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Science and Technology. From the Origins up to the Twenty-First Century

  • Filipe Duarte SantosEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Abstract

The beginnings of modern science are rooted in a period of great conceptual development, which took place in Western Europe from 1500 to 1750. There were earlier origins, going back to the Greeks; Aristotle developed detailed theories of physics and biology, while Galen contributed to medicine and physiology, and Ptolemy to astronomy. They are coherent theories, based on a robust rationality that only began to slowly crumble when confronted with new facts arising from observation and experimentation. The initial development of modern science was a relatively peaceful process, if we ignore some extreme episodes of opposition offered by the Church, such as the burning of Giordano Bruno at the stake, or the persecution of Galileo. The process was led by a small intellectual minority, and passed largely unnoticed by the vast majority of the population. It was a highly discreet movement in the context of contemporary religious uprisings and the wars of reformation. Despite this contrast, science ended up deeply affecting the mentalities of future generations; even today, certain ways of thinking pioneered by science in the 16th to the 18th centuries still constitute a template for current scientific practice.

Keywords

Nuclear Weapon Modern Science Atomic Bomb Permanent Evolution Manhattan Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fac. Ciêncas Depto. FísicaUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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