Article ID: CBB665319112

Technologies of the Scientific Self: John Tyndall and His Journal (2019)


This essay examines the physicist John Tyndall’s journal writing in the mid-nineteenth century and focuses on how Tyndall used his journal during a series of transitions that occurred when he was a young man: when he went from being a surveyor to a public school instructor and then from a Ph.D. student and budding experimenter in Germany to Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution in London. As well as providing insight into these various transitions, the journal more importantly shows how Tyndall developed a particular ethical conception of self, based on his readings of Carlyle, Emerson, and Fichte, and how that sense of self shaped—and was shaped by—his early experimental practices. Thus, the article is a case study in the development of a particular scientific self that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century, whose novel claim to authority was based on a particular fusion of the ethical and the epistemological.

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Authors & Contributors
Jackson, Roland
Thomas, Renny
Seemann, Carla
Hollander, Rachel
Badolato, Elizabeth
Abrams, Ellen
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Spontaneous Generations
Public Understanding of Science
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
University of Pittsburgh Press
St. John's University (New York)
Drew University
University of Chicago Press
Pickering & Chatto
Oxford University Press
Personality of the scientist
Personality; character
Professions and professionalization
Tyndall, John
Corey, E. J.
Shapin, Steven
Woodward, Robert Burns
Nicolaou, K. C.
Newton, Isaac
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
United States
British Isles
Great Britain
Royal Society of London

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