N° 508
Scientific Developments Connected with the Second Industrial Revolution: A. Baracca, S. Ruffo, and A. Russo, Scienza e Industria 1848–1915, 41 years later
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The pioneering work, Scienza e Industria 1848–1915: Gli sviluppi scientifici connessi alla seconda rivoluzione industriale (Science and Industry 1848–1915: Scientific developments related to the second industrial revolution) by Angelo Baracca, Stefano Ruffo, and Arturo Russo is reproduced in this preprint. Published in Italian by Laterza in 1979, it is an unjustly forgotten treasure of a highly fertile and innovative period of the history of science. The introduction to the preprint describes the historical circumstances in which this book and the approach it proposes emerged. It covers a wide range of subjects, from the different ways in which the Second Industrial Revolution unfolded in Great Britain and in continental Europe to the upheaval in modern science, in particular in chemistry in the latter half of the nineteenth century and in physics at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although each of these themes has meanwhile become the subject of detailed historical investigations, the survey and overall picture that Scienza e Industria provides is still intriguing: it connects the new knowledge economy of the Second Industrial Revolution with the conceptual revolutions in modern physics by pointing to the mediatory role of chemistry.