Editor Charlotte Sleigh writes:
2017 is a noteworthy year for BJHS, marking the 50th volume of publication. A special issue will be published online, very soon, featuring selections and reflections from previous editors. Meanwhile, the first issue of our anniversary year brings an appropriately diverse and innovative selection of topics and treatments.
First off, Giuliano Mori presents a new and perhaps controversial account of Francis Bacon’s attitudes towards mathematics, arguing that it was much more central to his perspectives on natural philosophy than is generally recognised, and refreshing en passant the centrality of subtilitas to natural-philosophical training.
Alex Csiszar follows on with a timely piece about the compilation of bibliographies in the nineteenth century, and how these came to be used as tools for judgement concerning the worth of a career. Remaining in the nineteenth century, but turning to French Algeria, Bonnie Effros disinters a fascinating case-study in the use of archaeology and craniology in the service of politics. The political theme continues into the twentieth century, as Thomas Mougey presents a holistic view of Joseph Needham’s politics and science in mutually entangled development.
The issue closes in polyphonic form, with an innovative roundtable discussion from Felix Rietmann, Mareike Schildmann et al. Weaving between the material and the conceptual, this discussion piece surveys recent trends in the history of childhood as well as posing bigger questions about the position of history of science in relation to non-discipline-specific historiographical methodologies.