By Ralph R. Hamerla
An American Scientist at the examine Frontier is the 1st scholarly examine of the nineteenth-century American scientist Edward Williams Morley. partly, it's the long-overdue tale of a guy who lent his identify to the Michelson and Morley Ether-Drift test, and who conclusively verified the atomic weight of oxygen. it's also the untold tale of technological know-how in provincial the USA: what Hamerla provides as technological know-how at the "American learn frontier". this crucial exam of Morley’s fight for private legitimacy extends and transforms our figuring out of technology in the course of a foundational interval, and ends up in a few specific conclusions which are very important to the literature and historiography of technology. through revealing very important facets of the clinical tradition of the yankee heartland, An American Scientist at the examine Frontier deepens our knowing of a person scientist and of yank technological know-how extra commonly. In so doing, Hamerla alterations the best way we process and comprehend the production of medical wisdom, clinical groups, and the historical past of technology itself.
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Extra info for An American Scientist on the Research Frontier: Edward Morley, Community, and Radical Ideas in Nineteenth-Century Science
34 When Edward Morley attended Williams, he became a weather aﬁcionado making frequent trips to the tower that sparked an interest in weather phenomena that remained with him throughout his life. While philosophical and scientiﬁc apparatus reﬂect the material presence of science on the Williams’ campus and its speciﬁc curriculum suggests an active and vibrant intellectual environment at many New England and American colleges during the antebellum years, the Williams faculty also recognized the importance of science to its infrastructure.
Though less than 1% of the college-age population of the United States went to college prior to the Civil War does not mean that American schools excluded common men. 38 This was evident at Williams where They [the students] have come from yeomanry of the country, from the plough and workshop, with clear heads and ﬁne nerves, industrious habits, and unperverted tastes, in need, it may be of polish, but susceptible to the highest. They are, intellectually, the working men of the land, energetic, practical men, whose inﬂuence has been, and is, extensively felt.
Under this new district system every section of the city was soon assigned an agent, including the poorest and most rundown where previously few members were unwilling to go, regardless of good intention. At ﬁrst the plan worked well, but as the individual agent became more intimately involved in the lives of particular households, his role began to change. Instead of dealing with families as a group, agents were soon targeting speciﬁc family members for conversion. In 1833, the Society ofﬁcially recognized this new purpose and agents were issued formal instructions that directed them to encourage religious participation and moral living as they always had, but to also target and convert speciﬁc individuals.
An American Scientist on the Research Frontier: Edward Morley, Community, and Radical Ideas in Nineteenth-Century Science by Ralph R. Hamerla