History of Science & Knowledge

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The Empire of Climate The Empire of Climate: A History of an Idea David N. Livingstone

How the specter of climate has been used to explain history since antiquity

Slouch Slouch: Posture Panic in Modern America Beth Linker

The strange and surprising history of the so-called epidemic of bad posture in modern America—from eugenics and posture pageants to today’s promoters of “paleo posture”

Natural Magic Natural Magic: Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and the Dawn of Modern Science Renée Bergland

A captivating portrait of the poet and the scientist who shared an enchanted view of nature

The Man Who Organized Nature The Man Who Organized Nature: The Life of Linnaeus Gunnar Broberg

A new biography of Carl Linnaeus, offering a vivid portrait of Linnaeus’s life and work

Radical by Nature Radical by Nature: The Revolutionary Life of Alfred Russel Wallace James T. Costa

A major new biography of the brilliant naturalist, traveler, humanitarian, and codiscoverer of natural selection

The Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought The Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought: French Sociology and the Overseas Empire George Steinmetz

A new history of French social thought that connects postwar sociology to colonialism and empire

Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, New Edition Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, New Edition Lorraine Daston

An award-winning history of the Enlightenment quest to devise a mathematical model of rationality

The Einsteinian Revolution The Einsteinian Revolution: The Historical Roots of His Breakthroughs Jürgen Renn and Hanoch Gutfreund

How the Einsteinian revolution can be understood as the result of a long-term evolution of science

Rules Rules: A Short History of What We Live By Lorraine Daston

A panoramic history of rules in the Western world

The Evolution of Knowledge The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science for the Anthropocene Jürgen Renn

A fundamentally new approach to the history of science and technology

Bedeviled Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science Jimena Canales

How scientists through the ages have conducted thought experiments using imaginary entities—demons—to test the laws of nature and push the frontiers of what is possible

Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Unconventional Warfare in the Ancient World Adrienne Mayor

A gripping and groundbreaking history of how ancient cultures developed and used biological, chemical, and other unconventional weapons of war

Desert Edens Desert Edens: Colonial Climate Engineering in the Age of Anxiety Philipp Lehmann

How technological advances and colonial fears inspired utopian geoengineering projects during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is: A History, a Philosophy, a Warning Justin Smith-Ruiu

An original deep history of the internet that tells the story of the centuries-old utopian dreams behind it—and explains why they have died today

The Failures of Philosophy The Failures of Philosophy: A Historical Essay Stephen Gaukroger

The first book to address the historical failures of philosophy—and what we can learn from them

A Most Interesting Problem A Most Interesting Problem: What Darwin’s Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong about Human Evolution Edited by Jeremy DeSilva

Leading scholars take stock of Darwin's ideas about human evolution in the light of modern science

The Future of the Brain The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists Edited by Gary Marcus and Jeremy Freeman

The world's top experts take readers to the very frontiers of brain science
Includes a chapter by 2014 Nobel laureates May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser

Plagues upon the Earth Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History Kyle Harper

A sweeping germ’s-eye view of history from human origins to global pandemics

Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe Jeremiah P. Ostriker and Simon Mitton

Humanity's ongoing quest to unlock the secrets of dark matter and dark energy

The Sky Is for Everyone The Sky Is for Everyone: Women Astronomers in Their Own Words Edited by Virginia Trimble and David A. Weintraub

An inspiring anthology of writings by trailblazing women astronomers from around the globe

Conchophilia Conchophilia: Shells, Art, and Curiosity in Early Modern Europe Marisa Anne Bass, Anne Goldgar, Hanneke Grootenboer, and Claudia Swan

A captivating historical look at the cultural and artistic significance of shells in early modern Europe

Encounters with Euclid Encounters with Euclid: How an Ancient Greek Geometry Text Shaped the World Benjamin Wardhaugh

A sweeping cultural history of one of the most influential mathematical books ever written

Henri Poincaré Henri Poincaré: A Scientific Biography Jeremy Gray

A comprehensive look at the mathematics, physics, and philosophy of Henri Poincaré

Plato's Ghost Plato's Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics Jeremy Gray

Plato's Ghost is the first book to examine the development of mathematics from 1880 to 1920 as a modernist transformation similar to those in art, literature, and music. Jeremy Gray traces the growth of mathematical modernism from its...

