radars.
Section IV: Status of research on the history of meteorological science and technology in contemporary China. There are several business units of the China Meteorological Administration, made in-depth study of the historical context of key meteorological science issues. Such as the deep accumulation of the in the study of the history of climate change in National Climate Center, good studying on the history of satellite meteorology in National Satellite Meteorological Center, and so on. At the meantime, many Chinese universities and colleges have much research on the history of meteorological science and technology with brilliant results. China Meteorological Administration Training Centre (CMATC) hosted successfully the NO.1, NO.2, and NO.3 National Symposium on History of Meteorological Science and Technology in 2013, 2015 and 2017, respectively. The Committee of History on Meteorological Science and Technology, Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology, support by CMATC, was formally established in February 2017, which has governing currently more than 40 units in the history of meteorological science and technology research and teaching in China. CMATC has more frequent and in-depth contacts with international counterparts, and published 4 books, and more than 100 papers.
Section V: experience and enlightenment for the history and civilization of science. The history of meteorological science and technology in China has its specific subject value including as follows. We cannot sever the link between the reality of meteorological science and the history of science. Firstly, the history of meteorological science and technology is the most important part of the history of human civilization which reflected history of human culture. Secondly, the history of meteorological science and technology has imperceptible educational function to promote the cultivation of talents. Thirdly, the history of meteorological science and technology analyzes the technical development future according to the law of meteorological science and technology.
Study and Enlightenment on Genealogy of Chinese Atmospheric Science for the History of Science in the 20th Century
Academic Genealogy of atmospheric scientists reflects the relationship between the learning margin and the inheritance of the main members of the contemporary Chinese atmospheric discipline and academic community. This is another manifestation of the academic history of the atmosphere, which in a way embodies the course of contemporary Chinese meteorologists ‘ exploration of the atmosphere and the environment.
Generally speaking, the international community of atmospheric science attaches great importance to the transmission of academic views, and famous scientists attach great importance to the cultivation and support of their outstanding disciples. The academic pedigree in the history of international atmospheric Science is of great reference value. In the field of numerical weather forecasting, which is the core of contemporary atmospheric science, the relationship between the teacher pedigrees is of particular typical significance.
The academic inheritance of contemporary atmospheric science in China has a great relationship with the world famous meteorologists. As early as 1949, Zhenchao Gu also contributed to Numerical Weather Prediction when he was a student of Carl-Gustaf Rossby, a very famous meteorologist, in the Stockholm Sweden. Before and after 1949, the establishment of the meteorological business institutions were very large adjusted, but the relationship between learning genealogies were rarely affected. Mr. Coching Chu, for example, played a huge role in promoting the development of China’s meteorological undertakings and academic talents since 1949. This is a typical case study of the academic genealogy of contemporary atmospheric Science in China. Mr. Tu-Cheng Yeh was a famous contemporary atmospheric scientist, the 2005 National Supreme Science and Technology award winner, his study veins from the Chicago school, was one of the more proud students of Rossby.
Compared with the development of atmospheric science in the world, China’s academic genealogy presents regional feature and Chinese historical characteristics. How to study this feature and characteristic is an important subject. Firstly, genealogy research reflects the historical context of meteorological science and technology in contemporary China, which has its own meteorological knowledge system in ancient China, and modern meteorology was mainly introduced from Europe and the United States. Secondly, Academician is the backbone of the meteorological genealogy of contemporary China. Each academician is a leader in a series of lineages in his field of meteorology.
Thirdly, the localization of Chinese atmospheric science makes the study of meteorological genealogy of special significance. Why is there a global and local nature in meteorological science? In summary, atmospheric science, because the object of study is a global flow of gas layers, so the basic theory of atmospheric science is also a global theory, however, unlike physics, chemistry and other natural sciences, the object of atmospheric science research has strong linkage with the regional underlying surface and people response for weather. This means that the theoretical system of atmospheric science consists of a global basic theoretical framework and a regional atmospheric theory.
This can be expressed in the following formula:
∑Modern atmospheric Science theory system =∑Global Basic theoretical Framework +∑regional atmospheric theory
Fourth, what is the local Characteristics of Chinese atmospheric science? One of reasons is inseparable from China’s terrain Level Three Ladder and special terrain underlying surface. The other is closely related to China’s unique social structure and historical process. These two characteristics are not available in other countries or regions of the world, which is a unique feature of China, which makes the local characteristics of Chinese atmospheric science in the process of formation clearly reflected, and at the same time contributed its own unique results for the global atmosphere theory.
