Historiography of science and technology in focus. A discussion with Professor Robert Fox


  • Robert Fox University of Oxford
  • Michał Kokowski Instytut Historii Nauki im. Ludwika i Aleksandra Birkenmajerów PAN




Robert Fox, history of the historiography of science and technology, discussion


The article is an extended discussion with a laureate of numerous international distinctions, Professor Robert Fox, about his career, intellectual fascinations, as well as changing methods, styles, approaches and themes in the historiography of science and technology.

Author Biographies

Robert Fox, University of Oxford

Michał Kokowski, Instytut Historii Nauki im. Ludwika i Aleksandra Birkenmajerów PAN


BIBLIOGRAPHY A (The works about the biography of Robert Fox)

Centre d’Historia de la Ciencia 2015: Robert Fox, catedrático emérito de Historia de la Ciencia de la Universidad de Oxford, en la celebración del 20 aniversario del CEHIC (19/10/2015). Available online: http://www.cehic.es/ficha_noticies.php?sitelang=es&idnoti=353.

The History of Science Society 2015: Science Society’s Sarton Medal. Available online: https://web.archive.org/web/20160712192918/http://www.chemheritage.org/about/news-and-press/press-releases/2015-11-24-robert-fox-awarded-the-history-of-science-societys-sarton-medal.aspx.

Nicolaidis, Efthymios 2017: Éloge to Robert Fox. Studia Historiae Scientiarum 16, pp. 21–27. Available online: https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.17.003.7704.

Wikipedia 2017a: Robert Fox (historian). Available online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Fox_(historian).

BIBLIOGRAPHY B (The selected works of Robert Fox)

Buchwald, Jed Z.; Fox, Robert (eds.) 2013: The Oxford handbook of the history of physics (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199696253.

Fox, Robert 1971: The caloric theory of gases from Lavoisier to Regnault. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. Pp. xvi + 378. ISBN 9780198581314.

Fox, Robert 1973: Scientific enterprise and the patronage of research in France 1800–70. Minerva 11 (4), pp. 442–473. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41820168.

Fox, Robert 1974: The Rise and Fall of Laplacean Physics. Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 4, pp. 89–136. Available online: https://doi.org/10.2307/27757328 (purchase PDF). Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27757328.

Fox, Robert 1978: Sadi Carnot. Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu. Edition critique avec introduction et commentaire, augmentée de documents d’archives et de divers manuscrits de Carnot. Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin. Pp. 371; also editions in English (1986: Sadi Carnot. Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire: a Critical Edition with the Surviving Scientific Manuscripts. Manchester: Manchester University Press, New York: Lilian Barber Press; ISBN 978-0-936508-16-0), German (1988), and Italian (1992).

Fox, Robert 1984: Science, industry, and the social order in Mulhouse, 1798–1871. The British Journal for the History of Science 17(2), pp. 127–168. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007087400020896; https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/4700E674338526610B0A5912CC64ABD8/S0007087400020896a.pdf/science_industry_and_the_social_order_in_mulhouse_17981871.pdf.

Fox, Robert 1992: The culture of science in France, 1700–1900. Aldershot: Variorum. Pp. xiii + 335. ISBN 9780860783398.

Fox, Robert 1995: Science, technology, and the social order in post-revolutionary France. Aldershot: Variorum. Pp. xiv + 291. ISBN 9780860784814.

Fox, Robert (ed.) 1996a: Technological change. Methods and themes in the history of technology. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic. Pp. viii + 271. ISBN 9057023377, ISBN 9789057023378. Available online: https://books.google.com.ar/books?id=Jz9PVU-28vgC.

Fox, Robert 1996b: Methods and Themes in the History of Technology. In: Robert Fox (ed.) 1996a, pp. 1–15. Available online: https://books.google.com.ar/books?id=Jz9PVU-28vgC&pg=PA1.

Fox, Robert (ed.) 2000: Thomas Harriot. An Elizabethan man of science. Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Pp. xii + 317. ISBN: 0754600785, 9780754600787.

Fox, Robert 1997: Alistair Cameron Crombie, 4 November 1915 – 9 February 1996. Isis 88, pp. 183–186. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/235887.

Fox, Robert 2006a: The History of Science, Medicine and Technology at Oxford. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. Vol. 60, No. 1 (Jan. 22, 2006), pp. 69–83. Published by Royal Society. Available online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20462553.

Fox, Robert 2006b: Curriculum Vitae. Available online: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/harriot/upload/fox_cv.doc.

Fox, Robert 2006c: Fashioning the discipline: History of Science in the European tradition. Minerva 44(4), pp. 410–432. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-006-9015-x (purchase PDF). Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41821374.

