John Henry (historian)

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John Henry

John Henry (born 1950) is Historian of Science in the Science Studies Unit at the University of Edinburgh associated with the Strong Programme.


Henry has written books and articles on numerous topics in the history of sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century science including books on the work of Francis Bacon, the Scientific Revolution, and Nicolaus Copernicus. His articles include research on the work of Isaac Newton and later Newtonianism, Atomism and a range of other subjects. Often his focus is on the unexpected links between the development of modern science and previous systems of knowledge and understanding, particularly those of Natural Magic. In this respect his work can be seen to disagree with The Zilsel Thesis which sees the emergence of modern Science as being a radical break with the previous religious or magical traditions. Instead of seeing a great rift, Henry's work emphasises the importance of investigative techniques taken from magical traditions for many of the key figures of the scientific revolution.[citation needed]


  • Knowledge is Power: Francis Bacon and the Method of Science (2002)
  • The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science (1997, 2002 2nd ed)[1][2][3]
  • Moving Heaven and Earth: Copernicus and the Solar System (2001)
  • Scientific knowledge: a sociological analysis (with David Bloor and S. Barry Barnes) (1996)[4][5][6]


  1. ^ North, Von David (14 November 2009). "Die politische und intellektuelle Irrfahrt des Alex Steiner" (in German). World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Osler, Margaret J. (2009-06-01). "John Henry. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science.". Isis. 100 (2): 403–404. doi:10.1086/605239. ISSN 0021-1753. 
  3. ^ Payne, Lynda Stephenson (1999). "Review of The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science". The Sixteenth Century Journal. 30 (2): 613–614. doi:10.2307/2544792. 
  4. ^ Bralley, Patricia (1997). "Review of Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis". The Quarterly Review of Biology. 72 (1): 60–60. 
  5. ^ Ylikoski, Petri (1998). "Review of Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis". Science, Technology, & Human Values. 23 (3): 349–351. 
  6. ^ Ziche, Paul (1999). "Review of Scientific Knowledge. A Sociological Analysis". Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie. 30 (1): 173–176.