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The Money Trail: A New Historiography for Networks, Patronage, and Scientific Careers

Casper Andersen, Jakob Bek-Thomsen and Peter C. Kjærgaard
Vol. 103, No. 2 (June 2012), pp. 310-315
DOI: 10.1086/666357
Stable URL:
Page Count: 6
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ABSTRACTMoney is everywhere in science. Yet historians have only rarely placed the money trail at the center of their analyses. The essays in this Focus section demonstrate that following the money offers a historiographical path for investigating a number of key issues across disciplinary boundaries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Drawing on cases and materials relating to a number of scientific fields, including electrical engineering, aeronautics, agriculture, and paleontology, the essays examine the continuous role of money in industrial and military patronage, personal connections and networks, and spatial and geographical dimensions of science, as well as in relation to state funding and ownership. Together, the contributions demonstrate how following the money offers a way of overcoming hyperprofessionalism in the history of science.