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José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez

Open access

Anne Jorunn Frøyen

Abstract

Many who are worried about the disappearance of pollinating insects, question the role of pesticides and point to the need for stricter legislation regulating the use of these chemicals. This article studies the years between 1933 and 1953, when legislation regulating the use of pesticides against insects and weeds was established in Norway. It analyses how knowledge about effects of pesticides circulated from Norwegian honeybees, to their beekeepers and their network. It suggests that the actors’ position and standing influenced what knowledge they put into circulation and what knowledge they suppressed. A knowledge hierarchy meant that some actors were powerful enough to influence the discourse on toxicity, established in those years.

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Ximo Guillem-Llobat

Abstract

Pests had represented a major problem in agriculture for centuries, but the huge changes in the food chain around the late nineteenth century intensified their effects in a totally unprecedented way and many new chemical substances were introduced in the attempt to control them. In this paper I will focus on the implementation of hydrogen cyanide, a highly toxic pesticide which has not received particular consideration from researchers to date.

I shall analyse the introduction of this pesticide in the Valencian Country and focus on the attention given to the safety of workers and consumers. I aim to examine the role of the poison in its different uses and analyse the impact of each of them on safety regulations. Risks, accidents, and standards will be the main analytical categories I will use in my exploration of hydrogen cyanide and the safety regulations implemented in each context.

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Thomas J. Misa

Abstract

This talk presents the theme that anchors the new third edition of Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present, which is organized around technical-economic-political “eras” spotlighting the long-term interactions of technology and culture. The book’s first edition (2004) concluded with an optimistic assessment of global culture, then added a pessimistic assessment of systemic risk (2011). The eras point to socio-economic structures that foster and channel the development of certain technologies (and not others). This approach steers for a middle ground between social constructivism and technological determinism. This talk analyzes Moore’s Law (1975–2005), widely hailed to explain, well, everything. By 1975 Gordon Moore appeared to accurately “predict” the doubling every 18 months of the number components on each integrated circuit. During these years chips expanded from roughly 2,000 to 600 million transistors; more important the “law” guided a technical revolution and an industry transformation. At first national and then international cooperative “roadmapping” exercises predicted the exact dimensions of chips in the future, and semiconductor companies all aimed exactly where their peers were aiming. So Moore’s Law is a self-fulfilling prophecy supported for three decades by inter-firm cooperation and synchronized R&D.

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Inês N. Navalhas

Abstract

By focusing on the books of popularization of science and technology published by Gradiva this research aims at understanding the mechanisms and strategies to bring science and technology to a broader audience in Portugal, after 1974, the year of the Carnation Revolution that put an end to a long half century dictatorship. I use a mix conceptual framework: on the one hand, I use the scientific literacy and public understanding of science and technology main references to explore the public’s behavior and opinion concerning scientific and technological knowledge; on the other hand, I analyze Gradiva’s choices concerning the collections aimed at popularizing science and technology. So, I hope to contribute to map the perception of the Portuguese public about techno-scientific themes that influence their life and decisions, to understand how scientists relate to scientific and technological popularization literature and to assess scientific literacy in the Portuguese population.

Open access

José Ramón Bertomeu-Sánchez

Abstract

Lead arsenate was introduced on a massive scale in agriculture in Spain in the early 1940s. With the support of a network of agricultural engineers, the new Francoist state encouraged the production and use of lead arsenate as the main weapon against a newly arrived pest, the Colorado potato beetle. In this paper I discuss arsenical pesticides as sociotechnological products which played a pivotal role in the joint production of both chemical-based agriculture and the emerging Francoist regime in Spain during the 1940s. I review the campaigns organized by agriculture engineers and the making of the new National Register for Phytosanitary Products in 1942. The new regulations promoted research in pesticide quality control but also contributed to concealing the health hazards. This invisibilization of the risks took shape in the confluence of interests of the emerging Francoist state, the new pesticide industry, and the large network of agricultural engineers.

Open access

Henryk Rutkowski

Abstract

The author begins with presentation of a programme of creating the detailed cartographic picture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th century, proposed by Stanisław Smolka from the Jagiellonian University at the first congress of Polish historians in Cracow in 1880. This initiative was partially realised in the atlas of Ruthenian lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the turn of the 16th and 17th century created by Aleksander Jabłonowski and printed in 1904 in Vienna. When Poland regained its independence, it became possible to organize further works. As their results two maps were designed, prepared and issued in the interwar period: the general map of the sixteenth-century Grand Duchy of Lithuania created by Jan Jakubowski, published in 1927 and 1928, and the map of Cracow Voivodship of the Four-Year Sejm period (1788–1792) elaborated by Karol Buczek with cooperation of several other persons and published in 1930 in Cracow.

The main topic of this article is a series of maps with commentaries prepared collectively in the Institute of History of Polish Academy of Sciences, entitled Atlas historyczny Polski. Mapy szczegółowe szesnastego wieku (Historical Atlas of Poland. Detailed maps of the 16th century) which includes Polish lands of the Crown. From the planned eight volumes with maps of individual voivodships or their groups, six were published successively in the years 1966–2018 and the last two are prepared for publishing in 2020. The author presents subject of the series and particularly contents of the main maps at the scale of 1:250,000.

This most detailed geographical and historical analysis of a large part of old Poland depicts the area in the 16th century, but it can also facilitate the process of gaining deeper knowledge about the history of these lands in the earlier and later centuries.