Technoscience

Perspectives on Science 13 (2):139-141 (2005)
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Abstract

: I argue and demonstrate in this essay that interconnected systems of science and technology, or technoscience, existed long before the late nineteenth century, and that eighteenth-century chemistry was such an early form of technoscience. Based on recent historical research on the early development of carbon chemistry from the late 1820s until the 1840s—which revealed that early carbon chemistry was an experimental expert culture that was largely detached from the mundane industrial world—I further examine the question of the internal preconditions within the expert culture of carbon chemistry that contributed to its convergence with the synthetic-dye industry in the late 1850s. I argue that the introduction of new types and techniques of organic-chemical reactions and organic substances in this experimental expert culture, along with the application of chemical formulae as paper tools for modeling reactions as well as the chemical constitution and structure of substances, enabled academic chemists to make specific, novel contributions to chemical technology and industry in the second half of the nineteenth century

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