“Shapin’s book is probably the best brief introduction to what science is and how it appeared and when it appeared. It begins, famously, with a sentence which is enough to make many people roll their eyes: ‘There was no such thing as the scientific revolution and this is a book about it.’ The book is full of this kind of ironic postmodernism that can be very irritating, especially to scientists who like to have things nailed down, but it is incredibly rich and interesting. Shapin describes what happened during the scientific revolution, but it’s above all a discussion of the literature, the historiography. It looks at how attitudes to the scientific revolution have changed, and where the term came from. Effectively, the idea appeared in the mid-20th century when scientists turning to history began to look back at the period when Newton and Boyle were working. What Shapin has done in this book—and in other parts of his oeuvre—is to question the narrative scientists employ when they project what they think they do today onto the past, when people behaved differently and believed very different things.” Read more...
The best books on The History of Science