The Theories Of Science And Technology Within The Context Of Society

1445 WordsOct 19, 20166 Pages
In recent historiography, historians of science and technology examine various topics through the lens of social history to provide a more externalist approach to scientific history. We aim to understand science and technology within the context of society, showcasing that other factors play a particular and important role in shaping scientific activity other than internist factors of the discipline itself. In the era of early modern science, many concrete or tangible institutions did not exist to cultivate science. But as Mario Biagioli argues, there were “institutions without walls”, such as the patronage system. However, many historians of the Scientific Revolution use patronage as a guide for the careers of great scientists like Galileo rather than treating it as an important paradigm in its own right to shape scientific activity. If they did not attempt that method, they outright ignored it or vilified it as something hostile towards scientific creativity as it argued that truth was not the goal for science. But none of those paths should be taken. We, as historians, must further understand the patronage system as an “institution without walls” and how it in itself shaped scientific activity in the seventeenth century. The patronage system in the seventeenth century meant the “voluntary” support given by a patron to a client accompanied by gift-giving in an effort to maintain prestige for the patron and gain advancement for the client. The system embodied no
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