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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 426 journals)
Showing 1 - 200 of 265 Journals sorted alphabetically
AAS Open Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ABC Journal of Advanced Research     Open Access  
Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Acta Materialia Transilvanica     Open Access  
Acta Nova     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientifica Malaysia     Open Access  
Acta Scientifica Naturalis     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Adıyaman University Journal of Science     Open Access  
Advanced Science     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Advanced Science, Engineering and Medicine     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Advanced Theory and Simulations     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Research     Open Access  
Advances in Science and Technology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Afrique Science : Revue Internationale des Sciences et Technologie     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
AFRREV STECH : An International Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
American Journal of Applied Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 27)
American Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
American Scientist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
ANALES de la Universidad Central del Ecuador     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia     Open Access  
Applied Mathematics and Nonlinear Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Apuntes de Ciencia & Sociedad     Open Access  
Arab Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences     Open Access  
Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences     Partially Free   (Followers: 7)
Archives of Current Research International     Open Access  
ARO. The Scientific Journal of Koya University     Open Access  
ARPHA Conference Abstracts     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
ARPHA Proceedings     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
ArtefaCToS : Revista de estudios sobre la ciencia y la tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asia-Pacific Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Asian Journal of Applied Science and Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Asian Journal of Scientific Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Asian Journal of Technology Innovation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Australian Field Ornithology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Journal of Social Issues     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
AZimuth     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Bangladesh Journal of Scientific Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Berkeley Scientific Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
BIBECHANA     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
BibNum     Open Access  
Bilge International Journal of Science and Technology Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bioethics Research Notes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Bistua : Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Básicas     Open Access  
BJHS Themes     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Black Sea Journal of Engineering and Science     Open Access  
Borneo Journal of Resource Science and Technology     Open Access  
Brazilian Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège     Open Access  
Bulletin of the National Research Centre     Open Access  
Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d'Història Natural     Open Access  
Central European Journal of Clinical Research     Open Access  
Chain Reaction     Full-text available via subscription  
Ciencia & Natura     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciencia Amazónica (Iquitos)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciencia en Desarrollo     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Ciencia en su PC     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciencia Ergo Sum     Open Access  
Ciência ET Praxis     Open Access  
Ciencia y Tecnología     Open Access  
Ciencia, Docencia y Tecnología     Open Access  
Ciencias Holguin     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
CienciaUAT     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Citizen Science : Theory and Practice     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Communications Faculty of Sciences University of Ankara Series A2-A3 Physical Sciences and Engineering     Open Access  
Communications in Applied Sciences     Open Access  
Comprehensive Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Comunicata Scientiae     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ConCiencia     Open Access  
Conference Papers in Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Configurations     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
COSMOS     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Crea Ciencia Revista Científica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Cuadernos de Investigación UNED     Open Access  
Current Issues in Criminal Justice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Current Research in Geoscience     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Dalat University Journal of Science     Open Access  
Data     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Data Curation Profiles Directory     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Dhaka University Journal of Science     Open Access  
Dharmakarya     Open Access  
Diálogos Interdisciplinares     Open Access  
Digithum     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Discover Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Einstein (São Paulo)     Open Access  
Ekaia : EHUko Zientzia eta Teknologia aldizkaria     Open Access  
Elkawnie : Journal of Islamic Science and Technology     Open Access  
Emergent Scientist     Open Access  
Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Enseñanza de las Ciencias : Revista de Investigación y Experiencias Didácticas     Open Access  
Entramado     Open Access  
Entre Ciencia e Ingeniería     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Epiphany     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Ergo     Open Access  
Estação Científica (UNIFAP)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Ethiopian Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Ethiopian Journal of Sciences and Sustainable Development     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
European Scientific Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Evidência - Ciência e Biotecnologia - Interdisciplinar     Open Access  
Exchanges : the Warwick Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Experimental Results     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Extensionismo, Innovación y Transferencia Tecnológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Facets     Open Access  
Fides et Ratio : Revista de Difusión Cultural y Científica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Fırat University Turkish Journal of Science & Technology     Open Access  
Fontanus     Open Access  
Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 379)
Frontiers for Young Minds     Open Access  
Frontiers in Climate     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Frontiers in Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Fundamental Research     Open Access  
Futures & Foresight Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Gaudium Sciendi     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Gazi University Journal of Science     Open Access  
Ghana Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences     Full-text available via subscription  
Global Journal of Science Frontier Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Globe, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
HardwareX     Open Access  
Heidelberger Jahrbücher Online     Open Access  
Heliyon     Open Access  
Himalayan Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
History of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Hoosier Science Teacher     Open Access  
Iberoamerican Journal of Science Measurement and Communication     Open Access  
Impact     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indian Journal of History of Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Indonesian Journal of Fundamental Sciences     Open Access  
Indonesian Journal of Science and Mathematics Education     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Indonesian Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Ingenieria y Ciencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Innovare : Revista de ciencia y tecnología     Open Access  
Instruments     Open Access  
Integrated Research Advances     Open Access  
Interciencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Interface Focus     Full-text available via subscription  
International Annals of Science     Open Access  
International Archives of Science and Technology     Open Access  
International Journal of Academic Research in Business, Arts & Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Review     Open Access  
International Journal of Applied Science     Open Access  
International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Computational and Experimental Science and Engineering (IJCESEN)     Open Access  
International Journal of Culture and Modernity     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Engineering, Science and Technology     Open Access  
International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
International Journal of Innovative Research and Scientific Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
International Journal of Network Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Recent Contributions from Engineering, Science & IT     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Research in Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Science & Emerging Technologies     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Social Sciences and Management     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Technology Policy and Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Review of Applied Sciences     Open Access  
InterSciencePlace     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Investiga : TEC     Open Access  
Investigación Joven     Open Access  
Investigación Valdizana     Open Access  
Investigacion y Ciencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Iranian Journal of Science and Technology, Transactions A : Science     Hybrid Journal  
iScience     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Issues in Science & Technology     Free   (Followers: 7)
Ithaca : Viaggio nella Scienza     Open Access  
J : Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal     Open Access  
Jaunujų mokslininkų darbai     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal de la Recherche Scientifique de l'Universite de Lome     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Journal of Advanced Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Al-Qadisiyah for Pure Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Alasmarya University     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Analytical Science & Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Applied Science and Technology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Big History     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Composites Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Deliberative Mechanisms in Science     Open Access  
Journal of Diversity Management     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research     Hybrid Journal  
Journal of Institute of Science and Technology     Open Access  
Journal of Integrated Science and Technology     Open Access  
Journal of Interaction Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Kerbala University     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of King Saud University - Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Mathematical and Fundamental Sciences     Open Access  
Journal of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Research     Open Access  
Journal of Natural Sciences Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Negative and No Positive Results     Open Access  
Journal of Responsible Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Science (JSc)     Open Access  
Journal of Science and Engineering     Open Access  
Journal of Science and Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)