Fifth, the Enlightenment of genealogy is on the future innovation of atmospheric science and the cultivation of leading talents. Focus on local characteristics at the same time, but also cannot rule out the connection with the world scientific community. The study of the Chicago Atmosphere School has a great influence on the development of contemporary atmospheric Science in China, in which Tu-Cheng Yeh and Yibing Shei and Zhenchao Gu were Rossby students who bring the spirit and academic tradition of the Chicago School to China and promote the rapid development of atmospheric science in contemporary China.
Social Assessment Analysis of Urban Construction Engineering in Erdos
Since research on engineering philosophy and engineering society is still
unfolding, more and more attention is attracted. Though both assessment theory and practice of engineering society assessment,which is an important part of engineering sociology,are making good progress, an agreed social assessment index system and a generally are still absent. Although there is an ex-ante assessment of Erdos urban construction, it had been a “ghost town”. By reviewing the literature of the case, including various planning documents and environmental impact reports, I try to construct a social assessment index system for urban construction engineering. According to this index system, the author uses the Delphi method to design the questionnaire to study the residents’ satisfaction of Erdos city. The satisfaction of Erdos verify the impact of the engineering on the resident’s life. The author begain to think that what is meaning and effectiveness exante assessment. The conclusion of this paper is as follows: From the perspective of engineering social assessment, the author analyzes the causes of “ghost town” and the transformation of urban construction. It is concluded that the urban construction of Erdos fully demonstrates the trial and error nature of engineering social assessment, and the emergence of ghost town phenomenon is reasonable. It is only one stage in the process of urban construction. The results of the questionnaire are highly satisfactory, which is sufficient to assess the results.After the analysis of social assessment theories and methods with Popper’s theory of falsification, it is concluded that: there is no generally applicable social assessment method; engineering social assessment is a trial-and-error process, designed to solve engineering society adaptability problem; engineering ex-ante assessment is the first step of trial-and-error while engineering ex-post assessment is aimed to correct direction and learn from mistakes in an attempt to reduce errors in new engineering. Finally, from the theoretical validity of the study, the ex-post assessment of the good expectations can be questioned. But even so, engineering social assessment is still necessary, which is the basis of human activities
A Study on the Translation and Communication of American Journal Popular Science Monthly in the Republic of China (1912-1949)
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, which was founded in 1872 by Edward L. Youmans and the firm of D. Appleton and Company, is one of the most famous popular science magazines in the world. It had endeavored to popularize scientific knowledge, review scientific and technological progress, and advocate changes in the fields of science, education and society, for which was difficult to be fully realized in the same journal, it was divided into two kinds of journals in the later period: the one which aimed at popularizing simple and common science and technology knowledge was named Popular Science Monthly; the other one, which named as Scientific Monthly, aimed to disseminate more difficult and professional scientific knowledge and ideas. What this article discusses is the former one.
Through translation, many knowledge in Popular Science Monthly was introduced during the Republic of China period, significantly, a Chinese popular science journal– Scientific China Monthly which was founded by some young scholars and entrepreneurs who had studied abroad, done a lot. This magazine was founded in 1937, with the conception of “making science popular and let the public know more about science”, it was famous and popular in that period of China. Of its many translated texts, Popular Science Monthly was the most translated. What kind of attitude did the Chinese editors have towards Popular Science Monthly? During such a large number of articles in Popular Science Monthly, what kind of knowledge were their favorite and why? What were the principles in choosing articles to translate？Did these principles have some close relationships with the social conditions of middle twentieth-century China? If readers accepted these knowledge well or not? What were these readers’ attitudes towards such kind of translated information abroad? This article aims at solving above problems by doing statistics analysis as well as texts analysis.
The main contents of this article are as follows:
1.Briefly introducing Popular Science Monthly, especially its editing concepts.
2.IntegrallyanalyzingtheEnglish-to-Chinese translation phenomenon of Popular Science Monthly in the Republic of China (1912-1949),analyzing the proportion of translated texts of it, and some typical Chinese journals that often chose content from the it for translation.
3.Taking Scientific China Monthly as an example, Briefly introducing this journal and try to explain why it was willing to select texts from Popular Science Monthly for translation. discussing the contents of its translated texts during different time period, a close analysis of these contents reveals a social phenomenon within the context of the popularization of science and technology in that period of China.
