Article ID: CBB001550628

The Role of Historians of Science in Contemporary Society (2014)


The famous gulf between the arts and the sciences comes from the current pervasiveness of scientific illiteracy. The resultant increased fragmentation of science threatens scientific research; the resultant increase of the portion of the population of the advanced world that shows general ignorance of science threatens Western culture and democracy, and thus science itself. Historians and popularizers of science can help reduce this gulf. Introducing science historically can help solve many acute social and political problems. Historians of science can try to bring this about. Discussions of the social role of intellectuals (and of historians of science in particular) require a great deal of a sense of proportion, since most people are still barely educated, hardly familiar with science, much less with its history. Science nonetheless influences lives. Current increased inaccessibility of science boosts the prevailing excessive scientific specialization that scientific and technological progress have imposed. Consequently, the search diminishes severely for comprehensive overviews of the world and even of specific parts of it, leading to disorientation that imperils even the normal functioning of science. There is then a vital need for a search for remedy. Philosophers and historians and popularizers of science can help develop the tools necessary for this vital search.

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Authors & Contributors
Marina Dalé
Galamba, Arthur
McGregor, Russell
Ruiz-Castell, Pedro
Renn, Jürgen
Reis, José Claudio
Science and Education
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Physics in Perspective
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Franco Angeli
Springer International
Philosophy of science
History of science, as a discipline
Science and society
Vailati, Giovanni
Ingalls, Albert G.
Stong, Clair L
Leach, John Albert
Kuhn, Thomas S.
Kant, Immanuel
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
18th century
Leipzig (Germany)
Astronomische Gesellschaft

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