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ABSTRACT An interest in global histories of science is not new. Yet the project envisioned by this Focus section is different from that pursued by natural historians and natural philosophers in the early modern age. Instead of tracing universal patterns, there is value in attending to the connections and disconnections of science on the global stage. Instead of assuming the precision of science's boundaries, historians might consider the categories of “science” and “indigenous knowledge” to have emerged from globalization. New global histories of science will be characterized by critical reflection on the limits of generalization, as well as a creative adoption of new sources, methods, and chronologies, in an attempt to decenter the European history of science. Such a project holds the promise of opening up new conversations between historians, anthropologists, philosophers, and sociologists of science. It is of critical importance if the discipline is not to fragment into regional and national subfields or become dominated by structural frameworks such as imperialism.
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