The History of science is the study of the development of science and scientific knowledge, including both the natural and social sciences. (The history of the arts and humanities is termed history of scholarship.) Science is a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by scientists who emphasize the observation, explanation, and prediction of real world phenomena. Historiography of science, in contrast, studies the methods employed by historians of science.
The English word scientist is relatively recent—first coined by William Whewell in the 19th century. Previously, investigators of nature called themselves "natural philosophers". While empirical investigations of the natural world have been described since classical antiquity (for example by Thales and Aristotle), and scientific method has been employed since the Middle Ages (for example, by Ibn al-Haytham and Roger Bacon), modern science began to develop in the early modern period, and in particular in the scientific revolution of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Traditionally, historians of science have defined science sufficiently broadly to include those earlier inquiries.
From the 18th century through late 20th century, the history of science, especially of the physical and biological sciences, was often presented as a progressive accumulation of knowledge, in which true theories replaced false beliefs. Some more recent historical interpretations, such as those of Thomas Kuhn, tend to portray the history of science in terms of competing paradigms or conceptual systems in a wider matrix of intellectual, cultural, economic and political trends. These interpretations, however, have met with opposition for they also portray history of science as an incoherent system of incommensurable paradigms, not leading to any scientific progress, but only to the illusion of progress.
Deutsche Physik (literally: "German Physics") or Aryan Physics was the name given to a reactionary movement in the German physics community in the early 1930s against the work of Albert Einstein, labeled Jewish Physics. The term was taken from the title of a 4-volume physics textbook by Philipp Lenard in the 1930s.
The movement itself began as an extension of a German nationalist movement in the physics community which went back as far as World War I. A number of German physicists, including Wilhelm Wien and the especially passionate Philipp Lenard had then signed a number of "declarations" that there was a need to remove a perceived unfair amount of British influence from physics (such as the renaming of German-discovered phenomena with perceived English-derived names, such as "X-ray" instead of "Röntgen ray"), and a declaration of the national character of science as a method of emphasising local differences in theory and practice.
When the Nazis entered the political scene, Lenard quickly attempted to ally himself with them, joining the party long before it was fashionable to do so. With another Nobel Prize in Physics laureate, Johannes Stark, Lenard began a core campaign to label Einstein's Relativity as Jewish Physics, decrying it as overly abstract, out of touch with reality, closely linked to moral relativism, and practiced exclusively by Jews and Jewish sympathisers.
Did you know
...that the travel narrative The Malay Archipelago, by biologist 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 conatus, an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself?
...that the history of biochemistry spans approximately 400 years, but the word "biochemistry" in the modern sense was first proposed only in 1903, by German chemist Carl Neuberg?
...that the Great Comet of 1577 was viewed by people all over Europe, including famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and the six year old Johannes Kepler?
...that the Society for Social Studies of Science (often abbreviated as 4S) is, as its website claims, "the oldest and largest scholarly association devoted to understanding science and technology"?
- 1471 – Birth of Konrad Mutian, German humanist (d. 1526)
- 1564 – Death of Vesalius, Flemish anatomist (b. 1514)
- 1608 – Birth of Evangelista Torricelli, Italian physicist (d. 1647)
- 1715 – Death of Humphry Ditton, English mathematician (b. 1675)
- 1829 – Birth of Asaph Hall, American astronomer (d. 1907)
- 1878 - The Edison Electric Light Company begins operation
- 1909 – Birth of Jesse Leonard Greenstein, American astronomer (d. 2002)
- 1919 – Birth of Malcolm Ross, American balloonist and atmospheric physicist (d. 1985)
- 1940 – Birth of Peter Doherty, Australian immunologist, Nobel laureate
- 1953 - British nuclear test Totem 1 detonated at Emu Field, South Australia
- 1959 – Death of Lipót Fejér, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1880)
- 1980 – Death of Mikhail Lavrentyev, Russian physicist and mathematician (b. 1900)
- 1997 - The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.
- 2000 – Death of Konrad Emil Bloch, German-born biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
- 2001 - NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io
- 2003 – Death of Bertram N. Brockhouse, Canadian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)