Categories
Press and Pop Culture

Betting on Theories

Whenever you narrow your gaze to the particular hero/idea you wish to hold up as a real winner in the history of science, you are completely ignoring the amount of contingency that goes into their success. Dominic Berry on “Derren Brown’s Whig History of Science.”

Categories
Press and Pop Culture

Against Whiggish History

Finally, whiggish narratives, strewn with heroes, only hinder understanding of how the world works. As Athene Donald has written, heroes and geniuses are unrealistic and unhelpful for those who might enter scientific careers in the future. They are equally so for those who are not and have no interest in becoming a scientist, but nevertheless […]

Categories
Historical Expertise

On Whigs and Whig History

Whig history, whiggish history, whigs, and even Whigs seem to be enjoying their 15 minutes of fame. Thony over at The Renaissance Mathematicus had a go at Whig history of science, Michal Meyer at PACHS offered something of a defense of whig history, and William Cronon offered a nice analysis of Herbert Butterfield’s own use […]