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Lecture 7

NATS 1770 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Natural Philosophy, Industrial Revolution, Scientific Revolution

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1770

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Copyright © 2009 Vera Pavri
Lecture 7: Science, Technology and the Birth of Modern Industry
I. Recapping the Relationship between Science and Technology
- Natural philosophy and technical arts throughout most of history were
done by different sets of people
- Intellectuals versus artisans - goals for each different
- Natural philosophers wanted to discuss natural phenomena for theological
or philosophical purposes, while artisans wanted to create practical and
useful artifacts
- Because artisans cannot account for “why” their technologies work and
because technical knowledge limited to object itself, mechanical arts are
considered to be inferior to natural philosophy which is considered
“universal” knowledge and is given a much higher status (Plato and
- What starts to change? (Hong Article – reader)
- Link between technical arts and religious salvation which begins in the
medieval period (Hugh St. Victor)
- Status of engineers rises in Renaissance (recall DaVinci and Galileo)
- Greater contact between artisans and university scholars
- Rise in experimental methods; use of instruments in experiments
- Prior to Scientific Revolution, experiments shunned – Aristotle claimed
that experimentation would not reveal true picture of nature and
discouraged this practice
- Over time, new social spaces also allows greater interaction between
natural philosophers and those doing technology: coffeehouses, salons,
pubs, societies
- Rise of newly created technical colleges; greater emphasis on practical
applications of scientific knowledge in the universities
- Creation of research laboratories in industry and in universities
- Increasing number of individuals with interests in both science and
II. Second Industrial Revolution - Overview
- major centers: Germany and United States, who themselves were trying to
catch up to British lead in industrialization
- Germany: rise of technical schools, unification (1861), massive
industrialization, internal free trade practices, educational reforms
- Educational reforms include: rise of technical schools; changes in
university system (i.e. standard texts, research labs, need for PhD)
- In US and Germany, major changes in engineering education and
professionalization of field

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Copyright © 2009 Vera Pavri
- Developments in steel-making which started in first industrial revolution
also start to help economies of countries other than Britain
- US steel output: 70,000 tons in 1870; 1.25M in 1880, 10M by 1900, 26.1M
in 1910 (Andrew Carnegie – major US steel maker)
- 2nd IR is also characterized by new technologies like the internal
combustion engine which was developed as alternative to steam engine
by 1880s
- advantages over steam engines: cleaner, used cheaper goal gas; run at
half speed; start and stop easily; less labor needed
- MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE of 2nd IR is the merging of science,
technology and industry and the development of organized research
programs in science
- for example, new scientific developments in chemical research (dyes,
bleaches, cleaning agents) and electricity lead to development of new
techno-scientific based industries
a. The Science of Electricity in the 18th Century
- Faraday and electromagnetic induction (magnet creates electric current in
copper wire) in 1821
- mechanically generated electricity created but could not be used for
practical purposes until late 1800’s
- inefficient techniques for power production
- in 1856, Maxwell mathematizes electromagnetic induction (Faraday’s
work) which allows for more experiments to take place
- in 1870’s, better dynamos for creating electrical power from mechanical
energy of rotating magnet are created
- allows for electricity to be produced at cheap rates
- By late 1880’s, electricity used in other areas such as streetcars
- Electric motor produces machinery, used in steel and chemical production
- Costs for electricity also decrease with new technological innovations such
as cables, insulation, switches, fuses, lamp sockets
b. The Science of Chemistry in the 18th Century
- in 1800’s, many scientific advances made in chemistry
- John Dalton – atomic theory to chemistry – elements can be combined to
form compounds that are numerically proportioned
- creation of chemical equations allows for better understanding of chemical
reactions; this allows for new industrial processes
- organic chemistry and production of new synthetic materials (fibers,
plastics, antibiotics)
- dyestuff and pharmaceutical industries really start to benefit from greater
organized research
- first synthetic dye in 1856 by British William Perkin – mauveine
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