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History of science

See below for a selection of the latest books from History of science category. Presented with a red border are the History of science books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great History of science books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism

The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism

Author: Stephen P. (Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma) Weldon Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/12/2020

Recent polls show that a quarter of Americans claim to have no religious affiliation, identifying instead as atheists, agnostics, or nothing in particular. A century ago, a small group of American intellectuals who dubbed themselves humanists tread this same path, turning to science as a major source of spiritual sustenance. In The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism, Stephen P. Weldon tells the fascinating story of this group as it developed over the twentieth century, following the fortunes of a few generations of radical ministers, academic philosophers, and prominent scientists who sought to replace traditional religion with a modern, liberal, scientific outlook. Weldon explores humanism through the networks of friendships and institutional relationships that underlay it, from philosophers preaching in synagogues and ministers editing articles of Nobel laureates to magicians invoking the scientific method. Examining the development of an increasingly antagonistic engagement between religious conservatives and the secular culture of the academy, Weldon explains how this conflict has shaped the discussion of science and religion in American culture. He also uncovers a less known-but equally influential-story about the conflict within humanism itself between two very different visions of science: an aspirational, democratic outlook held by the followers of John Dewey on the one hand, and a skeptical, combative view influenced by logical positivism on the other. Putting America's distinctive science talk into historical perspective, Weldon shows how events such as the Pugwash movement for nuclear disarmament, the ongoing evolution controversies, the debunking of pseudo-science, and the selection of scientists and popularizers like Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov as humanist figureheads all fit a distinctly American ethos. Weldon maintains that this secular ethos gained much of its influence by tapping into the idealism found in the American radical religious tradition that includes the deism of Thomas Paine, nineteenth-century rationalism and free thought, Protestant modernism, and most important, Unitarianism. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and a thorough study of the main humanist publications, The Scientific Spirit of American Humanism reveals a new level of detail about the personal and institutional forces that have shaped major trends in American secular culture. Significantly, the book shows why special attention to American liberal religiosity remains critical to a clear understanding of the scientific spirit in American culture.

A Laboratory of Her Own

A Laboratory of Her Own

Author: Victoria Ketz Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2020

A Laboratory of Her Own: Women and Science in Spanish Culture gathers diverse voices to address women's interaction with STEM fields in the context of Spanish cultural production. This volume focuses on the many ways the arts and humanities provide avenues for deepening the conversation about how women have been involved in, excluded from, and represented within the scientific realm. While women's historic exclusion from STEM fields has received increased scrutiny worldwide in recent years, women within the Spanish context have been perhaps even more peripheral given the complex socio-cultural structures emanating from gender norms and political ideologies dominant in the Spanish nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Nonetheless, Spanish female cultural producers have long been engaged with science and technology within the cultural realm, as expressed in literature, art, film, and other areas. Spanish cultural production offers diverse representations of the relationships between women, gender, sexuality, race, and the STEM fields. A Laboratory of Her Own studies representations of Spanish women (including non-white women) and scientific cultural production from the late nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. STEM topics include the environment, biodiversity, temporal and spatial theories, medicine and reproductive rights, neuroscience, robotics, artificial intelligence, and quantum physics. These scientific themes and other issues are analyzed in narratives, paintings, poetry, photographs, science fiction, medical literature, translation, newswriting, film, and other forms.

Fearful Vassals

Fearful Vassals

Author: Peter Blanchard Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/11/2020

Origin of Life

Origin of Life

Author: David W. Deamer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

Our knowledge of our solar system has passed the point of no return. Increasingly, it seems possible that scientists will soon discover how life is created on habitable planets like Earth and Mars. Scientists have responded to a renewed public interest in the origin of life with research, but many questions still remain unanswered in the broader conversation. Other questions can be answered by the laws of chemistry and physics, but questions surrounding the origin of life are best answered by reasonable extrapolations of what scientists know from observing the Earth and its solar system. Origin of Life: What Everyone Needs to Know (R) is a comprehensive scientific guide on the origin of life. David W. Deamer sets out to answer the top forty questions about the origin of life, including: Where do the atoms of life come from? How old is Earth? What was the Earth like before life originated? Where does water come from? How did evolution begin? After he provides the informational answer for each question, there is a follow-up: How do we know? This question expands the horizon of the whole book, and provides scientific reasoning and explanations for hypotheses surrounding the origin of life. How scientists come to their conclusions and why we can trust these answers is an important question, and Deamer provides answers to each big question surrounding the origin of life, from what it is to why we should be curious.

