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 (thus overlapping with the history of ideas, history of philosophy and intellectual history). The history of science 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. Science is continuously growing with technology today. Thanks to technology scientists have been able to better prove their theories.
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.
Woman teaching geometry
, an illustration at the beginning of Euclid's Elements
, ca. 1310
Women in science, technology, and medicine have made diverse contributions, from antiquity to the present day. However, the exclusion of women from most formal education, particularly from around 1600 until the latter part of the nineteenth century, has severely restricted women's ability to contribute in these areas. Women's participation has often involved one or more of aristocratic position, family connections and communities isolated from society. The application of practical "housewifely" crafts or traditionally "feminine" pursuits, such as art, translation and writing, has provided a means of entrance into scientific research. The exigencies of war have also led to opportunities for women.
Entry into higher education without formal restriction during much of the twentieth century, at least in the US and Europe, has resulted in more frequent contributions from women across all areas of scientific study. However, women remain greatly underrepresented in some areas, such as physical sciences, computing and engineering.
...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"?
- 1694 - Birth of Georg Brandt, Swedish chemist and mineralogist (d. 1768)
- 1730 - Birth of Charles Messier, French astronomer (d. 1817)
- 1793 - Death of Gilbert White, English ornithologist (b. 1720)
- 1810 - Death of Joseph Michel Montgolfier, inventor of the hot air balloon (b. 1740)
- 1824 - Birth of Lord Kelvin, Irish physicist and engineer (d. 1907)
- 1883 - Death of Edward Sabine, Irish physicist, astronomer and explorer (b. 1788)
- 1904 - Birth of Frank Scott Hogg, Canadian astronomer (d. 1951)
- 1937 - Birth of Robert Coleman Richardson, American physicist and Nobel laureate
- 1938 - Birth of Gerald North, American climatologist
- 1943 - Death of Karl Landsteiner, Austrian biologist and Nobel laureate (b. 1868)
- 1948 - William Shockley filed the original patent for the grown junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.