Book ID: CBB945116323

Technoscience in History: Prussia, 1750–1850 (2020)


The relationship of the current technosciences and the older engineering sciences, examined through the history of the “useful” sciences in Prussia. Do today's technoscientific disciplines—including materials science, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics—signal a radical departure from traditional science? In Technoscience in History, Ursula Klein argues that these novel disciplines and projects represent not an “epochal break,” but part of a history that can be traced back to German “useful” sciences and beyond. Klein's account traces a deeper history of technoscience, mapping the relationship between today's cutting-edge disciplines and the development of the useful and technological sciences in Prussia from 1750 to 1850. Klein shows that institutions that coupled natural-scientific and technological inquiry existed well before the twentieth century. Focusing on the science of mining, technical chemistry, the science of forestry, and the science of building (later known as civil engineering), she examines the emergence of practitioners who were recognized as men of science as well as inventive technologists—key figures that she calls “scientific-technological experts.” Klein describes the Prussian state's recruitment of experts for technical projects and manufacturing, including land surveys, the apothecary trade, and porcelain production; state-directed mining, mining science, and mining academies; the history and epistemology of useful science; and the founding of Prussian scientific institutions in the nineteenth century, including the University of Berlin, the Academy of Building, the Technical Deputation, and the Industrial Institute.

Reviewed By

Review Pauline Picot; Victor Petit (2022) Review of "Technoscience in History: Prussia, 1750–1850". Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 435-438). unapi

Review Patrick Anthony (2022) Review of "Technoscience in History: Prussia, 1750–1850". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 187-189). unapi

Review Sarah Hijmans (2021) Review of "Technoscience in History: Prussia, 1750–1850". Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (pp. 326-327). unapi

Review Thomas Morel (2022) Review of "Technoscience in History: Prussia, 1750–1850". Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (pp. 297-300). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Klein, Ursula
Wilson, Jeffrey K.
Braun, Hans-Joachim
Herlea, Alexandre
Colan, Horia
Kitahara, Ayao
Noesis: Travaux du Comité Roumain d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences
化学史研究 [Kagakushi kenkyū; Journal of the Japanese Society for the History of Chemistry]
Central European History
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
University of Chicago Press
University of Toronto
Wallstein Verlag
Materials science
Mines and mining
Forests and forestry
Guillet, Léon
Ruprecht, von Anton
August von Heyden
al-Jazari, Isma'il Ibn Al-Razzaz
Keir, James
Steffens, Henrich
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
20th century
Early modern
17th century
Prussia (Germany)
École Centrale de Paris

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