Origin of Life

Origin of Life

Author: David W. Deamer Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/11/2020

Our knowledge of our solar system has passed the point of no return. Increasingly, it seems possible that scientists will soon discover how life is created on habitable planets like Earth and Mars. Scientists have responded to a renewed public interest in the origin of life with research, but many questions still remain unanswered in the broader conversation. Other questions can be answered by the laws of chemistry and physics, but questions surrounding the origin of life are best answered by reasonable extrapolations of what scientists know from observing the Earth and its solar system. Origin of Life: What Everyone Needs to Know (R) is a comprehensive scientific guide on the origin of life. David W. Deamer sets out to answer the top forty questions about the origin of life, including: Where do the atoms of life come from? How old is Earth? What was the Earth like before life originated? Where does water come from? How did evolution begin? After he provides the informational answer for each question, there is a follow-up: How do we know? This question expands the horizon of the whole book, and provides scientific reasoning and explanations for hypotheses surrounding the origin of life. How scientists come to their conclusions and why we can trust these answers is an important question, and Deamer provides answers to each big question surrounding the origin of life, from what it is to why we should be curious.

The Lost Species

The Lost Species

Author: Christopher Kemp Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/11/2020

The tiny, lungless Thorius salamander from southern Mexico, thinner than a match and smaller than a quarter. The lushly white-coated Saki, an arboreal monkey from the Brazilian rainforests. The olinguito, a native of the Andes, which looks part mongoose, part teddy bear. These fantastic species are all new to science--at least newly named and identified; but they weren't discovered in the wild, instead, they were unearthed in the drawers and cavernous basements of natural history museums. As Christopher Kemp reveals in The Lost Species, hiding in the cabinets and storage units of natural history museums is a treasure trove of discovery waiting to happen. With Kemp as our guide, we go spelunking into museum basements, dig through specimen trays, and inspect the drawers and jars of collections, scientific detectives on the hunt for new species. We discover king crabs from 1906, unidentified tarantulas, mislabeled Himalayan landsnails, an unknown rove beetle originally collected by Darwin, and an overlooked squeaker frog, among other curiosities. In each case, these specimens sat quietly for decades--sometimes longer than a century--within the collections of museums, before sharp-eyed scientists understood they were new. Each year, scientists continue to encounter new species in museum collections--a stark reminder that we have named only a fraction of the world's biodiversity. Sadly, some specimens have waited so long to be named that they are gone from the wild before they were identified, victims of climate change and habitat loss. As Kemp shows, these stories showcase the enduring importance of these very collections. The Lost Species vividly tells these stories of discovery--from the latest information on each creature to the people who collected them and the scientists who finally realized what they had unearthed--and will inspire many a museumgoer to want to peek behind the closed doors and rummage through the archives.

On the Origin of Evolution

On the Origin of Evolution

Author: John Gribbin, Mary Gribbin Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/11/2020

The theory of evolution by natural selection did not spring fully formed and unprecedented from the brain of Charles Darwin. Rather it has been examined and debated by philosophers the world over for thousands of years. This lively history traces the evolution of the idea of evolution, showing how it has changed and been changed by different societies over time. It will put 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' into its proper context, showing how it built on what went before and how it was developed in the twentieth century, through an understanding of genetics and the biochemical basis evolution. None of this diminishes the achievement of Darwin himself in perceiving the way evolution works at the level of individuals and species, but his contribution was one link in a chain that extends back into antiquity, and is still being forged today.