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Journal Cover
BJHS Themes
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2058-850X - ISSN (Online) 2056-354X
Published by Cambridge University Press Homepage  [400 journals]
  • BJT volume 5 Cover and Front matter

    • Pages: 1 - 2
      PubDate: 2020-12-22
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.15
  • BJT volume 5 Cover and Back matter

    • Pages: 1 - 2
      PubDate: 2020-12-22
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.16
  • Learning by the book: manuals and handbooks in the history of science

    • Authors: Creager; Angela N.H., Grote, Mathias, Leong, Elaine
      Pages: 1 - 13
      Abstract: This essay offers an overview of how manuals and handbooks have contributed to the standardization, codification, transmission and revision of knowledge. These instructional and reference texts are distinct from related educational genres such as textbooks and editions due to their focus on practical knowledge. They are also notable for their appearance in diverse times and places, such as ancient Greece, early and medieval China and early modern Europe, as well as modern contexts worldwide. We are especially interested in the role of these often mundane texts in maintaining and resituating old knowledge, whose importance is discounted when scholars focus on innovation. Modern notions of authorship fit poorly with handbooks and manuals, which are generally derivative of other literature, though they often result in more commercially successful texts than their sources. This introduction draws on book history as well as history of science to offer a framework for the volume.
      PubDate: 2020-12-02
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.1
  • Reading instructions of the past, classifying them, and reclassifying
           them: commentaries on the canon The Nine Chapters on Mathematical
           Procedures from the third to the thirteenth centuries

