BOOK: A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility (3rd ed.)

As folks who teach the history of science think about their course offerings for the new school year in just a few months, it is perhaps worth mentioning that there is a new edition of a popular history of science textbook:


Andrew Ede and Lesley B. Cormack, A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility. 3rd ed. (Toronto: Univeristy of Toronto Press, 2017), 464 pp.

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Publisher’s description A History of Science in Society is a concise overview that introduces complex ideas in a non-technical fashion. Ede and Cormack trace the history of the changing place of science in society and explore the link between the pursuit of knowledge and the desire to make that knowledge useful. New topics in this edition include astronomy and mathematics in ancient Mayan society, science and technology in ancient India and China, and Islamic cartography. New “Connections” features provide in-depth exploration of the ways science and society interconnect. The text is accompanied by 55 colour maps and diagrams, and 8 colour plates highlighting key concepts and events. Essay questions, chapter timelines, a further readings section, and an index provide additional support for students. A companion reader edited by the authors, A History of Science in Society: A Reader, is also available.

One can also purchase this text in a first (Ancient to Scientific Revolution) and second (Scientific Revolution to Present) volume.

3 thoughts on “BOOK: A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility (3rd ed.)

  1. Thanks. This means, of course, that earlier editions have suddenly become a lot cheaper. But still over £20; more than I would be willing to lay out on spec. A link to a review would be helpful.

  2. Paul – I have not yet seen a review of the new edition, but I did find online…

    A positive review of an earlier edition:

    A review (or most of it at least that’s visible before a paywall) of an earlier edition that compares it to the other book that is commonly used in undergraduate history of science course, Making Modern Science:

    Hope that helps!

  3. Picked up a mint 2nd edition for £20 (US$ 25). And for used or new discounted books, I recommend Alibris, which is still free of the tentacles of the Amazons and Holtzbrinks of this world

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