978-0-349-11305-0 / 034911305X

Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution

by Jardine, Lisa




Prices INCLUDE standard shipping to United States
Show prices without shipping
Change shipping destination
Shipping prices may be approximate. Please verify cost before checkout.

About the book:

Where does curiosity stop and science begin? When is a gentleman's collection of curios a museum? What makes a navigational aid a scientific instrument?

Questions of this sort attempt to separate science out from the rest of life--and Lisa Jardine has no time for them. Her latest book is instead a meticulous and sympathetic re-imagination of the lives of early scientists in the late 17th century. It conjures up a curious and engaging image of buccaneering science, serving its own more abstract instincts by supplying vital research to industry and the military.

Jardine shows that science is a normal commercial activity, wedded inextricably to the pursuit of profit and military advantage. Our modern idea of it as an objective, pure and even spiritual exercise--and our disappointment and anger when scientists turn out to have paymasters we do not like--is the product of a very modern habit of putting science on a pedestal.

While these topical issues inform Ingenious Pursuits, the book stays very much in its period. It is richly illustrated throughout, offering the reader a rare chance to acquire the feel and fascination of doing early science. But it is the individual stories that entice most--the founder of the British Museum collection whose fortune was founded on "medicinal" milk chocolate; Hooke and Wren's scheme to fashion out of a London rebuilt after the Great Fire a great laboratory, stocked with monumental telescopes.

The heroes and heroines of Jardine's story are engaged, business-like entrepreneurs, not white- coated supermen, and, Jardine assures us, the same is true today. How strange that we forgot it. --Simon Ings

Search under way...

Search complete.

Click on the price to find out more about a book.

New books: 1 - 12 of 12


Used books: 1 - 25 of 39