4.Choosing “Science News” of Scientific China Monthly to conduct in-depth analysis, finding out all the source texts translated from Popular Science Monthly, investigating which columns these texts came from, and what kind of texts were the first choice ones to be translated into Chinese, then deeply discuses the reasons of this phenomenon, especially through comparing them with texts that had not been selected for translation, thus generalizing the main principles of Scientific China Monthly in choosing articles to translate, as well as revealing the social reasons behind these principles.
5.Introducing communication effects of these translated texts from Popular Science Monthly in that period of China, if readers accept them well or not, and explain the possible reasons for these phenomena.
The following conclusions may be drew finally:
1.There were some principles in choosing translation contents from western magazines like Popular Science Monthly. These principles just can reflect the social situation, the level of public acceptance as well as the science communication situation during the Republic of China (1912-1949).
2.The social influences play an important role during the process of scientific communication. Taking “Science News” as an example, against the background of the times as well as the reception ability of most Chinese readers, some important and cutting-edge, but too professional and difficult science contents which far from the reality of Chinese people’s life at that time had to be given up while translating.
3. During the Republic of China (1912-1949), Chinese people were in desperate need of western knowledge of science and technology, And committed to the rapid dissemination of these knowledge among the public, thus Popular Science Monthly played an important role and all the translated contents were accepted very well at that time.
Fuling Nie and Guo Sheng
Knowledge Communication and Integration of “電” and “Electricity” in Chinese and Western Culture
In contemporary Chinese language, the term “electricity” in English corresponds to the term of “电”in Chinese. However, during the period of the introduction of western Electricity into China, it have undergone more complex process that “the understanding of “electricity” and the translation of the term “electricity”. It analyze that the process of the English term “electricity” coming into China，it has been found that the acceptance process of the concept of “electricity”, such as “amber”, “lightning” ，and “ubiquitous”，from its beginning introduction to the concept accepted completely. Meanwhile, it also has gone through the process of naming “electricity” for “琥珀气”, “雷气”, “阴阳气” and “电气”. The term “电气” has the greatest influence on the evolution of several terms. The paper also finds that the conception”電” in ancient China also has a rich meaning, the meaning of exploring the cause and origin of “sky lightning” as a natural phenomenon. Only after the introduction of “electricity”, the meaning of “電” in ancient China was gradually expanded until it was replaced by the connotation “electricity” in the west. While in ancient Chinese, the meaning of “電” itself has become almost unknown. It reflects that non-Western knowledge declined with impact on Western knowledge, as well as indicates that introduction of Western Science in China plays an important role in the change of Chinese characters and related terms.
Social and Numerical Composition of Petrograd-Leningrad Scientific Societies in the 1920s: the Government Regulation and Control
The history of Russian science has always been closely with St. Petersburg. Scientific societies traditionally played very important role in academic community. The oldest and most authoritative scientific societies were located in St. Petersburg, which was renamed in 1914 to Petrograd, before the October Revolution. The former capital of the Russian Empire remained the largest scientific centre of Soviet Russia during the 1920s. In that period Petrograd, which was renamed in 1924 to Leningrad, still was the first in the number of scientific societies in the country.
The social characteristics of scientific societies were heavily criticized by the authorities in 1921-1922, as one of the main tasks for Soviet power was the “communization” of science including scientific societies. Because they were not only part of science but also public organizations of scientists and scholars the authorities had to find a specific way to deal the task. The local authorities tried controlling social and numerical composition of scientific societies of Petrograd-Leningrad during the 1920s by different ways. For instance, “The Normal charter of scientific societies”, which was publishing in 1923, was aimed at expanding the social composition of scientific societies by simplifying the procedure for admitting new members. However, these measures could not lead to any rapid fundamental changes in the social and numerical composition of scientific societies. They demanded lists of the members, including their social origin, constantly asked for information about the presence of Communist Party members in the composition of societies and etc.
Nevertheless, the social composition of scientific societies did not change during the 1920s despite close monitoring by the authorities. The process of scientific societies transformation into mass organizations begun by the introduction of new legislative and regulatory documents at the turn of the 1920s-1930s. It was the result of the Great Break in science and the Cultural Revolution in the public sphere. The independence and freedom of scientific creativity inherent in the nature of scientific societies was unacceptable to an emerging totalitarian regime. In the new socio-political realities of the 1930s, the existence of old-style scientific societies was impossible and the adaptation of scientific organizations that continued to exist was very painful. Scientific societies no longer played the important role in the Russian scientific community as they had done before. The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project № 18-39-20006.
