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Title: Popular science in England, 1830-1870.
Author: Hinton, D. A.
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 1979
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By 1830, the notion of consciously popularising scienr.e had b~cD~e manifest in the provision, throughout Britain, of numerous facilities intended to extend thR accessibility of science to a general public ~hich for the first time included the working classes. The aim of this thesis 15 to aSSBSS the impact of these facilitie~, and their relation to a growing popular awareness of science over four decades. The first four chapters raise underlying social historical aspects of the study, and establish some ter~inological di&tinctiD~8 ~hich ar8 required to conduct the ensuing investigations. A consideration of the h~storiographical problems in focussing a~tentiDn on popular science, in chapter 1, introduces tho general mpthod of inv~~tigation and a basic distinction between types oP evidence •. Chapter 2 identifies the extant to which science affecteo the working classes, and assessos the pctential influence of popular science facilities. In chapter 3, attention is drawn to the neglected importan=e ef fluctuating ideological factors, and in chapter 4 three distinct variants of an underlying improvement philosophy are recognised. The following five chapters treat the various media of po~ular science in turri, tracing their predominant concerns and changes ill emphasis over the period. Chapter 5 deals with lectures and classes, bringing out distinctions between these oral media which are frequently blurred. Chapter 6. reviews different categories of popular science books and their changing emphases. Chapter 7 provides a quantitative analysis of the relativ~ availability of !ciantific tcpics in books obtainable from selected institutional libraries, and chapter 8 makes a similar quantification of the science material ir. improvoment Journals, together with a discussion of changes in qualitative aspects of their science coverage. In chapter 9, some of the ways in which science impinged upon the pastim~s of the common people are examined. The final chapter draws together the main conclusions from these ~pirical studies, relating them to the considerations raised earlier, and explains the importance of popular science in terms of its social influence and its contribution to the position of science in English culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available