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The History of Science and the History of the Sciences: George Sarton, Isis, and the Two Cultures

Peter Dear
Isis
Vol. 100, No. 1 (March 2009), pp. 89-93
DOI: 10.1086/597570
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/597570
Page Count: 5
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The History of Science and the History of the Sciences: George Sarton, Isis, and the Two Cultures
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Abstract

ABSTRACT The intent and content of Isis since its inauguration in 1913 have in some ways tracked changes in both a professionalizing history of science and in the cultures of scientific disciplines. George Sarton saw history as part of an overall metascientific project in which the sciences themselves participated, and his perspective was often duplicated by the constructive appropriation of history by scientists: a century ago, scientific culture often incorporated a sense of itself as an ongoing historical enterprise. After one hundred volumes, however, Isis caters above all to a professionalized historical discipline, while the identity of the scientist has typically ceased to rely on a sense of historical embeddedness.

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