Introduction

Maria de Fátima Nunes, Luís Miguel Carolino

Abstract


Over the last decades, the history of science has reinvented itself. Born out of the so-called Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, when characters such as Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) not only pushed on the limits of science but started to reflect on the history of their own scientific subject, the history of science was for long a story of major figures and accomplishments. Science had its heroes (Newton, Einstein), its martyrs (Bruno, Galileo) and its proselytizers (Voltaire, Camille Flammarion). These actors were perceived as champions responsible for a progressive succession of triumphant discoveries which led humanity towards a new rationalism, where no room for ‘nonscientific’ issues existed. Accordingly, in the past, the narrative of history of science often coincided with a hagiographic rehearsal of these characters and their achievements.


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