WorkingGroupBook

Working Group Books

Working Group Book

Testing drugs and trying cures

Elaine Leong, Alisha Rankin,

Practices of testing drugs and trying cures were clearly central to premodern medicine. As the present articles demonstrate, a wide range of actors conducted a variety of practices in order to assess drug efficacy; determine the virtues of plants, animals, and minerals; ascertain the composition of compound drugs; tweak production and application methods; and much more.

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Working Group Book

Before Copernicus : the cultures and contexts of scientific learning in the fifteenth century

Rivka Feldhay, F. Jamil Ragep

In 1984, Noel Swerdlow and Otto Neugebauer argued that Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) explained planetary motion by using mathematical devices and astronomical models originally developed by Islamic astronomers in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Was this a parallel development, or did Copernicus somehow learn of the work of his predecessors, and if so, how?

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Working Group Book

Science in the Archives: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Archives bring to mind rooms filled with old papers and dusty artifacts. But for scientists, the detritus of the past can be a treasure trove of material vital to present and future research: fossils collected by geologists; data banks assembled by geneticists; weather diaries trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians.

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Working Group Book

Spatial thinking and external representation: towards a historical epistemology of space

Spatial thinking plays a central role in the life of individuals as well as whole societies. It ranges from everyday orientation in our living environment to the social organization of place and space and the structuring of a huge corpus of experiential knowledge by means of theoretical concepts in modern science.

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Working Group Book

Canonical texts and scholarly practices : a global comparative approach

Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most

In this collection of richly documented case studies, experts in many textual traditions examine the ways in which important texts were preserved, explicated, corrected, and used for a variety of purposes. This volume shows how much is learned when historians of scholarship focus on earlier scholars' practices, and when Western scholarly traditions are treated as part of a much larger, cross-cultural inquiry.

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Working Group Book

Documenting the world: film, photography, and the scientific record

Gregg Mitman, Kelley E. Wilder

Imagine the twentieth century without photography and film. Its history would be absent of images that define historical moments and generations. 'Documenting the World' is about the material and social life of photographs and film made in the scientific quest to document the world.

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Shifting paradigms : Thomas S. Kuhn and the history of science

Alexander Blum, Kostas Gavroglu, Christian Joas, Jürgen Renn

The publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’s "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" in 1962 stands for a turning point in the history and philosophy of science. The repercussions of this work have rearticulated the theoretical framework of history and philosophy of science and have also generated discussions that contributed to the formation of the communities of historians as well as philosophers of science in many parts of the world.

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Endangerment, biodiversity and culture

Fernando Vidal, Nélia Dias

The notion of Endangerment stands at the heart of a network of concepts, values and practices dealing with objects and beings considered threatened by extinction, and with the procedures aimed at preserving them. Usually animated by a sense of urgency and citizenship, identifying endangered entities involves evaluating an impending threat and opens the way for preservation strategies.

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Working Group Book

Wissensgeschichte der Architektur

Jürgen Renn, Wilhelm Osthues, Hermann Schlimme

Das den großen Bauleistungen der Vergangenheit zugrunde liegende Wissen und seine Entwicklung ist Gegenstand der hier vorgelegten Wissensgeschichte der Architektur. Die Forschungen haben sich insbesondere auf das Planungswissen, das Materialwissen, das bautechnische Wissen und das logistische Wissen konzentriert.

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How reason almost lost its mind: the strange career of Cold War rationality

Lorraine Daston, Paul Erickson, Judy L. Klein, Rebecca Lemov, Thomas Sturm, Michael D. Gordin

In the United States at the height of the Cold War, roughly between the end of World War II and the early 1980s, a new project of redefining rationality commanded the attention of sharp minds, powerful politicians, wealthy foundations, and top military brass.

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Working Group Book

Research and pedagogy : a history of quantum physics through its textbooks

Massimiliano Badino, Jaume Navarro

Historians of quantum physics and early quantum mechanics have seldom paid attention to the ways the new theory was integrated in physics textbooks, perhaps taking for granted that novelties in science can only be taught once they are fully understood and generally accepted.

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Working Group Book

Traditions and transformations in the history of Quantum Physics: HQ-3 Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin, June 28 - July 2, 2010

Jürgen Renn, Shaul Katzir, Christoph Lehner

More than a century after the beginning of the quantum revolution, historians continue to explore new facets in the history of quantum physics, and to re-examine some of its better-known aspects.

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Working Group Book

The globalization of knowledge in history

This volume presents results of an interdisciplinary research project on the globalization of knowledge. The project is part of the research program of a historical epistemology whose aim is to contribute also to the reflexivity of present science and its institutions. It pursues a comparative history of knowledge in which present processes of globalization are conceived as the outcome of historical developments and their interactions.

