Creating an Audience

in Science for All

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226068633
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226068664 | DOI:
Creating an Audience

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  • History of Science and Technology


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Considering how much popular science literature was produced in Britain during the Victorian period, it is surprising to find that in the early decades of the twentieth century, publishers claimed that they were responding to a renewed surge in the public demand for information. The claim may be no more than advertising hyperbole, but there was some substance to the belief that important developments were going on within the publishing industry, fueled by a genuine demand from at least a proportion of the reading public. Publishers saw that there was a growing body of ordinary people of modest means who were anxious to gain a better education through informal means. This chapter explores the publishers' views on what was happening and offers an explanation of the expansion in the potential readership for popular science based on the social developments of the time. It also outlines the publishers' efforts to respond to the surge in demand and considers what the publishers wanted from the authors whom they engaged to write for this expanding market.

Keywords: popular science literature; Britain; publishing; publishers; authors; popular science; readership; public demand; education

Chapter.  10261 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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