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A geohistorical study of 'the rise of modern science': mapping scientific practice through urban networks, 1500-1900

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journal contribution
posted on 13.07.2009 by Peter J. Taylor, Michael Hoyler, David M. Evans
Using data on the ‘career’ paths of one thousand ‘leading scientists’ from 1450 to 1900, what is conventionally called the ‘rise of modern science’ is mapped as a changing geography of scientific practice in urban networks. Four distinctive networks of scientific practice are identified. A primate network centred on Padua and central and northern Italy in the sixteenth century expands across the Alps to become a polycentric network in the seventeenth century, which in turn dissipates into a weak polycentric network in the eighteenth century. The nineteenth century marks a huge change of scale as a primate network centred on Berlin and dominated by German-speaking universities. These geographies are interpreted as core-producing processes in Wallerstein’s modern world-system; the rise of modern scientific practice is central to the development of structures of knowledge that relate to, but do not mirror, material changes in the system.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

TAYLOR, P.J., HOYLER, M. and EVANS, D.M., 2008. A geohistorical study of 'the rise of modern science': mapping scientific practice through urban networks, 1500-1900. Minerva, 46 (4), pp. 391-410

Publisher

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2008

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Minerva [© Springer Science + Business Media B.V.]. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com

ISSN

0026-4695

Language

en

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