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Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction

Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction 


  • James E. McClellan 
  • Harold Dorn


  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 2 edition (April 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801883598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801883590
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds


Book Description 

This is an ambitious study of human history through its scientific and technological development. It begins with prehistoric times and ends with the many accomplishments of the late twentieth century. No area of the world is neglected, with much attention paid to the great civilizations of Asia in particular. There are also many mini-biographies of such worthies as Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, Edison, etc. which place them in the context of their time and the overall theme of technological development. The book is scholarly but not dry. Attempts have been made to appeal to the laymen through notes on "Cool Websites" and the like, and this is successful. Its a good overview of world history from a less than usual angle.

The new edition reorganizes its treatment of Greek science and significantly expands its coverage of industrial civilization and contemporary science and technology with new and revised chapters devoted to applied science, the sociology and economics of science, globalization, and the technological systems that underpin everyday life.

McClellan and Dorn identify two great scientific traditions: the useful sciences, patronized by the state from the dawn of civilization, and scientific theorizing, initiated by the ancient Greeks. They find that scientific traditions took root in China, India, and Central and South America, as well as in a series of Near Eastern empires, during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. From this comparative perspective, the authors explore the emergence of Europe and the United States as a scientific and technological power.

About the Author(s)

James E. McClellan III is professor of the history of science and Harold Dorn is professor emeritus of the history of science and technology at the Stevens Institute of Technology. History Through Science and Technology, October 13, 2002 


Now in its second edition, this bestselling textbook may be the single most influential study of the historical relationship between science and technology ever published. Tracing this relationship from the dawn of civilization through the twentieth century, James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn argue that technology as "applied science" emerged relatively recently, as industry and governments began funding scientific research that would lead directly to new or improved technologies.