Monthly Archives: September 2010

Government funding for ‘pure’ research: an extremely brief and gappy history

Once upon a time, what we now call scientific research was undertaken by a) those with sufficient time and personal wealth b) those who convinced private patrons that their work was interesting/useful/showy enough to be supported and c) those who … Continue reading

Posted in History | 18 Comments

Good History and the Virtue of Sisyphus

Rebekah Higgitt has asked on this blog for examples of “good, popular history of science”.  In responding to suggestions, she further contemplated what she had in mind.  I would like to extend the inquiry into what we mean by “good”, … Continue reading

Posted in History | 11 Comments

Martyr of Science

I wrote this introduction to David Brewster’s collected biography of Galileo, Tycho Brahe and Kepler, Martyrs of Science (1841), some time ago when there was a plan to republish it as part of a collected edition of popular 19th-century works on science and history … Continue reading

Posted in astronomy, Book, History, Physics, Religion, Science | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Darwin

Lectures #9 and 10 from my course History of Science II. We have now caught up with the course. New material will appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Posted in Teaching HPS | 8 Comments

On the origins of creativity

I’m not a very creative guy. I had an idea back in the 1970s, but I managed not to do anything about it in time for someone else to do something with an almost identical idea. I think I dodged … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Epistemology, Evolution, Philosophy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Contested Authority in 19th Century Science

Lecture #7 from my course, History of Science II (since 1700). This was based on a paper [pdf] I published a few years back. The next lecture (on natural history) was given by my teaching assistant and won’t be posted.

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Nicky, Jerry and Andy a story of Renaissance publishing.

Today’s birthday boy is probably the most notorious of all Renaissance scholars, Girolamo Cardano (24th September 1501 – 21st September 1576) usually known in English as Jerome Cardan or Hieronymus Cardanus. Cardano was a physician, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, philosopher, engineer, professional gambler … Continue reading

Posted in Astrology, astronomy | Leave a comment