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Osiris, Volume 32

Data Histories

The history of data brings together topics and themes from a variety of perspectives in history of science: histories of the material culture of information and of computing, the history of politics on individual and global scales, gender and women’s history, as well as the histories of many individual disciplines, to name just a few of the areas covered by essays in this volume. But the history of data is more than just the sum of its parts. It provides an emerging new rubric for considering the impact of changes in cultures of information in the sciences in the longue durée, and an opportunity for historians to rethink important questions that cross many of our traditional disciplinary categories. 

304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2017


History of Science

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Entangled Histories of Science and Capitalism
Lukas Rieppel, Eugenia Lean, and William Deringer
Sciences and Economies in the Scientific Revolution: Concepts, Materials, and Commensurable Fragments
Harold J. Cook
Feeding Desire: Generative Environments, Meat Markets, and the Management of Sheep Intercourse in Great Britain, 1700–1750
Emily Pawley
Sugar Machines and the Fragile Infrastructure of Commodities in the Nineteenth Century
David Singerman
Starting up Biology in China: Performances of Life at BGI
Hallam Stevens
Compound Interest Corrected: The Imaginative Mathematics of the Financial Future in Early Modern England
William Deringer
Proving Future Profit: Business Plans as Demonstration Devices
Martin Giraudeau
Lies, Damned Lies, and (Bourgeois) Statistics: Ascertaining Social Fact in Midcentury China and the Soviet Union
Arunabh Ghosh
The Microbial Production of Expertise in Meiji Japan
Victoria Lee
“Safe Driving Depends on the Man at the Wheel”: Psychologists and the Subject of Auto Safety, 1920–55
Lee Vinsel
Comstock Capitalism: The Law, the Lode, and the Science
Paul Lucier
Organizing the Marketplace
Lukas Rieppel
“Scientific Crude” for Currency: Prospecting for Specimens in Stalin’s Siberia
Julia Fein
Making the Chinese Copycat: Trademarks and Recipes in Early Twentieth-Century Global Science and Capitalism
Eugenia Lean
Microbiology and the Imperatives of Capital in International Agro-Biodiversity Preservation
Courtney Fullilove
Smoke Ring: From American Tobacco to Japanese Data
Sarah Milov
Notes on Contributors

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