If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email help@ingentaconnect.com

Difficult Beginnings in Experimental Science at Oxford: the Gothic Chemistry Laboratory

$53.91 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:

Abstract:

A curious appendage to the Oxford Museum of Natural History has an interesting history. Although, in its original form, its architecture may have suggested a chapel, it was built as a chemical laboratory in the 1850s. Was its Gothic style an idle fancy, or was it intended to contribute to some grand design? The choice of architectural style may suggest a purely aesthetic interpretation. Alternatively the high roof and ventilation of the laboratory points to a purely utilitarian purpose. Yet neither of these views can be accepted as more than a partial explanation. Overriding these is the dominant religious context of a university imbued with the values of the mid-Victorian Church of England. It would be a mistake to discount the university politics of the time. There is often a strong ideological basis to architecture. Oxford's classical curriculum was challenged by the claims of science and, among the sciences, chemistry suffered from particularly strong prejudices. Indeed its image represented a gross caricature. Yet, if chemistry was to be fully accepted, as an essentially experimental science, its pursuit demanded special facilities. The paper provides a study of the gradual acceptance of an experimental science in one particular social context.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0003379031000065256

Affiliations: School of History, Rutherford College University of Kent Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NX UK

Publication date: October 1, 2003

More about this publication?
Related content

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more