A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility, Third Edition

A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility, Third Edition

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By Andrew Ede and Lesley B. Cormack
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2016
World Rights
464 Pages
ISBN 9781442634992
Published Aug 2016
ISBN 9781442635005
Published Aug 2016
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442635012
Published Aug 2016
Full purchase $43.95
ebook (PDF format)
ISBN 9781442635029
Published Aug 2016
Full purchase $43.95

A History of Science in Society is a concise overview that introduces complex ideas in a non-technical fashion. Ede and Cormack trace the history of the changing place of science in society and explore the link between the pursuit of knowledge and the desire to make that knowledge useful.

New topics in this edition include astronomy and mathematics in ancient Mayan society, science and technology in ancient India and China, and Islamic cartography. New "Connections" features provide in-depth exploration of the ways science and society interconnect. The text is accompanied by 55 colour maps and diagrams, and 8 colour plates highlighting key concepts and events. Essay questions, chapter timelines, a further readings section, and an index provide additional support for students. A companion reader edited by the authors, A History of Science in Society: A Reader, is also available.

Lesley B. Cormack is Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta.

Andrew Ede is Associate Professor of History at the University of Alberta.

List of Illustrations

List of Connections Boxes



1. The Origins of Natural Philosophy

2. The Roman Era and the Rise of Islam

3. The Revival of Natural Philosophy in Western Europe

4. Science in the Renaissance: The Courtly Philosophers

5. Scientific Revolution: Contested Territory

6. The Enlightenment and Enterprise

7. Science and Empire

8. Entering the Atomic Age

9. Science and War

10. The Death of Certainty

11. 1957: The Year the World Became a Planet

12. Man on the Moon, Microwave in the Kitchen

13. Science and New Frontiers: Potential and Peril in the New Millennium

Further Reading


The first edition of A History of Science in Society was an impressive achievement that provided a most welcome and accessible textbook. The third edition continues this fine tradition. Over the years, my students have valued the clarity and rigour of this book, which has allowed them to better grasp the meanings of some of the more difficult concepts in the history of science.

Nathan Brooks, New Mexico State University

The excellent new edition of A History of Science in Society is an achievement. Readable and comprehensive, it provides welcome changes that round out the material towards a more global narrative, enhance student learning, and apply classic themes about the connections between science, technology, and society to the twenty-first-century world … Well-written and thoughtfully presented, the text is eminently suitable for introductory undergraduate courses in the global history of science and technology.

Tara Abraham, University of Guelph