The Scientific Literature: A Guided Tour
edited by Joseph E. Harmon and Alan G. Gross
commentaries by Joseph E. Harmon and Alan G. Gross
University of Chicago Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-226-31655-0 | Paper: 978-0-226-31656-7
Library of Congress Classification Q225.5.S35 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 500
Reference metadata exposed for Zotero via unAPI.
The scientific article has been a hallmark of the career of every important western scientist since the seventeenth century. Yet its role in the history of science has not been fully explored. Joseph E. Harmon and Alan G. Gross remedy this oversight with The Scientific Literature, a collection of writings—excerpts from scientific articles, letters, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, and magazines—that illustrates the origin of the scientific article in 1665 and its evolution over the next three and a half centuries.
Featuring articles—as well as sixty tables and illustrations, tools vital to scientific communication—that represent the broad sweep of modern science, The Scientific Literature is a historical tour through both the rhetorical strategies that scientists employ to share their discoveries and the methods that scientists use to argue claims of new knowledge. Commentaries that explain each excerpt’s scientific and historical context and analyze its communication strategy accompany each entry.
A unique anthology, The Scientific Literature will allow both the scholar and the general reader to experience first hand the development of modern science.
Joseph E. Harmon is senior technical communicator at Argonne National Laboratory. Alan G. Gross is professor in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota. Together, they coauthored Communicating Science: The Scientific Article from the 17th Century to the Present.
"There are now many historical and sociological studies of scientific communication. Joseph Harmon and Alan Gross's book, The Scientific Literature, is something different—neither a research monograph on the history of scientific writing nor a straightforward compilation of excerpts. . . It includes about 125 examples of scientific writing taken from papers, books, reviews and Nobel speeches, and covers materials from the seventeenth century up to the announcement of the rough draft of the human genome in 2001....These scientific snippets are embedded in strands of editorial commentary describing, highlighting and interpreting. The tone is genial: the 'guided tour' doesn't threaten arduous intellectual adventure. Rhetorical terms are explained, scientific authors are identified, and pertinent scientific contexts are introduced."