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Follow-up reading for HPSC 2150

History of Science in 10 Objects, 2017/18, Semester 1
Dr Adrian Wilson
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Reference works:

On all the themes that emerge during the course there is much useful material in:

Individual natural philosophers / scientists before the 20th century usually have an entry in either or both of the following highly-recommended reference works:

Top of page

Follow-up reading, object by object:

[1] Andreas Vesalius, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, 1543

Andrew Cunningham, The anatomical renaissance : the resurrection of the anatomical projects of the ancients ISBN: 1859283381 (acid-free paper) (Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing, 1997)

Essential: Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 4

Optional: Chapters 2 and 3.

[2] The midwifery forceps and vectis of the Chamberlen family, 17th century (before 1668)

Adrian Wilson, The making of man-midwifery : childbirth in England 1660-1770 (London, UCL Press, 1995) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Essential: Chapters 4, 5 and 7

Optional: Chapter 6

[3] Bernard Le Bovier De Fontenelle, The theory or system of several new inhabited worlds, 1686

[a] Leonard M. Marsak, “Bernard de Fontenelle: The Idea of Science in the French Enlightenment”, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. ISSN: 0065-9746, New Series, Vol. 49, No. 7 (1959), pp. 1-64

Essential: Ch III (pp. 12-23)

Optional: the rest of the article

[b] Janet Todd, “Behn, Aphra [Aphara] (1640?–1689),” in Oxford dictionary of national biography : from the earliest times to the year 2000

[4] The Rev. Stephen Hales’s pneumatic apparatus, 1727


Christopher Baxfield (2013) “Who is the Almighty that We should serve Him?” Chaos, Providence and Natural Philosophy in Stephen Hales, Ambix. ISSN: 0002-6980, 60:1, 31-53 [available online]

Optional: DSB article on Hales

[5] François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), Letters Concerning the English Nation, 1733

Essential: Thomas L. Hankins, Science and the Enlightenment (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985), Chapter 2

Optional: DSB article on Buffon [George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon]

[6] The Voltaic pile, 1800

DSB article on Alessandro Volta

[7] Michael Faraday’s notebooks, 1832-1860

Essential: Frank A. J. L. James, “Faraday, Michael (1791–1867)”, Oxford dictionary of national biography : from the earliest times to the year 2000

Optional: (a) DSB article on Faraday; (b) Jeanne Fahnestock, Rhetorical figures in science [electronic resource] ISBN: 9780195353556 (e-book); 9780195117509 (Oxford University Press, 1999), Chapter 1

[8] The improved microscope of Joseph Jackson Lister, 1830

G. L'E. Turner, “Lister, Joseph Jackson (1786–1869)", Oxford dictionary of national biography : from the earliest times to the year 2000 ISBN: 019861411x

DSB article on Joseph Jackson Lister

[9] Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, 1859

Jonathan Smith, “The Huxley-Wilberforce ‘Debate’ on Evolution, 30 June 1860″,

[10] Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Model of the Vitamin B12 molecule, 1956

Guy Dodson, “Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin, O.M., 12 May 1910 - 29 July 1994, Elected F.R.S. 1947”, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society of London 48 (2002), 179-219 - Available online:

Patricia Fara, “Pictures of Dorothy Hodgkin”, Endeavour. ISSN: 0160-9327 27:2 (2002), 85-6

[4]ISBN: 019861411x

This list was last updated on 03/12/2017