reframing history of science

Patricia Fara’s title Pandora’s Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment looks ‘beyond’ the official described scenes and sheds light on the women behind ‘great men’ in the world of science – at least during periods of the 18th century when the female part of society still had access to the labaratorium as it was part of the domestic world and not yet defined as public sphere to exclude women as during the century to follow. In this sense her attempt to rewrite a historical view may be one among others, but that shows also that the ‘written’ thus accepted version might need some re-thinking:

“Rather than creating new female heroines, [ Pandora’s Breeches ] has undermined conventional views of the past by attacking the very concept of heroism in science. This book has presented new interpretations of scientific men as well as of scientific women…
….Science is a collaborative project whose successes – and failures – can only be appreciated by understanding how scientific technology has permeated the whole of society.”

further review

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