    • Authors: Chemla; Karine
      Pages: 15 - 37
      Abstract: This essay approaches the knowledge required to write up and use instructions with a specific method. It relies on specific procedures taken from the Chinese canon The Nine Chapters on Mathematical Procedures (九章算術), which, in the author's view, was completed in the first century CE. These procedures enabled readers to do things. To analyse the type of knowledge required to produce these texts of procedures and to use them, the essay puts into play two layers of commentary. The ancient layer was written between the third and the seventh centuries, whereas the later layer was composed between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries. The author shows that these two layers of commentary read the same text of procedure differently, using different approaches and understanding it differently. The author also shows how the two layers of commentary use mathematical problems to approach a procedure, even though problems are used differently in the two contexts. This illustrates how, in different contexts, actors interpreted the same instructional text differently, both with respect to what the text meant and with respect to how one could make sense of it.
      PubDate: 2020-12-08
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.2
  • Ancient handbooks and Graeco-Egyptian collections of alchemical recipes

    • Authors: Martelli; Matteo
      Pages: 39 - 55
      Abstract: A fluid terminology was used in antiquity to refer to scientific or philosophical writings that, in some respects, may be equated with what one would call today a handbook or manual. In particular, this paper will explore a group of treatises that may be counted as examples of ancient encheiridia, a Greek term that could mean ‘hand-knife’, ‘handbook’ and even ‘napkin, towel’. All these meanings have something to tell us about the nature and the history of ancient encheiridia, some of which can be identified with well-known pieces of Graeco-Roman literature. However, the spectrum of ancient encheiridia can be further enlarged by exploring sources that are often neglected. After giving an up-to-date overview of ancient ‘handbooks’, the article will discuss the term encheiridion in Graeco-Egyptian alchemical literature. In fact, fresh textual investigations of the Syriac tradition of Zosimus of Panopolis point to the circulation of ancient recipe books that bore this title. On the one hand, this investigation will shed new light on the tradition of other important collections of alchemical recipes, such as the medieval Mappae clavicula. On the other, it will highlight some strategies that ancient alchemical authors developed in selecting, reorganizing and legitimizing earlier alchemical recipes.
      PubDate: 2020-12-08
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.4
  • Reading alchemically: guides to ‘philosophical’ practice in
           early modern England

    • Authors: Rampling; Jennifer M.
      Pages: 57 - 74
      Abstract: Dozens of early modern treatises claim to offer straightforward instructions on the theory and practice of alchemy, including all the steps necessary to produce the philosophers’ stone and a range of medicinal elixirs. Yet the resulting works often seem to obfuscate more than they explain: omitting vital information, disguising ingredients and practices behind cover names, and describing outcomes that seem, to modern eyes, impossible. Were such ‘instruction manuals’ ever intended to offer guides for actual practice, or did they serve other ends – from attracting patrons to persuading sceptics of the truth of alchemy' Drawing upon alchemical dialogues written, compiled and annotated by English alchemists in the late fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries, I argue that these works of ‘philosophical’ alchemy could indeed serve as technical manuals, although not always of the kind we might expect. Such writings offer advice not only on practical techniques, but also on the process of reading alchemically: guiding readers through the exegetical minefield of alchemical writing, in order both to extract meaningful chemical recipes from obscure texts, and to craft the practitioner's own persona as an alchemical philosopher.
      PubDate: 2020-12-08
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.3
  • From under the elbow to pointing to the palm: Chinese metaphors for
           learning medicine by the book (fourth–fourteenth centuries)

    • Authors: Hanson; Marta
      Pages: 75 - 92
      Abstract: This article focuses on transformations in the main metaphors in ancient to late medieval titles of Chinese medical books used to convey to potential readers their ‘learning-by-the-book’ contents. It finds that in contrast to the European preference for hand metaphors in the genre terms – enchiridions, manuals and handbooks – the Chinese medical archive preserves bodily metaphors within which the hand metaphor appears only rarely in the early medieval period and is then superseded by metaphors that rely on the fingers and palms more than the hands per se. This longue durée survey from roughly the fourth to the fourteenth centuries of the wide-ranging metaphors for ‘handy medical books’ places their historical emergence and transformation within the history of Chinese medical manuscripts and printed texts. Metaphors in medical titles conveyed to potential readers at the time significant textual innovations in how medical knowledge would be presented to them. For later historians, they provide evidence of profound changes in managing an increasingly complex and expanding archive of Chinese medical manuscripts and printed texts. Innovations in textual reorganization intended to facilitate ‘learning by the book’ were often creatively captured in an illuminating range of genre distinctions, descriptors and metaphors.
      PubDate: 2020-12-08
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.6
  • Learning medicine by the book: reading and writing surgical manuals in
           early modern London