The institutionalization of philosophy as a science in the Soviet Union
The reformation of the scientific community and the institutionalization of novel ethics and practices reflecting the occurring sociopolitical transformation was one of the challenges to be faced by the Soviet state, after October’s revolution. This challenge became particularly acute in the domain of philosophy, given the special status it occupies in marxist worldview. While the discussion on the history of Soviet philosophy has gained some interest by Western scholars in the last few years – mainly due to reinvigorated interest on E.V. Ilyenkov’s work – the institutional aspect of its development has been scarcely discussed. In fact, the majority of scholars who have dealt with Soviet philosophy focus on its ideological function and disregard this aspect. However, I maintain that the institutional aspect is an issue of unique interest from the perspective of history of science, since marxist philosophy acclaims the status of a truly scientific philosophy. In fact, most of the disputes within Soviet philosophy in 1920’s-30’s and in 1950’s-60’s were exactly about the object of philosophy as a science and its relation with natural sciences. Furthermore, the development of natural sciences in Soviet Union was intertwined with the development of philosophical debates in plentiful cases. It is also noteworthy that the very study and institutionalization of history and philosophy of science in Soviet Union sprang from philosophical academic institutions. Therefore, in this paper, I attempt to discuss the institutional aspect of these issues in the cultural context of their making, bringing forth a view from within.
The Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg and the development of the taxonomy: 300 years of changes
The history of the collection of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, which originates from the Kunstkammer of Peter the Great, founded in 1714, provides a unique opportunity to show how the change of views of researchers on the animal system has been reflected in the displaying of the Museum’s collection, and how the scientific paradigm shifts were translated into a museum exhibition, which conducts scientific ideas to the general public. There were several major changes in the principles of its arrangement. The first exposition was based of the Aristotle’s system that was reflected in the first scientific catalogue of the collections of the Kunstkammer (Musei Imperialis Petropolitani…, 1742). On the same system (from mammals to insects) temporary exhibition was deployed organized after a fire in the Kunstkammer in 1747 at the Demidov’s House. Returning of the collection to the renovated building of the Kunstkammer in the year 1766 was accompanied by an invitation of the famous 18th century naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who arranged it after the system of Linnaeus. When in 1832 the Zoological museum was separated from Kunstkammer and collections were moved to the Museum wing of the Academy, its director Johann Friedrich von Brandt based exhibition on the system of Cuvier. In 1896 Museum was transferred to a new building closer to the Palace Bridge, and here collection was for the first time placed from the lower animals to the higher, which reflected the influence of the evolutionary Darwin’s ideas. Next permutation was inspired by authorities during the soviet reform of the Academy of Sciences in 1929-1934. Collection was relocated according to the new evolutionary system which reflected achievements in embryology.
The teaching of electromagnetic theories in engineering schools in France in the late nineteenth century.
The second half of the nineteenth century is marked in physics by the birth of Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory. A keystone of this theory is the propagation medium of electrical induction, which Maxwell identifies with the luminiferous ether. This medium is the subject of many works and theoretical research among physicists (G. Stokes, W. Thomson, O. Lodge, O. Heaviside …) on its nature, density etc. At the same time, industrial electricity is developing on a European scale, and notably in France, where the first international electrical exhibition (1881) takes place. New technologies such as the telephone, and especially voltage transformers and dynamos, are spreading rapidly in the industry (for electrical lighting, electrometallurgy, telegraphy, …). Such a development requires qualified engineers to design, develop and install power plants and electrical devices. While the growth of “school engineers” as a social category has been widely studied (Grelon, Fox), the knowledge acquired by future engineers during their training is still to be clarified. By examining courses given in different French engineering schools (Polytechnique, Centrale, Mines, …), we will show that, if young engineers master electromagnetic theories and if they have heard about an aether, the latter appears barely in teaching and is not theoretically addressed. We shall try to give some reasons for this situation.
Nations for themselves or knowledge across the monarchy? Universities of the Habsburg Monarchy before the WWI
The paper wonders whether science of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy cultivated in universities had served only to enhance the national self-consciousness of historical parts of the empire, or whether it had kept a unified line of state research linked to international institutions and thought streams. The proposed paper is a part of the supported education research project of the Charles University in Prague.
The Habsburg monarchy universities represented, after the reforms of the turn of the 1840s and 1850s, the most important scientific workplaces of the multinational Habsburg Empire. The tradition of scientific research had been very different from the point of view of cultural substance, religion (Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy), history of the research (completely new centers like Trieste and Cernivci next to medieval universities like Prague and Vienna) there. Their headquarters were centers of historic countries – Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Lviv, Innsbruck, newly over mentioned Trieste, Cernivci.
