This week’s readings show us both some highly significant scientific results (like the laws of thermodynamics) and some “science” that was arguably pretty bad (like the application of the conservation of energy to physiology via “nerve force”).  Although science is understood as being a powerful engine for creating knowledge it is hardly a flawless one.

 What factors best account for success or failure (choose one) in the nineteenth century sciences, according to you own definition of scientific success or failure?

 In other words, can we see any social and/or intellectual commonalities that successful scientific outcomes share in this period or that failed scientific outcomes share?


Make sure to define success or failure immediately after the introduction to the paper. 

There are a lot of ways to think about success or failure in science so work from your own thinking as to what that means.