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The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Centuries

Publication Info

Added 2015-09-04
Publication date: 2015-09-02
doi: 10.5479/si.9781935623847

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The Era of Experiments and the Age of Wonder: Scientific Expansion from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Centuries

Lilla Vekerdy (Volume editor)

This volume contains proceedings of a symposium of the same title held at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Behring Center, March 4-5, 2010. The symposium celebrated the reopening of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology and the Smithsonian Libraries’ Resident Scholar Program. As keynote speaker, Richard Holmes, a noted British author and biographer, delivered the seventeenth Dibner Library Lecture, titled Romantic Science. Holmes described the intertwining of scientific, artistic, and literary achievements of the Romantic era in England. Intriguing relationships among science, the humanities, and scholarly research was the general theme of the symposium. The second and third talks discussed the role of learned societies and especially the Smithsonian Institution in the development of American science in an international view. Subsequent lectures shed light on the unparalleled research resources of the Institution’s libraries that make possible an internationally renowned Resident Scholar Program and numerous high quality research projects. The last four short talks presented concrete examples for these research projects. The importance of the rich holdings of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is emphasized throughout the texts, stressing that the basis of scientific investigation relies on data retrieved from collections, many of them historical, such as the valuable rare book and manuscript collections of the Dibner Library.

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