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Making Science Social:
Between 1633 and 1642, the French physician and philanthropist Théophraste Renaudot sponsored a series of public conferences in Paris. These conferences offered an open forum for wide-ranging discussions of a variety of topics, including science, medicine, gender, politics, and ethics. No matter the topic, participants consistently used scientific reasoning as a new standard of evidence. The conferences thus recast the rhetorical traditions of the Renaissance and prefigured the social sciences of the Enlightenment. They provide a candid snapshot of intellectual life at the dawn of the scientific revolution in France.
In Making Science Social, Kathleen Wellman uses the published conference proceedings to develop a broadly conceived, revisionist interpretation of the intellectual history of seventeenth-century France and of the roots of modern culture and science.
Volume 6 in the Series for Science and Culture