BooksHistory of Science

A Transparent Foundation?

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 970-971
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078334

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The Glass Bathyscaphe. How Glass Changed the World. Alan Macfarlane and Gerry Martin. Profile, London, 2002. 267 pp. £15. ISBN 186-197-400-0.

Glass. A World History. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2002. 267 pp. $27.50 ISBN 0-226-50028-4.

In this account for a general audience, the authors argue that the scientific advances that transformed the world between the 13th and 17th centuries all occurred in western Europe because the glass technologies that developed there provided crucial new instruments such as microscopes, telescopes, barometers, thermometers, vacuum flasks, and retorts.

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