Sketching Together the Modern Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine

John V. Pickstone
Isis
Vol. 102, No. 1 (March 2011), pp. 123-133
DOI: 10.1086/657506
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/657506
Page Count: 11
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Sketching Together the Modern Histories of Science,
Technology, and Medicine
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Abstract

ABSTRACT This essay explores ways to “write together” the awkwardly jointed histories of “science” and “medicine”—but it also includes other “arts” (in the old sense) and technologies. It draws especially on the historiography of medicine, but I try to use terms that are applicable across all of science, technology, and medicine (STM). I stress the variety of knowledges and practices in play at any time and the ways in which the ensembles change. I focus on the various relations of “science” and “medicine,” as they were understood for a succession of periods—from mainly agricultural societies, through industrial societies, to our biomedical present—trying to sketch a history that encompasses daily practices and understandings as well as major conceptual and technical innovations. The model is meant to facilitate inquiry across topics and across times, including those to come.