Tag: scientific revolution

The Origins of Science and the History of Science

This week we had Professor Elena Aronova come to Colby to speak about the history of science in the Soviet Union and the West. She talked about how the progress of scientific knowledge was immensely impacted by technology.  In the lecture, she first mentioned about the scientific revolution that took place in the 17th century. She also talked about how the Darwinism theory was not really about progress, but a change in science. She questions where did the historiography of science started, and she believes that it was modern history where science gains much of its momentum. Professor Elena Aronova believes that after the World War II that the progress of science has been growing exponentially.  She mentions that the acceleration in arts and science was in the 18th and 20th century, which is astounding because it is relatively recent to the broader spectrum of world history.

Professor Elena Aronova connects the scientific revolution with political revolution. In the Soviet Union, the main ideology is born which is Marxism and under this ideology the fraction the Bolshevik. The second International Congress of the History of Science and Technology was held in London in 1931. Soviet Union intellectuals related Isaac Newton’s science to the emergence of bourgeois capitalism in England. This caused a political upheaval during this time in Europe. Another scientific revolution that came out of the Soviet Union as the Vavilov scientific expedition where Nikolai Vavilov went to different countries to collect food products to improve agriculture, but he was later arrested because he was thought to be a British spy. During the Cold War, there was an exponential growth in information science and technology in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union created an institute called the All-Union Institute of Scientific and Technical information. This was the start of the information revolution, and the All-Union Institute became a threat to the United States. During this time, United States were lagging behind in science.  However, in the end, United States won the space race, and for the better, the world has benefitted enormously from the Soviet Union and United States race for new scientific knowledge and technology. It seems as though competition between the two world superpowers at the time has driven the progress of new scientific knowledge and technology. The new technologies that came from the Cold War are the satellite, manned spaceflight, advances in computers, the programming language called BASIC needed for every personal computer, long distance calling, and DARPA the predecessor to the internet. Although there was much destructive warfare technology that has been created during this time, such as advancement in the nuclear program, long-range bomber, lasers, and intercontinental ballistic missiles, I believe the good outweighs the bad in this case. The technology like the satellite and the predecessors for computers and internet have been the bedrock of the information revolution we have today. There would be no personal computers or the internet, and nevertheless, cell phones if it weren’t for technologies like the satellite, the BASIC language, and DARPA. This technological competition between two superpower nations had some negative sides to it, but the benefits that came from innovations in technology has surpassed the negative impact of the Cold War.

 

From scientific revolution to the interdisciplinary knowledge

Last Tuesday in class, we discussed the scientific revolution from the 16th century to the 18th century. Later in the evening, we had Professor Aaron Hanlon talked about the origins of royal society and origins of the novels which also took place in the same period. Prof. Hanlon began his lecture with the discussion on the liberal arts education at Colby. If we look at the distribution of the academic buildings, the sciences buildings are almost on the same side of the school, while the humanities ones are on the other side. This lecture was not the first time when I heard about this history of the distributions of campus buildings. As someone introduced about how women and men used to live on each side of the schools, this distribution seemed to fit with the contemporary anticipations on gender in the mid to late 19th century.

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Cavendish and Ecofeminism

The scientific revolution, to many, is thought to be the catalyst of scientific progress of Western civilization. It is a break from the intellectual past… a renaissance of thought and process.
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