Category Archives: Historiography

If not Whig history what then?

Some musings on historiography and methodology in the history of science including an explication of my drunken hotel guest theory of scientific progress.

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Nobody invented the scientific method

In the past I’ve written posts explaining why the terms “father of” and “the greatest” should be firmly avoided when writing about the history of science. James Sumner has also written an excellent post The F-Word explaining why the term “the first” should also be banned … Continue reading

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The Historical Science Society of 1840

My second post on the new Guardian Science blog, The H Word, is now up – looking at The first HSS, a 19th-century venture doomed to failure as a result of its young founder’s succumbing to bibliophilic temptation.

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Scientific histories: debates among Victorian historians

To see a review of Ian Hesketh’s The Science of History in Victorian Britain: Making the Past Speak, hop over to teleskopos.

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Crimes against history: literary imagination and scientific method

A recent article in The Nation, by Peter Reddaway and Stephen F. Cohen on ‘Orlando Figes and Stalin’s Victims‘, reveals a fascinating story of the darker side of historical scholarship. It also got me thinking about some old, old debates about … Continue reading

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Is Leonardo a great artist or a great scientist? Neither actually.

Is Leonardo da Vinci a great artist or a great scientist, asks Jonathan Jones on his Guardian On Arts blog and as you might have already guessed from the title the answer is neither, actually. Jones’ question is inspired by the two … Continue reading

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Calendrical Confusion or The Dangers of Dating!

This morning one of the sources I consult to remind me of anniversaries of discoveries, births and deaths in the history of science had two entries concerning the father and son Friesian Renaissance astronomers David and Johannes Fabricius. According to this … Continue reading

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