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Science in History

J. D. Bernal
Date Published
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J. D. Bernal’s monumental work, Science in History, was the first full attempt to analyse the reciprocal relations of science and society throughout history, from the perfection of the flint hand-axe to the hydrogen bomb. In this remarkable study he illustrates the impetus given to (and the limitations placed upon) discovery and invention by pastoral, agricultural, feudal, capitalist, and socialist systems, and conversely the ways in which science has altered economic, social, and political beliefs and practices.

The second volume of Science in History traces the progress of modern science, from its origins in the Renaissance on into the seventeenth century, when it was stimulated by the growth of capitalism. J. D. Bernal goes on to record the spread of established science and its share in the transformation of industry up to the end of the nineteenth century.

‘This stupendous work . . . is a magnificent synoptic view of the rise of science and its impacton society which leaves the reader awe-struck by Professor Bernal’s encyclopedic knowledge and historical sweep.’ Times Literary Supplement

J. D.Bernal

J. D. Bernal (1901-1971) lived up to his soubriquet ‘The Sage’. He was a polymath, a visionary and brilliant scientist, a pacifist and fervent Marxist. During the Second World War he was a pioneer of Operational Research and made the first objective analyses of bombing on cities. He also played a crucial role in planning the D-Day landings. After the…

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J. D.Bernal