The History of Science Portal
The content of
science, as well as the meaning of the very idea of science, has continually evolved since the rise of modern science and before. The history of science is concerned with the paths that led to our present knowledge as well as those that were abandoned (and thus overlaps with the history of ideas, history of philosophy and intellectual history), and seeks to explain past beliefs—even those now considered erroneous—in their social, cultural and intellectual contexts. It also forms the foundation of the philosophy of science and the sociology of science, as well as the interdisciplinary field of science, technology, and society, and is closely related to the history of technology.
The study of science and technology includes both processes and bodies of knowledge. Scientific processes are the ways scientists investigate and communicate about the natural world. The scientific body of knowledge includes concepts, principles, facts, laws, and theories about the way the world around us works. Technology includes the technological design process and the body of knowledge related to the study of tools and the effect of technology on society.
Periodization in the historiography of science is usually oriented around the Scientific Revolution that culminated in the work of Isaac Newton. In this scheme, science (or more precisely, natural philosophy) before Copernicus was pre-modern science. European and Islamic science from antiquity to the 16th century was primarily derived from the work of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers (though historians now recognize the significant influence of Chinese knowledge as well); it included alchemy, astrology, and other subjects no longer considered as scientific, as well as the precursors of the modern sciences. Science (still in the form of natural philosophy) from roughly the late 16th century until the early- to mid-19th century was early-modern science; the birth of the experimental method in the 17th and 18th centuries is often considered a central event in the history of science. The 19th century saw the professionalization and secularization of science and the creation of independent scientific disciplines; modern science can denote science since this period (in distinction to early-modern), all science since Newton (in distinction to pre-modern), or simply science as practiced now.
traces man's understanding of the history of biology living world from the earliest recorded history to modern times. Though the concept of as a single coherent field of knowledge only arose in the 19th century, the biological sciences emerged from biology traditions of medicine and natural history reaching back to the ancient Greeks (particularly Galen and Aristotle, respectively).
Renaissance and Age of Discovery, renewed interest in empiricism as well as the rapidly increasing number of known organisms led to significant developments in biological thought; Vesalius inaugurated the rise of experimentation and careful observation in physiology, and a series of naturalists culminating with Linnaeus and Buffon began to create a conceptual framework for analyzing the diversity of life and the fossil record, as well as the development and behavior of plants and animals. The growing importance of natural theology—partly a response to the rise of mechanical philosophy—was also an important impetus for the growth of natural history (though it also further entrenched the argument from design).
In the 18th century many fields of science—including
botany, zoology, and geology—began to professionalize, forming the precursors of scientific disciplines in the modern sense (though the process would not be complete until the late 1800s). Lavoisier and other physical scientists began to connect the animate and inanimate worlds through the techniques and theory of physics and chemistry. Into the 19th century, explorer-naturalists such as Alexander von Humboldt tried to elucidate the interactions between organisms and their environment, and the ways these relationships depend on geography—creating the foundations for biogeography, ecology and ethology. Many naturalists began to reject essentialism and seriously consider the possibilities of extinction and the mutability of species. These developments, as well as the results of new fields such as embryology and paleontology, were synthesized in Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The end of the 19th century saw debates over spontaneous generation and the rise of the germ theory of disease and the fields of cytology, bacteriology and physiological chemistry, though the problem of inheritance was still a mystery.
An engraving by
Albrecht Dürer, from the title page of the Masha'allah ibn Atharī's astronomy treatise De scientia motus orbis (Latin version with engraving, 1504). As in many medieval illustrations, the compass here is an icon of religion as well as science, in reference to God as the architect of creation.
travel narrative , by biologist The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russel Wallace, was used by the novelist Joseph Conrad as a source for his novel ? Lord Jim
...that the seventeenth century philosophers
René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, and Gottfried Leibniz, along with their Empiricist contemporary Thomas Hobbes all formulated definitions of , an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself? conatus
spans approximately 400 years, but the word "biochemistry" in the modern sense was first proposed only in history of biochemistry 1903, by German chemist Carl Neuberg?
was viewed by people all over Great Comet of 1577 Europe, including famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and the six year old Johannes Kepler?
(often abbreviated as Society for Social Studies of Science 4S) is, as its website claims, "the oldest and largest scholarly association devoted to understanding science and technology"?