This book contributes to the study of science and politics by shedding light on sometimes dark, hidden or ignored aspects of openness as a core policy agenda. While opening up of science to public scrutiny and public deliberation is good in principle, various dilemmas and problems are entailed by this move, which also should be made public and be discussed more openly. Developed as a solution to perceived crises in science/society relations, openness and transparency initiatives might hide ‘monsters’ that need to be made visible and need to be examined. Chapters in this book deal with four themes: transparency in the context of science in the public sphere; responsibility in the context of in contemporary research practice and governance, both globally and locally; experts in the context of policy-making, risk assessment and the regulation of science; and faith in the context of tensions and misunderstandings between science and religion. Each section of the book contains an opening essay by experts on a particular theme (Mark Brown, Benjamin Worthy, Barbara Prainsack/Sabina Leonelli, Chris Toumey). The book closes with an epilogue by Stephen Turner and an essay by John Holmwood. At present, openness in science is more important than ever. This book should be of interest to academics and members of the public who want to know more about the challenges and opportunities of 'making science public' - the theme of a Leverhulme Trust funded research programme on which this book is based.
This book explores the appropriation of science in French society and the development of an urban scientific culture. Science underwent a process of commodification and popularization during the eighteenth century as more and more individuals sought to acquire some knowledge of scientific activities and as more and more people entered public debates on science. Popular science took many forms in the eighteenth century. While books, periodicals, universities, and academies all provided a breadth of scientific popularization at different levels and for different audiences, this book focuses on popular science within urban culture more generally. More than ever before, public lectures and demonstrations, clubs, and other activities arose in the eighteenth century as new opportunities for the general population to gain access to and appropriate science. These arenas for popular science were not restricted to people of a certain education. In fact, popular science, and public lecture courses in particular, was often set at a level that could be understood by pretty much anyone. This was a bone of contention between popularizers and their critics who felt that in some cases popular science lacked any sort of real scientific content. In reality, some popularizers had specific theoretical content in mind for their courses while others were admittedly more interested in theatrics. Identifying the audience, cost, and location of popular science helps reveal its place in urban culture. The book looks at the audience, identified through advertisements and course descriptions, as well as the economics of courses.
This study of the ‘colour question’, 1870-1914, offers a new account of the British Empire’s most disturbing legacy. Following contradictions within the ideology of empire, the book provides a revisionist account of race in science, and an original narrative of the invention of the language of race relations, and of resistance to race-thinking. Constructions of race in both professional and popular science were rooted in the common culture, yet were presented as products of nature. Ironically, science only gained a larger public when imperialism, not nature, created a global pattern of racial subordination and conflict. Though often overlooked, the longer term legacy of Victorian racism grew out of the newly invented language of race relations. Originating in the abolitionist movement, this language applied to the management of the historically unprecedented multi-racial communities created by empire. A dissenting minority of abolitionists and persons of African and Asian descent championed racial egalitarianism and colonial nationalism in resistance to the dominant discourse. By 1910, they suffered a crushing defeat in contesting white power in South Africa. As a consequence, in the new twentieth century, visions of a colour-blind empire belonged to a sentimentalised, archaic abolitionist past. Under the guise of imperial trusteeship, a new lexicon of race relations gave legitimacy to the institutionalised inequalities of an empire bifurcated by race.
presumption that professional science had a hand in shaping popular
attitudes. However, this view is not much more than a presumption,
for the process by which a professional elite came to have such an
impact remains largely unexplored.
Questions of the influence of ideas are notoriously
difficult to deal with, and perhaps the most notorious instance is
the grossly overworked concept of
The British Association in South Africa, 1905 and 1929
On 15 August 1905 a party of some
200 official members of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science arrived in Cape Town on board the Union Castle Liner,
Saxon. The voyage had been pleasantly uneventful and the
visitors occupied their time with an extensive programme of lectures and
discussions, games and entertainments, and scientific experiments
‘I love controversy’ claimed the Reverend William Richardson (1740-1820). Though a rural Irish rector, Richardson was a clerical polymath with wide-ranging interests in botany and geology who had international connections at the highest level. This book explores all the dimensions of Richardson’s extraordinary scientific career and assesses his interventions in Irish loyalist politics at the time of the 1798 rebellion. He was a prolific writer who contributed to the debate on the origin of basalt at the Giant’s Causeway, refuting claims that it was volcanic. His main project, however, was agricultural improvement. He argued that the adoption of, Irish fiorin grass, a plant which flourished on bog-land, would help reclaim wastelands throughout Britain and enable farmers to make hay in wintertime. Though considered mad for attempting to overturn the conventional wisdom of ‘making hay while the sun shines’ Richardson was supported by leading British scientists like Sir Humphry Davy and Sir Joseph Banks. In truth he sits at the intersection between provincial and metropolitan science and his overall historical importance, like his career, is diverse. His scientific empiricism meant that he offered an alternative voice to that of the loyalist propagandist, Sir Richard Musgrave. Even more significantly, in the aftermath of legislative union, Richardson recommended Irish agriculture to remedy Britain’s economic predicament during the ‘war of resources’ phase of the Napoleonic wars.
This book produces a major rethinking of the history of development after 1940 through an exploration of Britain’s ambitions for industrialisation in its Caribbean colonies. Industrial development is a neglected topic in histories of the British Colonial Empire, and we know very little of plans for Britain’s Caribbean colonies in general in the late colonial period, despite the role played by riots in the region in prompting an increase in development spending. This account shows the importance of knowledge and expertise in the promotion of a model of Caribbean development that is best described as liberal rather than state-centred and authoritarian. It explores how the post-war period saw an attempt by the Colonial Office to revive Caribbean economies by transforming cane sugar from a low-value foodstuff into a lucrative starting compound for making fuels, plastics and medical products. In addition, it shows that as Caribbean territories moved towards independence and America sought to shape the future of the region, scientific and economic advice became a key strategy for the maintenance of British control of the West Indian colonies. Britain needed to counter attempts by American-backed experts to promote a very different approach to industrial development after 1945 informed by the priorities of US foreign policy.
Richardson and provincial science
illiam Richardson’s 1808 Memoir on fiorin grass for the Belfast
Literary Society was the spark which ignited an explosion of
criticism from the town’s radical intellectuals. Like ‘lit and phils’ in other
growing towns, the Belfast Literary Society had a broad intellectual remit
and heard papers on scientific, historical, literary and religious topics.
Richardson was a corresponding member and, as well as publishing with
the Society, delivered a paper on agriculture as a science.1 This chapter
examines Richardson’s role
Entomology, botany and the early ethnographic monograph in the work of H.-A. Junod
concepts drawn from both classical
scholarship and indigenous knowledge, and by the methodology, language
and conceptual imagery of the natural sciences. 3
In this chapter I examine ways in which the methodology of
entomology and botany influenced the beginnings of anthropology in southern
Africa. By tracing the early life history of one particularly
influential scientist turned anthropologist, the Swiss
Balloons and mass science
In 1783, a “sublime invention” shocked France and the rest of the world. The
Montgolﬁer brothers invented the hot-air balloon. Within a short period
animals, and then humans, went aloft in hot-air and hydrogen balloons. This
instigated an enormous craze for balloons and marked the ﬁrst time that
humans had deﬁed gravity and left the earth to roam through the heavens.
Balloons became an emblem of the age of Enlightenment and quickly came
to occupy the minds and thoughts of scientists and amateurs alike. Francis
Hopkinson claimed, in a