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By Georgina M. Montgomery

A significant other to the background of yankee Science bargains a set of essays that supply an authoritative assessment of the latest scholarship at the heritage of yankee science.

  • Covers issues together with astronomy, agriculture, chemistry, eugenics, vast technological know-how, army expertise, and more
  • Features contributions by means of the main comprehensive students within the box of technological know-how history
  • Covers pivotal occasions in U.S. heritage that formed the improvement of technological know-how and technological know-how coverage equivalent to WWII, the chilly warfare, and the Women’s Rights movement

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Extra resources for A Companion to the History of American Science

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It was these university–museum pairs, in addition to the University of Pennsylvania, which founded its own museum in 1887, which fostered the field’s first cohorts of students and employed many of its first PhDs. Boas and the Boasians The first professor of anthropology in the United States was Franz Boas (1858–1942). His status in the history of modern American anthropology cannot be overstated, though the historiography certainly has tried. As the discipline forged its professional and intellectual identity across the twentieth century, it looked to Boas as its intellectual and spiritual founder – his anti-racialist politics and repudiation of sociocultural evolutionism made him conducive to hagiography.

As the discipline forged its professional and intellectual identity across the twentieth century, it looked to Boas as its intellectual and spiritual founder – his anti-racialist politics and repudiation of sociocultural evolutionism made him conducive to hagiography. But Boas’s legacy looms large for more pragmatic reasons, too. Crucially, he was a prolific advisor and his students came to occupy key positions in the growing American university system (Darnell 1998). Totems 26 ADRIAN YOUNG and Teachers, an edited volume offering biographies of foundational anthropologists, includes only two figures who were not students of Boas, or students of his students (Silverman 1981).

Many of Boas’s other students also expanded on their mentor’s relativistic approach with similarly fruitful results. Building on the psychological orientation of Boas’s The Mind of Primitive Man (1911) Paul Radin celebrated the intellectual capacity of indigenous thought in his broadly comparative Primitive Man as Philosopher (1927). Their work reflected not only Boas’s sensitivities, but also registered the impact of Freudian psychoanalysis on segments of the American academy. Ruth Benedict gave cultural relativism a near-perfect metaphor in her popular Patterns of Culture, which toppled the image of the evolutionary ladder on its side into a great “arc of culture” encompassing every possible expression of human interest or activity, no one more “civilized” than the next (1934: 24).

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