Fox, Robert 2008: History and the public understanding of science: Problems, practices, and perspectives. In: M. Kokowski (ed.), The Global and the Local: The History of Science and the Cultural Integration of Europe. Proceedings of the 2nd ICESHS (Cracow, Poland, September 6–9, 2006) (WWW version: 2007–2008, CD-ROM version: 2008; ISBN: 978-83-60183-42-7), pp. 174–177. Available online: http://www.2iceshs.cyfronet.pl/2ICESHS_Proceedings/Chapter_8/RE_Fox.pdf.

Fox, Robert 2011: Robert Fox’s favourites. The Royal Society Publishing. Available online: http://rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.org/board-member-favourites/robert-fox.

Fox, Robert 2012: The savant and the state: science and cultural politics in Nineteenth-Century France. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-1421405223.

Fox, Robert 2013a: Science International, 1. Mapping the Universe of Knowledge (lecture). OSU Oregon State University – School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, 14 June 2013. Available online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhHXJL6NwTo&feature=youtu.be.

Fox, Robert 2013b: Science International, 2. Universalism in Action – The Age of Exhibitions (lecture). OSU Oregon State University – School of History, Philosophy, and Religion (17 June 2013). Available online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLi9gnpr3eY.

Fox, Robert 2013c: Science International, 3. Legacy of a Fractured World (lecture). OSU Oregon State University – School of History, Philosophy, and Religion (19 June 2013). Available online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btfmbgwQa0U.

Fox, Robert 2013d: Laplace and the Physics of Short-Range Forces. In: Buchwald, Fox (eds.) 2013, pp. 406–431. Available online: https://books.google.pl/books?id=JWYBAQAAQBAJ.

Fox, Robert 2016a: Science without Frontiers: Cosmopolitanism and National Interests in the World of Learning, 1870–1940. Corvallis, Oregon, USA: Oregon State University Press.

Fox, Robert 2016b: Science without frontiers: cosmopolitanism, national interest, and learned culture, 1870–1940. Physis. Rivista internazionale di storia della scienza 51, Nuova Serie, Fasc. 1–2, pp. 5–18.

Fox, Robert 2017a: The dream that never dies: the ideals and realities of cosmopolitanism in science, 1870–1940. Studia Historiae Scientiarum 16, pp. 29–47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.17.004.7705.

Fox, Robert 2017b: Marzenie, które nigdy nie umiera: ideały i realia kosmopolityzmu w nauce w latach 1870–1940 (tłum. Michał Kokowski). Studia Historiae Scientiarum 16, pp. 49–68. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.17.005.7706.

Fox, Robert; Guagnini, Anna (eds.) 1993: Education, technology and industrial performance in Europe, 1850–1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, and Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. Pp. xiv + 302. ISBN 9780521381536.

Fox, Robert; Guagnini, Anna 1999: Laboratories, workshops, and sites. Concepts and practices of research in industrial Europe, 1800–1914. Berkeley, California: Office for History of Science and Technology, University of California at Berkeley, pp. x +214. ISBN 0-9672617-0-8. Available online: http://www.cis.unibo.it/bshs/books/foxguagn.pdf.

Fox, Robert; Nieto-Galan, Agustí (eds.) 1999: Natural dyestuffs and industrial culture in Europe 1750–1880. Canton, MA: Science History Publications, pp. xx + 354.

Fox, Robert; Gooday, Graeme (eds.) 2005: Physics in Oxford 1839–1939. Laboratories, learning, and college life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. xxii + 363. ISBN 9780198567929.

Fox, Robert; Turner, Anthony (eds.) 1998: Luxury trades and consumerism in Ancien Régime Paris. Studies in the history of the skilled workforce. Alder¬shot: Ashgate. Pp. xviii +307. ISBN: 135192110X, 9781351921107.

Fox, Robert; Weisz, George (eds.) 1980/2009: The organization of science and technology in France, 1808–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, and Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. Pp. x + 355. ISBN 978-0-521-23234-1. Reissued (with corrections)” in 2009. ISBN 978-0-521-10370-1.

Gillispie, Charles Coulston; Fox, Robert; Grattan-Guinness, Ivor 1997: Pierre-Simon Laplace: 1749–1827: a life in exact science. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press). ISBN 9780691011851. 2nd ed. 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY C (Additional works)

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Bauer, Martin W.; Allum, Nick; Miller, Steve 2007: What have we learnt from 25 years of PUS research – liberating and widening the agenda. Public Understanding of Science 16(1), pp. 1–17. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662506071287 (purchase PDF).

Bernal, John Desmond 1939: The Social Function of Science. London: Faber & Faber.

Bernal, John Desmond 1953: Science and Industry in the Nineteenth Century. London – New York: Routledge.

Bernal, John Desmond 1954: Science in History. Vols. 1–4. London: Watts.

Bernal, John Desmond 1972: The Extension of Man. A History of Physics before 1900. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Berr, Henri 1930: Au bout de trente ans. La Revue organe du Centre. Revue de Synthèse Historique 1930(12), 50 (New series 24), pp. 3-8. Available online: https://www.web.archive.org/web/20110720172035/http://www.revue-de-synthese.eu/doc/RS-30ans.pdf.