The question arises whether they were regional centers or whether – besides common official regulations – they were also associated with a common discourse in the field of scientific research of the monarchy. Are the fields developed separately or in cooperation with each other? Did the consequence of the disintegration of the monarchy in 1918 mean the emergence of national science in each of the new states, or even the break-up of the existing unified scientific line? The example of Prague and Vienna will bring a specific examples of cooperation and ignorance of as personalities as institutions.
Chemistry and Colonial Brazil
Colonial Brazil (1500-1808) had a long association with chemistry, starting with the country’s name, related to the natural red dye brazilein, obtained from brazil wood. During the time the country was a Portuguese colony, its economy revolved around four main natural products of a chemical nature: the dye from brazil wood, sugar, gold and diamonds. During those three centuries a series of technical developments involving chemistry took place, such as the production of distillates, the chemical analysis of gold ores, the search for medicines, the manufacture of pigments used in painting baroque churches, the study and production of gunpowder, as well as a chemical study of the atmosphere in the 18th century. At the same time, in view of the inexistence of universities in the country, a sizable number of Brazilian students flocked to European universities, mainly Coimbra in Portugal, but also Edinburgh and Montpellier. Several of these students became scientists on their own and made important contributions to chemistry.
Aline de Oliveira Coelho
From artifact to quantum: the evolution of the International System of Units and the communication of its revision in Brazil
This paper aims to present, historically, the consolidation of the International System of Units (SI) in Brazil and analyze the case of the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro) and its challenge to communicating the recent SI redefinition, approved in last November 2018. We analyze and compare the results gathered through the press and the social networks to discuss the evolution in science communication and justify the use of interactive tools to influence the public.
It is essential to contextualize about metrology — the science of measurement and its applications — and its historic step occurred last November 2018, during the General Conference of Weights and Measures, in France: the approval of the revised definitions of four (in seven) measurement units on which SI was based: kilogram (mass), ampere (electric current), kelvin (thermodynamic temperature) and mole (amount of substance). The redefinition is based on fundamental constants of physics, considered stable and immutable, using quantum phenomena as the basis for units of universal measures.
The decision was validated by all 59 member countries of the Bureau international des poids et mesure (BIPM), including Brazil, but they had started in advance a cooperative effort to “translate” and disseminate the changes and its reflexes to the public, mostly lay. In times when relations and the channels are increasingly virtual, it is opportune to examine Inmetro’s dissemination strategies through the press, and directly through social networks. Despite some hindrances such as the electoral period in Brazil, these initiatives proved to be efficient, which is demonstrated by its expressive results — accounted by indicators like virtual reactions, comments and posts shared.
Science and Religion
Bettina Bock von Wülfingen
Religion in Diagrammatic Traditions – Cosmologies in Color in Metabolic Maps
Scientists draw chemical pathways since Kekulés times around the end of the 19th century. Those were reaction pathways entailing only some elements. The terminology „biochemical pathways“ or „metabolic pathway“ begins to appear recently in the 1940s, labelling charts such as the one of the first metabolical path, the Glycolysis, which was then for the first time fully put together. In the following decades more and more charts of different metabolic paths in humans, animals and plants were published.
Ultimately, these pathways used specific symbolic colour codes. One of the internationally best known had been set by Gerhard Michal who as a PhD student at Böhringer in 1965 started to draw complete pathways integrating all metabolic paths known in organisms to that day into one map. These were updated in the next editions to come. All were hand-drawn until 2002. The colours used were red, green, blue and the achromatic black for the fleches between the metabolised molecules. Since 2014 a first online-version of this map was published and promoted as ‚interactive’, as different parts could be enlarged.
Since the end of the 1990s however, and partly together with new cybernetically informed disciplines such as systems biology, different digital-tools for natural science’s use appeared in publications in print and online. Meanwhile, the natural sciences fields using pathways had gotten more and more diverse, with Asian scholars challenging the European and US-American habits: In 2000 Kanehisa Laboratories from Kyoto, Japan, started offering online metabolic pathways. Operating with a broad palette of pastel colours their biochemical pathways used very different colour semiotics apart from the connection of different maps of different organisms to respective genomic databanks.
Focusing on these cases of contrasting and famous, if not iconic, biochemical maps, this talk paper elaborates on diagrammatic traditions of metabolism charts between tube maps and electrical circuits and explores the development of the different colour codes contrasting Christian and Shinto traditions.
