Chapter

Science in Nineteenth-Century England: Plural Configurations and Singular Politics

John Pickstone

in The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263266
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734854 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263266.003.0002

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Science in Nineteenth-Century England: Plural Configurations and Singular Politics

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This chapter discusses the sciences and their politics in the nineteenth-century. It characterises Victorian science, technology and medicine, and states how they relate to state institutions and to scientific professions. It begins by suggesting a model for the configurations of natural knowledge in the late eighteenth century. It then deals with sciences and institutions, suggesting that these disciplines owed much to French museums and professional schools, and to German universities. It also considers three generations of scientist: first, the Anglican gentlemen of the British Association of the Advancement of Science (BAAS) in the 1830s; secondly, T. H. Huxley and his associates from the 1850s; and thirdly, a few professors who developed research laboratories from the 1870s. It asks what they understood about the meanings of science as a claimed unity and how they relate to the social and political projects variously characteristic of each generation.

Keywords: sciences; politics; technology; medicine; institutions; BAAS; 1870s; T. H. Huxley

Chapter.  13546 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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