Editor Charlotte Sleigh writes:
September’s BJHS is pervaded by themes of public science. Daniel Mitchell’s ‘From Corps to Discipline’ starts us off in nineteenth-century France, where teaching and communication of experimental physics helped form the new, expert science. Following this, Katharine Anderson, examines the strange case of a merchant seaman, an outsider to science, who took Darwin satirically to task in ‘Reading and Writing the Scientific Voyage’. The theme of constructing and deconstructing published knowledge continues with Geoffrey Belknap, who in ‘Illustrating Natural History’ presents the role of visual imagery to construct a specifically British naturalist community. Jim Endersby, in ‘A visit to Biotopia’, expands our sense of the traffic between specialist and lay accounts of science and its potentialities. Moving from the written word to the museum, Hilary Buxton’s article ‘Health by Design’ explores the construction and presentation of hygiene in Britain at the turn of the twentieth century. The commercial products from this show morph, in Natasha Szuhan’s ‘Sex in the Laboratory’ into the intimate paraphernalia of contraception, at the centre of tensions and negotiations between scientists and manufacturers of the early- to mid-twentieth century.