Bijker, Wiebe E.; Hughes, Thomas P.; Pinch, Trevor (eds.) 1989: The Social Construction of Technological Systems. New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England: MIT Press. Available online: https://monoskop.org/images/1/1f/Bijker_Hughes_Pinch_eds_The_Social_Construction_of_Technological_Systems._New_Directions_in_the_Sociology_and_History_of_Technology_no_OCR.pdf.

Bloch, Marc 1949: Apologie pour l’histoire ou Métier d’historien. Paris: A. Colin. Available online: http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/bloch_marc/apologie_histoire/bloch_apologie.pdf.

Bloch, Marc 1985: The watermill and feudal authority. In: Mackenzie, Wajcman (eds.) 1985, pp. 75–78.

Bodmer, Walter 2010: Public understanding of science: the BA, the Royal Society and COPUS. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 64, 151–161. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.2010.0035.

Boon, Timothy 2010: Parallax Error? A Participant’s Account of the Science Museum, c.1980–c.2000.In: Peter J.T. Morris, Science for the Nation: Perspectives on the History of the Science Museum. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. https://books.google.pl/books?id=3lTNCwAAQBAJ, pp. 111–135.

Boucher, David 1985: Texts in Context: Revisionist Methods for Studying the History of Ideas. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Available online: https://books.google.pl/books?id=1vKPBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA204.

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British Society for the History of Science 2017b: “Robert Fox (1971–1976)”. [In:] “Past Editors’ Favourite Papers Published During Their Time in Office. British Journal for the History of Science, 50 (2017), pp. 173–179, here p. 174. Available online: https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/C1D0853C57ECEED1D72D992AAA4C45BB/S0007087417000061a.pdf/past_editors_favourite_papers_published_during_their_time_in_office.pdf.

Burguière, André 2009: The Annales School: An Intellectual History. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Translated from French by Jane Marie Todd. Foreword Timothy Tackett. Originally published under the title: L’écolle des Annalles. Une histoire intellectuelle (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2006). Available online: https://books.google.pl/books?id=CFOU2SJV0s0C.

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Crombie, Alistair Cameron 1952: Augustine to Galileo. The History of Science A.D. 400–1650, vol. I–II. London: William Heinemann Ltd.

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Crombie, Alistair Cameron (ed.) 1963: Scientific Change. Historical studies in the intellectual, social and technical conditions for scientific discovery and technical invention, form antiquity to the present. London: Heinemann.

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Kokowski, Michał 2015b: A sketch on the current debate on scientometrics and bibliometrics versus the forgotten science of science (in Polish). Prace Komisji Historii Nauki PAU XIV, pp. 117–134. Available online: https://doi.org/10.4467/23921749PKHN_PAU.16.007.5263; http://pau.krakow.pl/PKHN-PAU/pkhn-pau-XIV-2015-7.pdf.

Kokowski, Michał 2015c: What kind of scientometrics and bibliometrics do we need in Poland? (in Polish). Prace Komisji Historii Nauki PAU XIV, pp. 135–184. Available online: https://doi.org/10.4467/23921749PKHN_PAU.16.008.5264; http://pau.krakow.pl/PKHN-PAU/pkhn-pau-XIV-2015-8.pdf.

Kokowski, Michał 2015d: Scientometric, bibliometric and informetric bibliography (Selection). Prace Komisji Historii Nauki PAU XIV, pp. 185–266. Available online: https://doi.org/10.4467/23921749PKHN_PAU.16.009.5265; http://pau.krakow.pl/PKHN-PAU/pkhn-pau-XIV-2015-9.pdf.

Kokowski, Michał 2015e: Natural sciences in Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s historico-epistemological approach (in Polish). Prace Komisji Historii Nauki PAU XIV, pp. 309–323. Available online: https://doi.org/10.4467/23921749PKHN_PAU.16.014.5270; http://pau.krakow.pl/PKHN-PAU/pkhn-pau-XIV-2015-14.pdf.

Kokowski, Michał 2016: A discussion of a book: Historiografia prasy polskiej (do 1918 roku). Naukometryczna analiza dyscypliny 1945–2009 by Władysław Marek Kolasa. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Pedagogicznego, 2013; “Prace Monograficzne” 678, ISBN 0239-6025, 978-83-7271-843-1, 525 pp. + Bibliography (CD). Studia Historiae Scientiarum 15, pp. 363–371. Available online: https://doi.org/10.4467/23921749SHS.16.014.6157; http://pau.krakow.pl/SHS/shs-15-2016-14.pdf.

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How to Cite

Fox, R., & Kokowski, M. (2017). Historiography of science and technology in focus. A discussion with Professor Robert Fox. Studia Historiae Scientiarum, 16, 69–119. https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.17.006.7707




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