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Science in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-century Sites and Experiences Hardcover – 20 Nov 2007

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0;Here is a history of nineteenth-century science that is refreshingly different. Averting our gaze from the production of knowledge by a scientific elite, the editors and their enthusiastic team take us on an exciting tour of neglected locations where an expanding audience for science was attracted and wooed. Exhibitions, galleries and museums, lecture-halls, clubs and salons all feature in stimulating essays that bring to life the experiences of the audiences themselves. Readers will delight in the unexpected discovery that these competing sites each played multiple roles in promoting their conception of the sciences.1;2;John Brooke, Andreas Idreos Professor Emeritus of Science & Religion, University of Oxford


0;From the sedate charms of small mineralogical museums to the high drama of the Crystal Palace or electricity as a source of extraordinary theatrical effects, scientific entertainment was big business in Britain in the nineteenth century. Looking and learning was only the half of it. This very readable and important collection of essays takes us deep into the heart of the enthusiastic public response to science in the Victorian era, including careful discussion of the marketing of popular literature, electrical demonstrations, stuffed animals, smells and sounds, conversations, and hands-on-skulls phrenological readings. Every author has something new and intriguing to say about the puzzling question of how to define popularity and how something novel might spread through a society. The intention is to explore the key characteristics of public audiences for science and the birth of what might be called modern consumerism, an audience-based history that truly opens the door to rethinking the notion of a marketplace for knowledge. Any book edited by social historians such as Lightman and Fyfe must command interested attention. This provides an invaluable reexamination of the whole notion of popular science in the Victorian era.1;2;Janet Browne, Harvard University


:This lively and readable collection represents a fascinating step forward in the history of popular science, and should be found on the reading lists of all undergraduate and graduate courses on science, popular culture, and the nineteenth century more generally." -- Adelene Buckland "The British Society for Science and Literature"

"Science in the Marketplace offers an important overview of science and consumer culture in nineteenth-century Britain, with each author contributing something new to our understanding of the meaning and development of popular science. A history with a difference, it will be of wide appeal." -- Angelique Richardson "British Journal for the History of Science"

"This is a major collection of papers on Victorian popular science and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the field."--Peter J. Bowler "Isis "

"Nineteenth-century England is well-trodden ground, but the editors and authors of this book have found an innovative and extremely interesting way to approach it. . . . And by publishing essays that shed light on these sites of scientific consumption, this book itself opens a wintow on the experience of science in the nineteenth century."--Laura J. Snyder "H-Net Review "

"Here is a history of nineteenth-century science that is refreshingly different. Averting our gaze from the production of knowledge by a scientific elite, the editors and their enthusiastic team take us on an exciting tour of neglected locations where an expanding audience for science was attracted and wooed. Exhibitions, galleries and museums, lecture-halls, clubs and salons all feature in stimulating essays that bring to life the experiences of the audiences themselves. Readers will delight in the unexpected discovery that these competing sites each played multiple roles in promoting their conception of the sciences."

--John Brooke, Andreas Idreos Professor Emeritus of Science & Religion, University

"From the sedate charms of small mineralogical museums to the high drama of the Crystal Palace or electricity as a source of extraordinary theatrical effects, scientific entertainment was big business in Britain in the nineteenth century. Looking and learning was only the half of it. This very readable and important collection of essays takes us deep into the heart of the enthusiastic public response to science in the Victorian era, including careful discussion of the marketing of popular literature, electrical demonstrations, stuffed animals, smells and sounds, conversations, and hands-on-skulls phrenological readings. Every author has something new and intriguing to say about the puzzling question of how to define popularity and how something novel might spread through a society. The intention is to explore the key characteristics of public audiences for science and the birth of what might be called modern consumerism, an audience-based history that truly opens the door to rethinking the notion of a marketplace for knowledge. Any book edited by social historians such as Lightman and Fyfe must command interested attention. This provides an invaluable reexamination of the whole notion of popular science in the Victorian era."

