The United Kingdom

David Edgerton, John V Pickstone

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The territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland, as it now is, has been the site of major scientific endeavors from the seventeenth century to the present, as is evident from any history of science. Indeed with the great expansion of Anglophone historiography of science since the 1970s, British cases, for the period 1750 to 1914 especially, were central to general arguments about the nature of science, situated in very local contexts but speaking to global concerns. In contrast, national modes of writing long suggested systematic deficits in British science. In the 1820s, Charles Babbage reflected on the “decline of science” compared to Continental Europe, and later in the century scientific campaigns relied on exaggerated contrasts with other nations, especially Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Science
Subtitle of host publicationModern Science in National, Transnational, and Global Context
EditorsHugh Richard Slotten, Ronald L. Numbers, David N. Livingstone
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9781139044301, 9781108850919
ISBN (Print)9780521580816
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Publication series

NameCambridge History of Science
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • Science
  • History
  • United Kingdom


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