Category: Science & Technology, Literature
In the autumn of 1609, the Italian mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei turned his telescope to the heavens, deciphering the cratered face of the moon, the four satellites of Jupiter, and other previously opaque features of the heavens. When, in 1610, Galileo published his Sidereus Nuncius, or Starry Messenger, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler responded with enthusiasm, praising the significance of Galileo’s observations with his own Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo, or, Conversations with the Starry Messenger (1610). To whom else did the stars speak in the early modern period?
The story of American agriculture is captured in a broad band of documentary resources ranging from the memoirs and transactions of early agriculture societies to newspapers and almanacs; family, community, and corporate archives; and state and county extension service publications. The evolution of farm and rural life and agricultural economy is chronicled in the agriculture periodical press and the numerous local, regional, and national farm journals that exhorted, informed, and shaped the opinions, values, and concerns of early farm families. Journals such as Country Life in America , Cappers' Farmer , and Farm and Family have much to tell historians about the daily activities, issues, and practices of the time.
History of Medicine In 1816, an Englishwoman still in her teens, Mary Shelley, conceived the story of a scientist obsessed with creating life. Shelley's scientist, Victor Frankenstein, succeeds. But while Frankenstein's creature can think and feel, he is monstrous to the eye. Spurned by all, including Victor Frankenstein himself, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer. In 1818, Shelley's story was published as Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus . This story — both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics — has captivated people ever since, exposing hidden, sometimes barely conscious fears of science and technology.
History of Medicine Rewriting the Book of Nature Charles Darwin and Evolutionary Theory Charles Darwin’s vision—“from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved”—now forms the foundation of the biological sciences. Radical in sweep, Darwin’s idea of naturally innovating and endlessly changing webs of life undercut all previous sciences. Darwin was instantly seen as a potent sign of a new science, a new way of conceiving the world. His theory was an immediate threat not just to those who were wedded to an older conception, but to all who relied on a given and settled order for meaning and for power.