Rhetorical Crossover

Rhetorical Crossover

Author: Cedric D. Burrows Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2020

Science and Moral Imagination

Science and Moral Imagination

Author: Matthew Brown Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2020

Creatures of Cain

Creatures of Cain

Author: Erika Lorraine Milam Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/10/2020

After World War II, the question of how to define a universal human nature took on new urgency. Creatures of Cain charts the rise and precipitous fall in Cold War America of a theory that attributed man's evolutionary success to his unique capacity for murder. Drawing on a wealth of archival materials and in-depth interviews, Erika Lorraine Milam reveals how the scientists who advanced this killer ape theory capitalized on an expanding postwar market in intellectual paperbacks and widespread faith in the power of science to solve humanity's problems, even to answer the most fundamental questions of human identity. The killer ape theory spread quickly from colloquial science publications to late-night television, classrooms, political debates, and Hollywood films. Behind the scenes, however, scientists were sharply divided, their disagreements centering squarely on questions of race and gender. Then, in the 1970s, the theory unraveled altogether when primatologists discovered that chimpanzees also kill members of their own species. While the discovery brought an end to definitions of human exceptionalism delineated by violence, Milam shows how some evolutionists began to argue for a shared chimpanzee-human history of aggression even as other scientists discredited such theories as sloppy popularizations. A wide-ranging account of a compelling episode in American science, Creatures of Cain argues that the legacy of the killer ape persists today in the conviction that science can resolve the essential dilemmas of human nature.

Pioneers of Color Science

Pioneers of Color Science

Author: Renzo Shamey, Rolf G. Kuehni Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/10/2020

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the historical development of color science, told through the stories of more than 90 of the most prominent figures in the field and their contributions. The text comprises an extensive set of biographical essays about pioneering scientists in the field of color science, describing their most significant achievements and explaining how their findings influenced the general understanding of color. Grouped by historical period, each part is prefaced with a short introduction that sets the essays into context and helps the reader appreciate the background and the importance of the contributions made. Beginning with classical Greece and the works of Plato and Aristotle, the book goes on in the second part to describe the advances made by Islamic scholars such as Ibn al-Haytham between the 10th and 15th centuries. The third part covers contributions from Roger Bacon and Theodoric of Freiberg in the same period. Part four includes discussions on color formation and visual perception for a time period from about the 16th to the 18th centuries encompassing the Age of Enlightenment. This part addresses the works of nineteen pioneers including Descartes, Boyle, Newton, Goethe, Lambert, Purkynje, Runge, Dalton, Young and Chevreul. The final part is the largest section of the book and covers the most recent discoveries and contributions from pioneers born after 1800 and includes over 60 essays. Among the pioneers listed in this chapter are Nobel laureates, vision scientists including Helmholtz, and Hering, and many other notable color pioneers such as Munsell and Land. This part of the book also includes essays on contemporary figures in color science including Adams, Boynton, Crawford, Hardy, MacAdam, Ostwald and Wyszecki and reviews their contributions to this dynamic field. A useful reference for color scientists, science historians, artists and others, Pioneers of Color Science offers a fascinating insight into the development of color science and the nature of scientific advancement.

Physico-theology

Physico-theology

Author: Ann (Harvard University) Blair Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2020

Beginning around 1650, the emergence of a number of new scientific concepts, methods, and instruments challenged existing syntheses of science and religion. Physico-theology, which embraced the values of personal, empirical observation, was an international movement of the early Enlightenment that focused on the new science to make arguments about divine creation and providence. By reconciling the new science with Christianity across many denominations, physico-theology played a crucial role in diffusing new scientific ideas, assumptions, and interest in the study of nature to a broad public. In this book, sixteen leading scholars contribute a rich array of essays on the terms and scope of the movement, its scientific and religious arguments, and its aesthetic sensibilities. Contributors: Ann Blair, Simona Boscani Leoni, John Hedley Brooke, Nicolas Brucker, Katherine Calloway, Kathleen Crowther, Brendan Dooley, Peter Harrison, Barbara Hunfeld, Eric Jorink, Scott Mandelbrote, Brian W. Ogilvie, Martine Pecharman, Jonathan Sheehan, Anne-Charlott Trepp, Rienk Vermij, Kaspar von Greyerz