--Janet Browne, Harvard University

"The multimedia experience in science is not as modern a concept as many science enthusiasts may think. This collection of essays depicts the 19th-century British piublic as consumers, seeking out scientific knowledge and engaging themselves in a multimedia scientific market eager for their patronage. . . . The essays are enjoyable to read due to the expertise of the authors."--Anthony J. Dellureficio "Quarterly Review of Biology "

This lively and readable collection represents a fascinating step forward in the history of popular science, and should be found on the reading lists of all undergraduate and graduate courses on science, popular culture, and the nineteenth century more generally."--Adelene Buckland "The British Society for Science and Literature "

"Cogent, compelling, and creatively crafted, this collection of scholarly essays examines some of the many processes by which scientific knowledge was made, marketed, and consumed as 'popular' in nineteenth-century Britain."--Pamela Gossin "Journal of British Studies "

Here is a history of nineteenth-century science that is refreshingly different. Averting our gaze from the production of knowledge by a scientific elite, the editors and their enthusiastic team take us on an exciting tour of neglected locations where an expanding audience for science was attracted and wooed. Exhibitions, galleries and museums, lecture-halls, clubs and salons all feature in stimulating essays that bring to life the experiences of the audiences themselves. Readers will delight in the unexpected discovery that these competing sites each played multiple roles in promoting their conception of the sciences.
--John Brooke, Andreas Idreos Professor Emeritus of Science & Religion, University of Oxford"

From the sedate charms of small mineralogical museums to the high drama of the Crystal Palace or electricity as a source of extraordinary theatrical effects, scientific entertainment was big business in Britain in the nineteenth century. Looking and learning was only the half of it. This very readable and important collection of essays takes us deep into the heart of the enthusiastic public response to science in the Victorian era, including careful discussion of the marketing of popular literature, electrical demonstrations, stuffed animals, smells and sounds, conversations, and hands-on-skulls phrenological readings. Every author has something new and intriguing to say about the puzzling question of how to define popularity and how something novel might spread through a society. The intention is to explore the key characteristics of public audiences for science and the birth of what might be called modern consumerism, an audience-based history that truly opens the door to rethinking the notion of a marketplace for knowledge. Any book edited by social historians such as Lightman and Fyfe must command interested attention. This provides an invaluable reexamination of the whole notion of popular science in the Victorian era.
--Janet Browne, Harvard University"

"This is amajor collection of papers on Victorian popular science and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the field."--Peter J. Bowler "Isis ""

""Science in the Marketplace" offers an important overview of science and consumer culture in nineteenth-century Britain, with each author contributing something new to our understanding of the meaning and development of popular science. A history with a difference, it will be of wide appeal."
--Angelique Richardson "British Journal for the History of Science "

About the Author

Aileen Fyfe is lecturer in the Department of History at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and the author of Science and Salvation, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Bernard Lightman is professor of humanities at York University, Toronto, editor of Victorian Science in Context and Isis, and the author of Victorian Popularizers of Science, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective on Victorian science 18 Dec. 2007
By Ronald H. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have found one of the most interesting dimensions of Victorian intellectual history (of which there are many) is the development and distribution of new scientific information. After all, this is the period when Darwin in 1859 unloaded his "Origin of Species." But there was much more going on than evolution, both before and after Darwin's bombshell. This essay collection looks at how science was disseminated during the 19th century. It discusses this process under several general topics. For example, under "Orality," there are essays on the important role of public lecturing (something much scarcer today) as a device for reaching the general public with new concepts, such as "phrenology." A second major method was, of course, through print, including handbooks published to assist museum visitors as they reviewed exhibits. A third device was "display," involving exhibits at private homes, the amazing spectacle of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, and of course the variety of museums throughout London. The co-editors are leading scholars in this field, as are the contributors. Each chapter has an excellent bibliography attached, and there are many helpful illustrations included. At 400 pages, this is a long book, but seldom does it drag and it opened up for me a number of concepts with which I had not previously had familiarity. An important addition to the available literature on this topic.
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