Games for Your Mind Games for Your Mind: The History and Future of Logic Puzzles Jason Rosenhouse

A lively and engaging look at logic puzzles and their role in mathematics, philosophy, and recreation

The Mirror and the Mind The Mirror and the Mind: A History of Self-Recognition in the Human Sciences Katja Guenther

How the classic mirror test served as a portal for scientists to explore questions of self-awareness

Knowledge Lost Knowledge Lost: A New View of Early Modern Intellectual History Martin Mulsow

A compelling alternative account of the history of knowledge from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

The Art of Discovery The Art of Discovery: Digging into the Past in Renaissance Europe Maren Elisabeth Schwab and Anthony Grafton

A panoramic history of the antiquarians whose discoveries transformed Renaissance culture and gave rise to new forms of art and knowledge

The Riddle of the Rosetta The Riddle of the Rosetta: How an English Polymath and a French Polyglot Discovered the Meaning of Egyptian Hieroglyphs Jed Z. Buchwald and Diane Greco Josefowicz

A major new history of the race between two geniuses to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Europe

Creatures of Cain Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America Erika Lorraine Milam

How Cold War America came to attribute human evolutionary success to our species' unique capacity for murder

Genetics in the Madhouse Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity Theodore M. Porter

The untold story of how hereditary data in mental hospitals gave rise to the science of human heredity

Einstein in Bohemia Einstein in Bohemia Michael D. Gordin

A finely drawn portrait of Einstein's sixteen months in Prague

Cosmology’s Century Cosmology’s Century: An Inside History of Our Modern Understanding of the Universe P. J. E. Peebles

From Nobel Prize–winning physicist P. J. E. Peebles, the story of cosmology from Einstein to today

Tesla Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age W. Bernard Carlson

The definitive account of Tesla's life and work

Why Trust Science? Why Trust Science? Naomi Oreskes

Why the social character of scientific knowledge makes it trustworthy

The New Era in American Mathematics, 1920–1950 The New Era in American Mathematics, 1920–1950 Karen Hunger Parshall

A meticulously researched history on the development of American mathematics in the three decades following World War I

Graph Theory in America Graph Theory in America: The First Hundred Years Robin Wilson, John J. Watkins, and David J. Parks

How a new mathematical field grew and matured in America

Twinkind Twinkind: The Singular Significance of Twins William Viney

An arresting illustrated history of twins in mythology, science, and visual culture

Color Charts Color Charts: A History Anne Varichon

A beautifully illustrated history of the many inventive, poetic, and alluring ways in which color swatches have been selected and staged

In the Footsteps of Audubon In the Footsteps of Audubon Denis Clavreul

An artist’s uniquely personal journey across America

Mudlark’d Mudlark’d: Hidden Histories from the River Thames Malcolm Russell

A captivating history of London as told through objects recovered from the muddy banks of the Thames and the lives of the people who owned them

Digital Design Digital Design: A History Stephen Eskilson

A groundbreaking history of digital design from the nineteenth century to today

Period Period: The Real Story of Menstruation Kate Clancy

A bold and revolutionary perspective on the science and cultural history of menstruation

Paleontology Paleontology: An Illustrated History David Bainbridge

An illustrated look at the art and science of paleontology from its origins to today

The Last of Its Kind The Last of Its Kind: The Search for the Great Auk and the Discovery of Extinction Gísli Pálsson

How an iconic bird’s final days exposed the reality of human-caused extinction

One Step Sideways, Three Steps Forward One Step Sideways, Three Steps Forward: One Woman’s Path to Becoming a Biologist B. Rosemary Grant

The story of the unorthodox and inspiring life and career of a pioneering biologist

Free Agents Free Agents: How Evolution Gave Us Free Will Kevin J. Mitchell

An evolutionary case for the existence of free will

"You Are Not Expected to Understand This" "You Are Not Expected to Understand This": How 26 Lines of Code Changed the World Edited by Torie Bosch

Leading technologists, historians, and journalists reveal the stories behind the computer coding that touches all aspects of life—for better or worse

Coral Lives Coral Lives: Literature, Labor, and the Making of America Michele Currie Navakas

A literary and cultural history of coral—as an essential element of the marine ecosystem, a personal ornament, a global commodity, and a powerful political metaphor

Dolia Dolia: The Containers That Made Rome an Empire of Wine Caroline Cheung

The story of the Roman Empire’s enormous wine industry told through the remarkable ceramic storage and shipping containers that made it possible

The Whole Truth The Whole Truth: A Cosmologist’s Reflections on the Search for Objective Reality P. J. E. Peebles

From the Nobel Prize–winning physicist, a personal meditation on the quest for objective reality in natural science

Code Work Code Work: Hacking across the US/México Techno-Borderlands Héctor Beltrán

How Mexican and Latinx hackers apply concepts from coding to their lived experiences

Biological Motion Biological Motion: A History of Life Janina Wellmann

A captivating exploration of the changing definitions of life in biology

Of Human Born Of Human Born: Fetal Lives, 1800–1950 Caroline Arni

A new history of the concept of fetal life in the human sciences