School of History

History of the Sciences

The Centre

The making of scientific knowledge

Francis Bacon’s bold claim about the significance of his researches into nature has proven true over the last four hundred years. The making of scientific knowledge has, arguably, been the defining feature of the modern era. Knowledge is indeed power; it has legitimated governance, weaponized empires, enabled commerce – even defined humanity itself.

As historians of the sciences, we offer a unique and intellectually exciting insight into the making of scientific knowledge. We discover the contingent historical processes by which apparently self-evident values as ‘fact’ and ‘objectivity’ have been painstakingly assembled. We look at the political, economic, religious and other human agendas that have shaped what comes to constitute scientific knowledge in any given time and place. And bearing in mind that scientists and technologists are always plugged into a wider world, we investigate the diverse public audiences for, and consumers of, the sciences.

Our Centre is a diverse one covering the physical and biomedical sciences, technology, animals, the environment, literature, and science communication. We are full-time staff and postgraduate students. We are intellectually curious and active scholars, committed to discussion and support of one another’s research.

 

 



Francis Bacon

“I have taken all knowledge to be my province... For knowledge itself is power” (Francis Bacon, 1561-1626)

 

An antique microscope.

SMET MA

Our taught masters programme in Science, Medicine, Environment and Technology.

 

 

A Sir Isaac Newton apple sticker.

SciComm MSc

Science, Communication and Society taught masters (with the School of Biosciences).

 

 

A pair of hands with palms showing.

Research Degrees

Centre staff can offer supervision for postgraduate History of Science projects.

 

 

 

School of History, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

T: +44 (0)1227 823710 or E: history@kent.ac.uk

Last Updated: 17/11/2016