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The transmission of two new scientific disciplines from Europe to North America in the late nineteenth century

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The new disciplines of experimental psychology and physical chemistry which emerged in late-nineteenth-century Germany were transmitted rapidly to North America, where they flourished. At the time, American higher education was growing fast and undergoing important organizational changes. It was then especially receptive to such European ideas as these new growth points in German science. However, although there were important similarities in the transmission of the two sciences, experimental psychology was changed far more than physical chemistry by the transfer. Physical chemistry was able to fit into a flourishing pattern of German-inspired chemistry in higher education. Psychology was more dependent on its intellectual and social context, and the American context was quite different from that of Germany.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Unit for the History, Philosophy and Social Relations of Science, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, CT2 7NR, England

Publication date: May 1, 1977

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