Meropi Morfouli and Dimitris Petakos
The beginning of the end: Natural philosophy & Metaphysics in early 18th century
One of the most emblematic characteristics in the production of knowledge of the seventeenth century was the exceptional relationship between natural philosophy and metaphysics. The aim of this paper is to present some aspects of this relationship, which underline the beginning of the crucial separation between them. In some cases (Britain), natural philosophy and metaphysics were intertwined. In other cases (France), a conceptual and methodological gap occurred, which led to philosophical and theological ambiguities. Our aim is to raise a question related to the concepts of space and infinity: How the mathematical concepts of infinity and space were related to a wider philosophical cum theological discussion concerning the nature and attributes of God? For the French, the problem of infinity was a mathematical problem. From the moment that the infinite acquires the possibility of an existence other than that which has been attributed to it in the world of thought and abstraction, mathematics becomes real. This led to a philosophical oddity, where mathematical infinity existed independently of the divine infinity. At the same time, when the concept of the Newtonian absolute space came into play, a tremendous change occurred in natural philosophy and metaphysics. For the British thinkers, Newtonian natural philosophy led to different, though co-existed, metaphysical conjectures about the ontological content of the mathematical-physical concept of absolute space. During this time, theological concerns were expressed in terms of secular knowledge, and natural-philosophical concerns were expressed in theological terms. Was this the beginning of the end?
Jesuit mapmaking in Americas as Transcultural Encounters or Why did the Jesuits Become so Successful Cartographers?
The Jesuit mapping of the New World was not just an exploration, it was also an active exchange of ideas and cultural concepts between the Old and the New World. The Jesuits did not come to the New World as conquerors or casual travelers, but as the bearers of new cultural concepts and as agents of new ideas. They were often sent into barely accessible areas in the hinterland where they lived among the natives, learning and understanding local customs and traditions. As such, the Jesuit missionaries were the initial link between the indigenous traditional cultures, and the European culture. Their ongoing presence introduced the concept of a relationship based on the exchange of new cultural ideas which could henceforth be woven into the fabric of indigenous societies. The reciprocal nature of this cultural interaction is clearly reflected through their cartographic work as well.
Other orders, such as Franciscans, Dominicans, or Augustinians, were also prominent in the exploration and mapping, but the Jesuits soon outstripped all the rest in the extent and quality of their cartography. In this paper we elaborate why exactly did the Jesuits become so successful as cartographers and which are the distinctive features of their maps. We analyze how their cartographic activity was influenced by the structure of the Society of Jesus, their vows and their educational system. Morever, we paid special attention to examining how the Jesuits collected and incorporated the spatial knowledge of the local nations, which strategies for appropriation and organization of indigenous knowledge they applied, and how they reconciled different spatial conceptions and representations when compiling their maps. This process also comprises an effort to interpret what is communicated and what is hidden on the map.
Science, Theology, and Nationalism in Greece (1830-1930)
For the modern Greek State, founded as it was in the 1830s. many of the European paraphernalia and discourses of modernity, such the University and the centralized liberal state, were potentially dangerous novelties. Nevertheless, the Greek state struggled to acquire all the trappings of a civilized state, including a University, an Observatory and a Polytechnic School. In this era of nationalism and triumphant modernity, the relationship between the newly funded School of Theology within the University, and the existing Orthodox tradition, not to mention the newly appointed as autocephalous Church of Greece was far from clear. What is more, the Greek national identity was itself in a flux, torn between modernity, Orthodoxy and Greek classical heritage.
This paper aims to show how theologians and scientists alike created a cultural and intellectual identity for themselves by appropriating similar nationalistic and ideological norms. Scholarship discussing the historical relationship between science and faith has tended to gravitate towards spaces where universities have a long and distinguished history, and where theology has been an academic discipline for at least as long. However, in Greece, natural sciences and theology were newcomers. Thus, the paper also aims to describe the various points of contact and sources of friction among the two novel communities, which had to negotiate a role for themselves in a turbulent and shifting national and international contact. Finally, the paper will bring to the fore the international dimensions of the process, by emphasizing how both natural sciences and theology depended, as narratives and practices, to international and transnational norms and ideals for their establishment in Greece.
