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Science in Context, David Aubin, Charlotte Bigg, Philipp Felsch (Eds.)

Science in Context, volume 22, number 3, September 2009

Volume 22, number 3, September 2009


This special issue of Science in Context – an international journal dedicated to the study of science from the angle of comparative epistemology and the historical sociology of scientific knowledge – is edited by David Aubin from the Institut de mathématiques de Jussieu (UPMC), Charlotte Bigg (Centre Alexandre Koyré, CNRS) and Philipp Felsch (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich). Through its ten contributions, this issue aims to show how the scientist’s perspective helped form today’s cultural and social representations of the mountains. It also suggests that the scientific exploration of mountains in the 19th century, with all the difficulties and adventures this enterprise involved, played an important part in the transformation of scientific activity. Between the world of the Enlightenment, where scientific practice was still a marginal activity confined to a few precise areas, and the techno-industrial society of the 1900s, where the marks of science’s influence on the land are omnipresent (maps, meteorological observation networks, geodetic markers, etc.), the mountains provided a “laboratory of nature” that scientists exploited to the full.