Servants of Nature

Pyenson, Lewis and Susan Sheets-Pyenson. Servants of Nature: A History of Scientific Institutions, Enterprises, and Sensibilities. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1999. The Pyensons present a rigorous history of all mediums for dispensing and promoting science. From the growth of universities, to the building of museums, to the publishing of journals and maps, to the understanding of statistics, and the rapacious needs of the military, the Pyensons show how each of these enterprises expanded the scientific field and influenced the cultural zeitgeist. Often illuminating, sometimes tedious (depending on your particular interests, I suspect), Servants proves that the evolution of science goes far beyond the labors of a handful of geniuses.