Science and Exploration
Carlos Hugo Sierra
Ez Ikusi, Ez Ikasi (“Do Not See, Do Not Learn”). The Scientific Adventure Of Antoine D’abbadie
The main purpose of this paper is to synoptically present some of the main contributions and fields of interest of the Basque scientist Antoine d’Abbadie (1810-1897). Although today his figure has been partially forgotten, his immense work in numerous fields of knowledge, such as geography, ethnology, linguistics, physics or astronomy, allows us to recognize a fascinating figure within the European scientific community of the nineteenth century (which led him to occupy, since 1892, the presidency of the French Royal Academy of Science and the Geographical Society of Paris). His wide horizon of scientific and academic concerns leads him to undertake, for instance, one of the most exciting explorations of that period: the search for the sources of the Nile. But his activity also included mapping two hundred and fifty thousand kilometres of the territory of Abyssinia, carrying out countless and diverse ingenious experiments, making thousands of astronomical observations during his travels around the world (namely, Brazil, Norway, Greece, Haiti, Algeria, Upper Egypt …) or in his own home, a picturesque Gothic castle he built in Hendaye (where he located a meridian telescope and an eight meter high concrete tower to study the effects of micro-earthquakes over the earth’s crust and to achieve the objective of cataloguing half a million stars), elaborating the first dictionary of the Amharic language, promoting European Orientalism or revitalizing the ancient Basque culture (hence his famous nickname of ‘Euskaldunen Aita’, that is to say, “father of the Basques”). In this way, Antoine d’Abbadie represents, driven by his insatiable curiosity and his polymathic genius, a style of making science in which a philosophical and humanistic vision of life is glimpsed.
Russian science in the Arctic: the study of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the late XIX – early XX centuries
The Russian Empire has been present in the Arctic territories since the ancient times, considering them a natural and difficult-to-cross border of the state. Until the mid of the XIX century the government tried to explore and use their natural resources as much as possible. The scientific study of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago was initiated in the late XVIII – early XIX centuries. With the purpose of exploration of mineral deposits and mapping of islands the first research expeditions (F. Rozmyslov (1768-1769), V. Ludlov (1806-1807), A.P. Lazarev (1819), F.P. Litke (1821-1824), P.K. Pakhtusov (1832–1833, 1834–1835), K.M. Baer (1837), A.K. Tsivolka (1838–1839)) were sent by the Academy of Sciences and the patrons. After that the Russian researchers did not visit Novaya Zemlya for more than thirty years.
Researches were resumed in the 1880s. Due to the increased attention of foreign scientists and industrialists to the study and development of the archipelago in order to protect the geopolitical interests of the country in the Northern Seas the Russian government initiated the process of colonization of Novaya Zemlya. The first permanent settler on the archipelago since 1869 was Foma Vylka with his family. After 1870 the first settlement – Malye Karmakuly was laid. In the 1880s regular steamship service was established with the archipelago, with Arkhangelsk. All this allowed to enhance the intensity of scientific research.
The organization and holding of the First International Polar year 1882-1883 became the important page in the study of Novaya Zemlya. The first polar station was opened by Russia in Malye Karmakuly. The Russian expedition of the Academy of Sciences under the guidance of K.P. Andreyev, hydrographer, was aimed at studying terrestrial magnetism and climate fluctuations in the entire Arctic. During 1887–1891 a member of the Russian Geographical Society K.D. Nosilov spent three winters on Novaya Zemlya, having organized regular meteorological, naturalistic, geological studies.
In December 1894, the Arkhangelsk Governor A.P. Engelgardt concerned about the activity of foreign fishermen, initiated the first geological expedition to Novaya Zemlya to discover mineral deposits. His petition was supported by the Director of the Geological Committee A.P. Karpinsky. In 1895 the expedition under the leadership of F.N. Chernyshev received extremely important information about the geology and orography of Novaya Zemlya and compiled the first geological map of the archipelago.
In the beginning of the XX century intensive studies of the industrial prospects of the seas and mineral resources of the Russian North began. The archipelago was visited by the members of the Society of lovers of natural science, anthropology and ethnography B.M. Zhitkov and S.A. Buturlin (1900), A.A. Borisov prepared a survey of the bays of the eastern coast of the archipelago (1900-1901), V.A. Rusanov collected extensive material on the geological structure, paleontological and geological collections (1907-1911), A.V. Ivanov and A.A. Svitsyn carried out studying of copper deposits (1911), G.Ya Sedov’s expedition for the first time crossed the glacier between the 75th and 76th Parallels (1912–1913).
