Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-century Media

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Louise Henson
Ashgate, 2004 - Social Science - 296 pages
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Since the publication of Gillian Beer's Darwin's Plots, literary and cultural historians have focused increasingly on the role of science within nineteenth-century literature, as well as the cultural embeddedness of science itself. The periodical press of the era played a crucial role in these processes of cultural exchange, frequently intermingling in the same pages scientific commentary, fiction, and social debate. For the general reader, periodicals offered coverage and analysis of scientific developments and were instrumental in shaping public attitudes. Moreover, many of the major scientific controversies took place principally in the pages of the general periodical press; scientists and scientific popularizers wrote extensively for such periodicals and even edited them.
Written by literary scholars, historians of science, and cultural historians, the twenty-two original essays in this collection explore the intriguing and multifaceted interrelationships between science and culture through the periodical press in nineteenth-century Britain. Ranging across the spectrum of periodical titles, the six sections comprise: 'Women, Children, and Gender', 'Religious Audiences', 'Naturalizing the Supernatural', 'Contesting New Technologies', 'Professionalization and Journalism', and 'Evolution, Psychology, and Culture'. The essays offer some of the first 'samplings and soundings' from the emergent and richly interdisciplinary field of scholarship on the relations between science and the nineteenth-century media.

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