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.
...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"?
- 1612 - Birth of André Tacquet, Belgian mathematician (d. 1660)
- 1750 - Birth of Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu, French geologist (d. 1801)
- 1806 - Death of Mathurin Jacques Brisson, French naturalist (b. 1723)
- 1832 - Death of Sir James Hall, Bt, Scottish geologist (b. 1761)
- 1868 - Christopher Latham Sholes receives a patent for Type-Writer.
- 1881 - Death of Matthias Jakob Schleiden, German botanist (b. 1804)
- 1891 - Death of Wilhelm Eduard Weber, German physicist (b. 1804)
- 1894 - Birth of Alfred Kinsey, American entomologist and sexologist (d. 1956)
- 1931 - Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine plane.
- 1988 - James E. Hansen testifies before the U.S. Senate that it was 99% probable that global warming had begun.
- 1995 - Death of Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician (b. 1914)
- 2006 - Death of Harriet, a 175 year old Galápagos tortoise reportedly collected by Charles Darwin (b. 1830)