By Peter Burke
Peter Burke follows up his magisterial Social background of data, determining up the place the 1st quantity left off round 1750 on the booklet of the French Encyclopédie and following the tale via to Wikipedia. just like the past quantity, it deals a social background (or a retrospective sociology of information) within the experience that it focuses now not on contributors yet on teams, associations, collective practices and basic trends.
The publication is split into three elements. the 1st argues that actions which seem to be undying - amassing wisdom, analysing, disseminating and utilizing it - are in reality time-bound and take various types in numerous sessions and areas. the second one half attempts to counter the tendency to put in writing a triumphalist background of the 'growth' of data by way of discussing losses of information and the cost of specialization. The 3rd half deals geographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrasting the event of centres and peripheries and arguing that every of the most tendencies of the interval - professionalization, secularization, nationalization, democratization, and so forth, coexisted and interacted with its opposite.
As ever, Peter Burke provides a breath-taking diversity of scholarship in prose of exemplary readability and accessibility. This hugely expected moment quantity should be crucial examining around the humanities and social sciences.
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Additional resources for A Social History of Knowledge, Volume 2: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia
However, that figure was not enough for younger men such as the physicist Robert Strutt, who dated a rock to 2,000 million years, or the geologist Arthur Holmes, who claimed that some rocks from Mozambique were 1,500 million years old. A committee on the age of the earth was set up in which Holmes argued for a date of 1,500 to 3,000 million. 30 Geology was finally trumped by astronomy, presenting us with a universe that is not mere millions but billions of years old. In the 1920s, the American astronomer Edwin P.
Specialization has affected the historiography of knowledge as well as its history. The history of science, for instance, is an autonomous department in many universities. Again, an International Intelligence History Association has been founded (1993), together with a Journal of Intelligence History (2001). The secondary literature on the history of knowledge is itself organized for the most part either by nations or by disciplines. By contrast, the aim and indeed the justification for this essay is to cross frontiers – national, social and disciplinary – bearing in mind E.
Here too the search for knowledge is an important part of the story. 20 Nansen was a zoologist and an oceanographer. Nathorst was a geologist and a paleobotanist. On Amundsen’s Arctic expedition of 1918–25, a geophysical observatory was erected on the ice. As the North and South Poles were reached at last, there seemed no part of the world left to conquer or at least to explore, and in 1904 the British geographer Halford Mackinder announced with regret what he called the end of the ‘Columbian’ era and the coming of ‘closed space’.