Cover image for Science in the Enlightenment : an encyclopedia
Science in the Enlightenment : an encyclopedia
Burns, William E., 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 355 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q121 .B87 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The first introductory A-Z resource on the dynamic achievements in science from the late 1600s to 1820, including the great minds behind the developments and science's new cultural role.

* Over 200 A-Z entries on scientific disciplines, organizations, instruments, events, practices, and cultural influences during the period

* Over 40 illustrations present some of the inventions and instruments of the age

Author Notes

William Earl Burns is a professional historian living in Washington, D.C. He is the author of ABC-CLIO's The Scientific Revolution and has written articles for the ABC-CLIO World History website.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This book is the second in the History of Science series and is a follow-up to The Scientific Revolution: An Encyclopedia 0 (ABC-CLIO, 2001). It provides coverage of the great minds behind the developments of the Enlightenment as well as lesser-known ideas and scientists of the times. More specifically, it covers the period from the reorganization of the French Royal Academy of Sciences in 1699 until the 1820s. The preface provides a brief overview of science in the Enlightenment, primarily in Europe and the U.S. Attention is also paid to the controversies and challenges that many of the scientific discoveries posed to the major religions of the time. The book begins with a topic finder that offers a listing of the entries by subject, for example, "Instruments and Devices," "Scientific Disciplines," and "Theories and Ideologies." The more than 200 entries appear in alphabetical order, from Academies and scientific soci0 eties to Zoology.0 Also included are entries for Berlin Academy0 and Newtonianism 0 as well as individuals such as Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, Carolus Linnaeus, and Voltaire. Each of the entries is one or two pages in length and includes bibliographic citations to works for further research as well as numerous see also0 references. The text is complemented by a variety of black-and-white illustrations. The entries, although brief, are dense in content and would best serve those with some subject specialization. The text concludes with an annotated chronology; a substantial bibliography that will be extremely valuable for researchers; a brief, annotated list of useful Web sites listing only 11 sites; and a thorough index. The book is intended for people in high school, college, and beyond. The text includes many scientific terms, and novice readers would have benefited from a glossary. Still, this volume fills a need, as there is little published that is devoted to this particular era of scientific discovery. This would be a useful resource for high-school, college, and large public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

During the Age of the Enlightenment, usually thought of as the period between the late 17th and early 19th centuries, new values and knowledge reshaped the cultural outlook on religion, politics, and science. This book presents the vast array of individuals, trends, events, and themes of science that made the Enlightenment a time of discovery and excitement in science. To guide readers through more than 200 encyclopedic essays on related scientific topics, Burns provides "Topic Finder," a chronology, a bibliography, a list of useful Web sites, and an index. The brief articles are the core of the work, but Burns has a long-range agenda as well, announced in the lengthy "Preface and Acknowledgments." That excellent essay discusses the various topics covered in the encyclopedia, refers to pertinent articles and cross-references, and sets up a study program to guide researchers toward interesting areas for further study. In spite of that, most libraries will want the book in the reference collection. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All collections. R. J. Havlik emeritus, University of Notre Dame