    • Authors: Leong; Elaine
      Pages: 93 - 110
      Abstract: Centred on Thomas Brugis's popular Vade mecum, or A Companion for a Chyrurgion fitted for times of Peace or War (1651), this essay considers the role of the instructional book in early modern surgical knowledge and practice. By tracing the fortuna of the Vade mecum from production to use, it shows that, far from being static texts, instructional books were dynamic objects responding and adapting to the changing needs of knowledge communities. I begin by situating the Vade mecum within surgical practice more broadly in early modern England, which shows the key role that the practices of translation and compilation played in the production of surgical manuals. Most producers of surgical manuals were practitioners-turned-authors, and their works typically drew on a mix of lived experience both at the bedside and in the library. Brugis, who was exemplary in this respect, was particularly interested in providing instructions for hands-on practices involved in surgical operations and medicine production. In the last section, which focuses on readers and users, I analyse annotations and additional writings in surviving copies of the Vade mecum to recover the agency of reader–practitioners and trace collective ownership of the book across time and space.
      PubDate: 2020-12-17
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.7
  • The book as instrument: craft and technique in early modern practical

    • Authors: Jardine; Boris
      Pages: 111 - 129
      Abstract: Early modern books about mathematical instruments are typically well illustrated and contain detailed instructions on how to make and use the tools they describe. Readers approached these texts with a desire to extract information – and sometimes even to extract illustrations which could be repurposed as working instruments. To focus on practical approaches to these texts is to bring the category of ‘making’ to the fore. But here care needs to be taken about who could make what, about the rhetoric of craft, and about the technique of working with diagrams and images. I argue that we should read claims about making instruments cautiously, but that, conversely, we should be inquisitive and open-minded when it comes to the potential uses of printed diagrams in acquiring skill and knowledge: these could be worked on directly, or cut out or copied and turned into working instruments. Books were sites of mathematical practice, and in certain disciplines this was central to learning through doing.
      PubDate: 2020-12-08
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.8
  • The ‘book’ as fieldwork: ‘textual institutions’ and nature
           knowledge in early modern Japan

    • Authors: Marcon; Federico
      Pages: 131 - 148
      Abstract: The analysis of a painting attributed to the rangaku scholar Shiba Kōkan is the occasion to recover the genesis of a stereotypical narrative of Japanese scientific modernization and to survey the role of books in the intellectual life of Tokugawa naturalists. For the practitioners of materia medica (honzōgaku), the knowledge of nature began and ended with, and in between continuously referred to, books – Chinese, Japanese and later ‘Dutch’. Canonical texts gave scholars terminology, taxonomy, philosophical justification and legitimation, but not all books had equal value in affecting scholars’ practices. A precise hierarchy, in fact, organized texts, from canonical encyclopedias to private fieldnotes, into ‘textual institutions’ that encouraged further research at the same time that they regulated and framed scholars’ cognitive claims.
      PubDate: 2020-12-09
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.9
  • Punnett squares and hybrid crosses: how Mendelians learned their trade by
           the book

    • Authors: Müller-Wille; Staffan, Parolini, Giuditta
      Pages: 149 - 165
      Abstract: The rapid reception of Gregor Mendel's paper ‘Experiments on plant hybrids’ (1866) in the early decades of the twentieth century remains poorly understood. We will suggest that this reception should not exclusively be investigated as the spread of a theory, but also as the spread of an experimental and computational protocol. Early geneticists used Mendel's paper, as well as reviews of Mendelian experiments in a variety of other publications, to acquire a unique combination of experimental and mathematical skills. We will analyse annotations in copies of Mendel's paper itself, in early editions and translations of this paper, and in early textbooks, such as Reginald Punnett's Mendelism (1905) or Wilhelm Johannsen's Elemente der exakten Erblichkeitslehre (1909). We will examine how readers used copies of such works to reproduce the logic behind Mendelian experiments, either by recalculating results, or by retracing the underlying combinatorial reasoning. We will place particular emphasis on the emergent role of diagrams in teaching and learning the practice of Mendelian genetics.
      PubDate: 2020-12-09
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.12
  • Ernst Neufert's ‘Lebensgestaltungslehre’: formatting life
           beyond the built

