- Tachtigers in de wetenschap. Een nieuwe kijk op het ontstaan van de 'Tweede Gouden Eeuw' in de Nederlandse natuurwetenschap
- Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
Dutch science underwent a spectacular development in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, resulting in the so-called ¿Second Golden Age¿ of Dutch science. In historiography the successes of Dutch science are traditionally mainly attributed to educational reforms that should have considerably improved the circumstances under which scientific research was done at the universities. In this study this ¿institutional¿ view is criticised as being too narrow and even erroneous. For an explanation of the successes of Dutch science, one needs instead to look at the profound social changes that took place in Dutch society. The ¿unsuccessful¿ scientists of the first half of the century reflect in their scientific activities the values of the static Dutch class society. The successful ¿pioneers of the Second Golden Age¿ on the other hand, show the same spirit of innovation and individualism that is typical of Dutch culture in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
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