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Science and Technology in World History

An Introduction

James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn

third edition
Publication Date
Binding Type

Arguably the best general history of science and technology ever published.

Tracing the relationship between science and technology from the dawn of civilization to the early twenty-first century, James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn’s bestselling book argues that technology as "applied science" emerged relatively recently, as industry and governments began funding scientific research that would lead directly to new or improved technologies.

McClellan and Dorn identify two great scientific traditions: the useful sciences, which societies patronized from time immemorial, and the exploration of...

Arguably the best general history of science and technology ever published.

Tracing the relationship between science and technology from the dawn of civilization to the early twenty-first century, James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn’s bestselling book argues that technology as "applied science" emerged relatively recently, as industry and governments began funding scientific research that would lead directly to new or improved technologies.

McClellan and Dorn identify two great scientific traditions: the useful sciences, which societies patronized from time immemorial, and the exploration of questions about nature itself, which the ancient Greeks originated. The authors examine scientific traditions that took root in China, India, and Central and South America, as well as in a series of Near Eastern empires in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. From this comparative perspective, McClellan and Dorn survey the rise of the West, the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, the Industrial Revolution, and the modern marriage of science and technology. They trace the development of world science and technology today while raising provocative questions about the sustainability of industrial civilization.

This new edition of Science and Technology in World History offers an enlarged thematic introduction and significantly extends its treatment of industrial civilization and the technological supersystem built on the modern electrical grid. The Internet and social media receive increased attention. Facts and figures have been thoroughly updated and the work includes a comprehensive Guide to Resources, incorporating the major published literature along with a vetted list of websites and Internet resources for students and lay readers.

Reviews

Reviews

The book provides an excellent overview of world science and technology for readers at any level...highly recommended.

... the third edition of Science and Technology in World History is a mellow read, designed for general readers and undergraduate students.

If I could attach bells and whistles and flashing lights to this review I would do so because McClellan and Dorn's book deserves to be brought to the attention of all professional historians—and indeed the general reading public—by any means necessary.

This historical account achieves its basic aim of demonstrating that, with the exception of quite recent history, technology has always influenced science, not the other way round.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
552
ISBN
9781421417752
Illustration Description
36 b&w illus., 83 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Part I.
1. Humankind Emerges
2. The Reign of the Farmer
3. Pharaohs and Engineers
4. Greeks Bearing Gifts
5. Alexandria and After
Part II.
6. The Enduring East
7. The Middle Kingdom
8. Indus

Preface
Introduction
Part I.
1. Humankind Emerges
2. The Reign of the Farmer
3. Pharaohs and Engineers
4. Greeks Bearing Gifts
5. Alexandria and After
Part II.
6. The Enduring East
7. The Middle Kingdom
8. Indus, Ganges, and Beyond
9. The New World
Part III.
10. Plows, Stirrups, Guns, and Plagues
11. Copernicus Incites a Revolution
12. The Crime and Punishment of Galileo Galilei
13. "God said, 'Let Newton be!'"
Part IV.
14. Textiles, Timber, Coal, and Steam
15. Legacies of Revolution: From Newton toEinstein
16. Life Itself
17. Toolmakers Take Command
18. The New Aristotelians
19. The Bomb, the Internet, and the Genome
20. Under Today's Pharaohs
Afterword
Guide to Resources
Illustration Credits
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Harold Dorn

Harold Dorn is professor emeritus of the history of science and technology at the Stevens Institute of Technology.