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Title: The popularisation of elementary science through popular science books c.1870-c.1939
Author: Ring, Katy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3519 5125
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1988
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This thesis investigates the popularisation of science in terms of the implicit images of science, and the explicit claims about science, which popularisers communicate through their exposition. In particular, it traces the fortunes of 'public science' through the popular science book from c.1870—c.1939. The introductory chapter addresses the breadth and limitations of the study, its periodisation, and also explains the choice of the popular science book as the medium for analysis. Chapter 2 explains the defining features and historical contexts of the genres used in the thesis, which have been constructed to monitor different approaches to the presentation of science through time. The thesis is then divided into three chronological periods: the late Victorian c.1870—c.1901, the Edwardian c.1901—c.1914, and the interwar c.1918—c.1939. These periods are explored in two main ways. Firstly, in chapters 3, 5, and 7, the content and style of series presenting elementary science are examined in the broad context of developments within science, society, and the publishing industry for the three periods under consideration. Secondly, the popularisation of 'public science' is analysed in terms of the personalities and the topical popularising issues of each period. Thus, chapter 4 delves into the popular writings of Victorian Scientific Naturalists, such as T.H.Huxley, J.Tyndall and J.Iiubbock and compares them with that of Christian popularisers in the late Victorian period, while chapter 6 investigates the popularisation of eugenics as public science in the Edwardian era. Finally, in chapter 8 the public science writings of members of the Social Relations of Science movement, such as H.Levy, L.Hogben, J.B.S.Haldane, and J.Huxley are studied in relation to the popularisation of A.Eddington and J.Jeans. To the bibliography at the end of the thesis is added a critical analysis of the series of books used in the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: ML Literature on music ; PN Literature (General) ; AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities ; CB History of civilization ; D History (General) ; LA History of education