The monthly history of science carnival is now up at The Dispersal of Darwin. This is one of the best collections produced yet, proving that The Giant’s Shoulders’ second year is getting off to a tremendous start. Head on over to check out these great posts.
My favorites in this edition include the following:
Bora at A Blog Around the Clock praises the difficulty of doing work in the history of science:
Many scientific findings were made by adventurous explorers, not people with long and sophisticated scientific training. The line between science and fiction was not very clear. While today English is the language of science, in the past many languages were used, and not everyone could read all of them. Transport of books around the world was slow and difficult. Plagiarism was harder to detect, thus rampant. History of science, and even more the work of science historians, reads like a detective thriller! Now that’s exciting!
T. Ryan Gregory at Genomicron looks back at Lamarck’s pre-Darwinian evolution:
Lamarck was the first to propose a scientific theory of evolution, and he coined the terms “invertebrate” and “biology”. Unfortunately, Lamarck’s important contributions are often clouded by misconceptions about what he actually said, both by critics and by modern authors who insist on (mis)labeling the inheritance of acquired characteristics as “Lamarckian”, especially when discussing epigenetics research.
Thony C. at The Renaissance Mathematicus looks at the links between medicine and astronomy in the sixteenth century:
There is a certain irony to the fact that Fracastoro published important texts on both syphilis and comets, as one of the prevailing medical theories of the period was that syphilis was a curse caused by comets. Fracastoro is a typical example of a relatively minor scholar who is today virtually unknown but in his own times made important contributions to the debate that propels the development of science.