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Working Group Book

Einstein and the changing worldviews of physics

Christoph Lehner, Jürgen Renn, Matthias Schemmel

This volume reviews conceptual conflicts at the foundations of physics now and in the past century. The focus is on the conditions and consequences of Einstein's pathbreaking achievements that sealed the decline of the classical notions of space, time, radiation, and matter, and resulted in the theory of relativity.

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Working Group Book

Histories of Scientific Observation

Lorraine Daston, Elizabeth Lunbeck

Observation is the most pervasive and fundamental practice of all the modern sciences, both natural and human. Its instruments include not only the naked senses but also tools such as the telescope and microscope, the questionnaire, the photographic plate, the notebook, the glassed-in beehive, and myriad other ingenious inventions designed to make the invisible visible, the evanescent permanent, the abstract concrete.

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Working Group Book

Neurocultures : glimpses into an expanding universe

Francisco Ortega, Fernando Vidal

Neurocultures offers «glimpses» into an expanding universe of knowledge, beliefs and practices characterized by the conviction that human activity is governed by the structure and functioning of the brain. The 1990s were the Decade of the Brain, and the first hundred years of the new millennium have been proclaimed its Century.

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Notieren, Skizzieren : Schreiben und Zeichnen als Verfahren des Entwurfs

Karin Krauthausen, Omar W. Nasim

Der dritte Band der Reihe »Wissen im Entwurf« beschäftigt sich mit Techniken des Schreibens und Zeichnens in jenen kreativen, herstellenden Zusammenhängen, die gemeinhin unter ›Entwurf‹ gefasst werden.

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Working Group Book

Wunderforschung : ein Experiment von Kindern, Wissenschaftlern und Künstlern

Katja Bödeker, Carmen Hammer

Immer wieder bildet Staunen die Voraussetzung von Erkenntnis. Darum haben Kinder, Wissenschaftler und Künstler im Comenius-Garten in Berlin-Neukölln Wunder erforscht - und so manche Erkenntnis zutage befördert.

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Working Group Book

The heavens on earth : observatories and astronomy in nineteenth-century science and culture

David Aubin, Charlotte Bigg, H. Otto Sibum

The Heavens on Earth explores the place of the observatory in nineteenth-century science and culture. Astronomy was a core pursuit for observatories, but usually not the only one.

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Going amiss in experimental research

Giora Hon, Jutta Schickore, Friedrich Steinle

Like any goal-oriented procedure, experiment is subject to many kinds of failures. These failures have a variety of features, depending on the particulars of their sources. For the experimenter these pitfalls should be avoided and their effects minimized.

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Working Group Book

Creating shapes in civil and naval architecture : a cross-disciplinary comparison

Horst Nowacki, Wolfgang Lefèvre

The design, construction and verification of complex two- and three-dimensional shapes in architecture and ship geometry have always been a particularly demanding part of the art of engineering.

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The social and economic roots of the scientific revolution

Gideon Freudenthal, Peter McLaughlin

The volume collects classics of Marxist historiography of science, including a new translation of Boris Hessen’s “The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s Principia” (1931), Henryk Grossmann’s “The Social Foundation of Mechanistic Philosophy and Manufacture” (1935) and his Descartes’ New Ideal of Science. Universal Science vs. Science of an Elite, published here for the first time.

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Working Group Book

Daten sichern : Schreiben und Zeichnen als Verfahren der Aufzeichnung

Christoph Hoffmann

Schreiben und Zeichnen als Verfahren der Aufzeichnung zu denken, führt direkt auf die fixierende, zurückhaltende Kraft, die von vornherein mit der graphischen Spur des Stiftes verbunden wird und das Trivialste zu sein scheint

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Working Group Book

Chuan bo yu hui tong : "Qi qi tu shuo" yan jiu yu jiao zhu 传播与会通 :《奇器图说》研究与校注

Baichun Zhang, Matthias Schemmel, Jürgen Renn, Peter Damerow

Transmission and integration - Qiqi Tushuo (illustrations and descriptions of extraordinary devices): New research and annotated edition

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Working Group Books

Working Group Books are an MPIWG specialty: volumes written by two or more authors which are the result of intensive collaboration, involving multiple working sessions in which drafts of the individual chapters are presented, discussed, and revised. Many MPIWG research projects publish their principal results in this form, in addition to books and articles by individual participating scholars. These Working Group Books are especially well suited to opening up new fields of research and to covering topics from a comparative perspective, both challenges that invite collective rather than individual scholarship.