Open Fields: Science in Cultural Encounter

Paperback | March 1, 1999

byGillian Beer

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Science always raises more questions than it can contain. These acclaimed and challenging essays explore how ideas are transformed as they come under the stress of unforeseen readers. Using a wealth of material from diverse nineteenth- and twentieth-century writing, Gillian Beer tracksencounters between science, literature, and other forms of emotional experience. Her analysis discloses issues of chance, gender, nation, and desire. A substantial group of essays centres on Darwin and the incentives of his thinking from language theory to his encounters with Fuegians. Other essays include Hardy, Helmholtz, Hopkins, Clerk Maxwell, and Woolf. The collection throws a different light on Victorian experience and the rise ofmodernism, and engages with current controversies about the place of science in culture.

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Science always raises more questions than it can contain. These acclaimed and challenging essays explore how ideas are transformed as they come under the stress of unforeseen readers. Using a wealth of material from diverse nineteenth- and twentieth-century writing, Gillian Beer tracksencounters between science, literature, and other f...

Gillian Beer is at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198186355

ISBN - 13:9780198186359

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionI. Darwinian EncountersII. Description and Allusion in Scientific WritingIII. Victorian Physics and FuturesIV. CodaIndex

Editorial Reviews

`admirably written essays... First published in 1996, it has now deservedly appeared as a paperback. ... the essays fuse together well and express a consistent intellectual stance. ... Gillian Beer is an observant and most intelligent guide ... Not only does she write well, but she alsoskilfuly avoids giving offence to activists in minority groups ... The secret of the book's success is in the writing, lucid, beguiling and so cleverly inoffensive.'Desmond King-Hele