A periodization of the evolution of experimental science


The suggested periodization of the development of experimental science adopts the key «laboratory» criterion that allows one to distinguish essential stages in the formation of the professional community of scientists. Over centuries, the laboratory basis of research evolved from artisanal and alchemical workshops to the «laboratory network» of today. The fundamental stages included the birth of «practical» science in ancient civilizations, speculative-practical research from the 7th century BCE, monastic and university science starting in the 10th century AD, the development of experimental research from the 16th century onwards, disciplinary communities of researchers in the 18th century, the co-development of university and industrial research during the 19th century, networks of research institutes since the turn of the century and national big-science research collectives since the middle of the 20th century, and the more recent globalization of research networks.


Recommended bibliographic description

, , A periodization of the evolution of experimental science, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  5-18

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
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