Michael R. Lynn
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The practice of popularization
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The practice of popularization formed an integral part of eighteenth-century urban culture and illustrates one instance of how individuals could gain access to science. The growth of popular science also drew inspiration from the more general development of a culture of scientific practice. The period from 1650 to 1750 saw the creation of numerous state-sponsored professional organizations, both in France and around Europe, and the establishment of various publications, which encouraged the consumption of science by the general public. Popularizers put forward a broad spectrum of ideas within their courses. Some disseminators dealt strictly with Newtonianism or Cartesianism. Disseminators marketed popular science on the basis of its theoretical importance, entertainment value, and utility. The perceived utility of science ensured that even producers and disseminators of scientific knowledge who worked outside the state system would be valued.

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