Michael R. Lynn
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The audience, economics, and geography of popular science
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Popular science gripped the imagination of people all over Europe in the eighteenth century and individuals peppered their conversations with facts, allusions, references, and analogies to scientific discoveries and debates. Many people in general, and women in particular, actively enrolled in popular science courses. Illustrations of the complex set of attitudes towards women attending popular science courses appear within the plethora of comments popularizers make regarding their presence in the audience. The geography of popular science changed and shifted alongside the growing public interest in appropriating natural philosophy. Public lecture courses emerged as a commodity in eighteenth-century France. These courses provided a great number of people with a broad access to science. Examining the locations for the dissemination of enlightened science within the emerging public sphere allows us to trace the changing topography of scientific appropriation over the course of the eighteenth century.

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