    • Authors: Meister; Anna-Maria
      Pages: 167 - 185
      Abstract: In 1936, the Bauhaus-trained architect Ernst Neufert published the first edition of his seminal book Bau-Entwurfslehre. One of the most successful architecture books to date, the encyclopedic volume offered dimensioned floor plans for architectural tasks ranging from bunkers to dog kennels to Zeppelins. Two years later, Neufert started working as ‘norm expert’ for Reichsminister Albert Speer, with whom he published another manual in 1943, Bauordnungslehre. Meant to provide a total system of measures for architecture at large, the volume subjected building blocks, bricks and human bodies to Neufert's all-encompassing octametric system. This article contrasts these two books against Neufert's unpublished treatise – ‘Lebensgestaltungslehre’. Never a bound volume, the latter was sketched out in diary entries between 1936 and 1942 on folded DIN A4 sheets (themselves normed) and organized in a card index. Reading them across their medial states, this article investigates the material, methodological and ideological character of Neufert's Lehren. This is not the story of a handbook; rather, this is a story of constructing Lehre one sheet at a time. Neufert's attempt to format German society in the 1930s and 1940s through inherently architectural means such as floor plans, norms and a system of measures ultimately shaped the designing subject – starting with himself.
      PubDate: 2020-12-09
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.13
  • Total knowledge' Encyclopedic handbooks in the twentieth-century
           chemical and life sciences

    • Authors: Grote; Mathias
      Pages: 187 - 203
      Abstract: Encyclopedic handbooks have been household names to scientists – Gmelins Handbuch der anorganischen Chemie to chemists, Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology to microbiologists. Their heavy tomes were consulted for reference, and their contents taken as authoritative. This paper analyses the development of this genre as well as of ‘handbook science’. Handbooks and their claim to provide comprehensive factual knowledge on a subject should be understood as a reaction to the scattering of knowledge in modern periodical print as discussed by Wilhelm Ostwald or Ludwik Fleck. A comparative analysis of the actors, the institutions and practices of compiling and editing a German and an American handbook project around mid-century reveals commonalities and differences in how twentieth-century sciences have attempted to cope with the acceleration and dispersion of knowledge generation before computing. These attempts have resulted in different conceptions of a book, from compilation to organic whole. Moreover, the handbook's claim to comprise lasting facts makes it a fitting case in point to reflect on the temporality of knowledge and the relevance of books to the sciences.
      PubDate: 2020-12-04
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.11
  • Coded conduct: making MACSYMA users and the automation of mathematics

    • Authors: Dick; Stephanie A.
      Pages: 205 - 224
      Abstract: This article explores an early computer algebra system called MACSYMA – a repository of automated non-numeric mathematical operations developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from the 1960s to the 1980s, to help mathematicians, physicists, engineers and other mathematical scientists solve problems and prove theorems. I examine the extensive paper-based training materials that were produced alongside the system to create its users. Would-be users were told that the system would free them from the drudgery of much mathematical labour. However, this ‘freedom’ could only be won by adapting to a highly disciplined mode of problem solving with a relatively inflexible automated assistant. In creating an automated repository of mathematical knowledge, MACSYMA developers sought to erase its social context. However, looking at the training literature, we see that the social operates everywhere, only recoded. This article uses the paper-based training materials to uncover the codes of conduct – both social and technical – that coordinated between the users, developers and machines that constituted the system.
      PubDate: 2020-12-22
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.10
  • Recipes for recombining DNA: A history of Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory

    • Authors: Creager; Angela N.H.
      Pages: 225 - 243
      Abstract: Laboratory instructions and recipes are sometimes edited into books with a wide circulation. Even in the late twentieth century, publications of this nature remained influential. For example, protocols from a 1980 summer course on gene cloning at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory provided the basis for a bestselling laboratory manual by Tom Maniatis, Ed Fritsch and Joe Sambrook. Not only did the Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual become a standard reference for molecular biologists (commonly called the ‘bible’), but also its recipes and clear instructions made gene cloning and recombinant DNA technologies accessible to non-specialists. Consequently, this laboratory manual contributed to the rapid spread of genetic-engineering techniques throughout the life sciences, as well as in industry. As is often the case with how-to books, however, finding a way to update methods in this rapidly changing field posed a challenge, and various molecular-biology reference books had different ways of dealing with knowledge obsolescence. This paper explores the origins of this manual, its publication history, its reception and its rivals – as well as the more recent migration of such laboratory manuals to the Internet.
      PubDate: 2020-12-08
      DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2020.5
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