On December 1, 1914, the Academy of Sciences established the Permanent Polar Commission. At different times, members of the Commission K.M. Deryugin and A.E. Fersman made a survey of Novaya Zemlya and prepared a plan for 5-year studies. A new stage in exploring of Novaya Zemlya began in 1920. Scientific research in the Arctic has got the state value. The authorities, laying hopes on the use of natural resources of the North, sought to bring the country out of the economic crisis that broke out as a result of the World War I and Civil war. The study of the archipelago was dictated by both scientific and economic objectives, and political considerations to create a military Outpost of the country in the Arctic. On March 4, 1920 at the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy under the leadership of R.L. Samoilovich the Northern scientific and fishing expedition was organized. The Academy of Sciences headed its scientific management. Regular meteorological observations, zoological, botanical, geological researches of coal deposits of Novaya Zemlya (P.V. Vittenburg, M.A. Lavrova, G.E. Ratmanov) were organized. In 1928 the Soviet of People’s Commissars of the USSR issued a Decree “On strengthening of research work in the Arctic possessions of the USSR”. Extension of researches led to the transformation of Sevexpedition in the All-Union Arctic Institute (1930). It became involved in the study of tectonics, stratigraphy, morphology and glaciers of the archipelago.
Further study of Novaya Zemlya refers to the time of the Second International Polar year 1932-1933. In 1932 polar stations in the Tikhaya Bay, the island Domashny, the Cape Zhelaniya and the glaciological station “Russkaya Gavan” started working. Scientists were faced with the tasks of seismic and acoustic sounding of the atmosphere, aero- meteorological works, determination of the power of glaciers, geological and glaciological work. After the Polar year, the Soviet scientists continued to study stratigraphy and paleography of islands, deposits of lead, zinc, copper, fluorite (N.N. Mutafi, M.M. Ermolaev, A.A. Petrenko, B.A. Alferov). In 1936, M.M. Ermolaev in the monograph “Geology of Novaya Zemlya” summed up the study results of the archipelago. He came to the conclusion on the absence of promising reserves in the bowels of Novaya Zemlya. This greatly influenced the future of the archipelago. Scientific interest in the archipelago was partially supported by the XVII International Geological Congress (1937). The Novaya Zemlya expedition was organized for geologists. The expedition included 28 people, with 18 foreigners.
With the outbreak of World War II, scientific research in Novaya Zemlya was minimized. With the end of open military conflicts, scientific research has not been resumed. The choice between the economic development of the region and the creation of military-strategic zones determined the future of the archipelago. Since 1955 it became the nuclear testing ground of the USSR. Russian science has accumulated rich historical experience in the research of Novaya Zemlya. Its analysis is interesting today in connection with the vector of state policy aimed at increasing attention to the problems of the Russian Arctic.
Michael J. Neufeld
Exploring Pluto and Europa: The U.S. Planetary Sciences and Politics, 1989-2019
With the end of the Cold War, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space science missions faced a more difficult political environment. The disappearance of the USSR as a competitor increased pressure to cut the space budget, just as dissatisfaction was growing in the scientific community at how a billion-dollar “flagship” spacecraft consumed most of NASA’s space science budget. In the planetary sciences, one of the agency’s responses was to create low-cost, riskier “faster, better, cheaper” missions in the 1990s, a partial success. One mechanism for cost saving was to encourage external competition with NASA’s primary planetary exploration center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), notably from the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). That encouraged more Congressional interventions to protect these competing centers. Battles over what missions to fund, especially the dwarf planet Pluto vs. Jupiter’s moon Europa, then impelled NASA in the early 2000s to implement the decadal planning process, first invented in astronomy, in the planetary sciences. The planetary mission selection process came to be dominated by scientific-consensus discussions overlain with political intervention from a few engaged members of Congress.
My paper will examine thirty years of NASA planetary mission planning,1989-2019, through the lens of proposed flights to Pluto and Europa. In a tortured process that took fourteen years and included several outright cancellations, a Pluto mission finally triumphed finally in 2003 when the agency approved the APL-built New Horizons—it launched in 2006 and flew by the dwarf planet in 2015. It won in part by defeating a technologically more difficult flight to Europa. However, since the latter target remained a high scientific priority in the first two planetary science decadal surveys, 2002 and 2011, it was repeatedly revived under several different guises. For a time, it was a part of a joint Jupiter-system project with the European Space Agency (ESA), until U.S. politics drove the Europeans to go it alone. Finally, in 2014/15, a new American mission concept, Europa Clipper, succeeded in both reducing cost and winning Congressional support. The intervention of a single, powerful Texas legislator, Rep. John Culberson, was critical to its emergence as a fully funded mission. That spacecraft is to be launched in 2023, followed by a Europa Lander, a concept particularly pushed by Culberson that may not survive his defeat in the Congressional elections of 2018.