Victorian-era SCIENCE!!!

Wheatstone Stereoscope 1850

The first use of the term ‘scientist’ was in 1833. William Whewell, the English polymath, used the term while writing about the history and philosophy of Science. Science was no longer something one ‘dabbled in’, it became a serious career, and started to develop an underlying discourse of rules and rigid bureaucracy. It was a boys’ club, and women were not allowed to join; most universities in England would not allow women to enrol until late in the 19th century, and even then they were not awarded degrees.

If you studied Physics, you were a natural philosopher. The most famous physicist of the time was Michael Faraday, who made great contributions to understanding of electricity, in particular electromagnetism and electrochemistry. James Clerk Maxwell demonstrated that electricity, magnetism, light and radiation were all part of the same phenomenon.

The most famous (or infamous) book of the century was Darwin’s The Origin of the Species. This book revolutionised the way people thought about the environment, and eventually became one of the underlying discourses of the Twentieth Century.

This was the century when science became Science.



Filed under Science, Steampunk, writing

2 responses to “Victorian-era SCIENCE!!!

  1. Have you read a book about the history of classifying he platypus? I think it is simply called “Platypus”. It refers to Darwin or course. I think you’d enjoy it xx Rowena

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