Science and the Scottish Enlightenment
Edited by Charles W. J. Withers and Paul Wood
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|Subject: Scottish History
Writing to Dugald Stewart in
1789, Thomas Jefferson enthused that, as far as science was concerned, 'no place in the world can pretend to a competition with Edinburgh'. Yet, despite the similar encomiums down the years,
the role of the natural sciences and medicine in the Scottish Enlightenment is still neither generally appreciated nor fully understood. This collection of essays by leading scholars in the field
is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of theplace of the scientific and medical enquiry in Scotland during the period 1690-1815. Each essay presents new research in order to reflect upon the previous interpretations and to suggest fresh perspectives on the relationship between science
and medicine, and cuture and society, in eighteenth-century Scotland. Collectively the essays illustrate both the central role of natural and medical knowledge in enlightened culture and the iwder implications of
Scotland's story for an understanding of science and medicine in the modern world.
Charles W. J. Withers is Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Edinburgh. Paul Wood is Professor of History and Director of the Humanities Research Centre at the University of Victoria, Canada.
This is a strongly argued and wonderfully informative book. It makes out a powerful case for the thesis that scientific and medical research was a central part of the Scottish Enlightenment. This magnificent book will speak to the interests of a wide range of disciplines.'
Professor Alexander Broadie, University of Glasgow.