More on Scholarship in Medieval Science

Here are a few additional bits culled from the ISIS Critical Bibliography. Over the last decade, scholarship on medieval science has remained fairly level with respect to scholarship in other periods. The ISIS Critical Bibliography arranges scholarship into:

  • Prehistory & Early Human Society
  • Ancient Near Eastern
  • Ancient Greek & Roman
  • Medieval Western European
  • Renaissance Western European
  • 17th Century
  • 18th Century
  • 19th Century
  • 20th Century, early
  • 20th Century, late, & 21st century

Unfortunately, it does not include in this chronological listing pre-1800 scholarship that has been listed under a heading in the “Disciplinary Classification,” e.g., “Astronomy,” or non-Western knowledge, e.g., “Medieval Byzantine contexts” (as a side note, in 2002 the ISIS Critical Bibliography, moved Byzantium out of the chronological listing and now considers it a “non-Western knowledge tradition”). Of the material listed in the chronological section, scholarship on medieval science has hovered around 3-5% of the works listed. 2010 is the outlier here, with over 300 items listed for about 10% of the scholarship. Each year medievalist have produced about a dozen editions or translations of medieval texts.

Scholarship by men outnumbers that by women, though probably not by too much. The information for the graph below excludes a number of items where I did not know and could not determine quickly whether the author was a man or a woman.

Approximate gender distribution of scholarship on medieval science.
Approximate gender distribution of scholarship on medieval science.

As with yesterday’s post, this one should not be taken as definitive. I culled the information from the main entries in the ISIS Critical Bibliography. I did not include any information from the contents of collections—a number of items in the bibliography are collections of essays—nor did I work terribly hard to figure out if authors were men or women. And obviously, I don’t know how much scholarship the ISIS Critical Bibliography misses each year.