publication . Article . 2013

On the boredom of science: positional astronomy in the nineteenth century

Kevin Donnelly;
Open Access
  • Published: 07 Nov 2013
To those not engaged in the practice of scientific observation, or telling the story of this enterprise, the image of scientific research may conjure up images of boredom more than anything else. Yet surprisingly, the profoundly uninteresting nature of scientific research to the majority of historical readers has received little attention. This paper seeks to examine one moment of encroaching boredom: nineteenth-century positional astronomy as practiced at large observatories. Observatory workers, who had once been in charge of manipulating complex equipment, were reduced to clerks, while at the same time observatory directors ignored elements of astronomy that ...
free text keywords: History and Philosophy of Science, History, Media studies, Observatory, Scientific method, Sextant (astronomical), law.invention, law, Boredom, medicine.symptom, medicine, Spherical astronomy, Literature, business.industry, business
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