[Irtalk] The history of “scientist” | The Renaissance Mathematicus

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Thu Sep 11 11:56:02 SAST 2014

Today is a red-letter day for readers of The Renaissance Mathematicus; I
have succeeded in cajoling, seducing, bullying, bribing, inducing,
tempting, luring, sweet-talking, coaxing, coercing, enticing, beguiling[1]
Harvard University’s very own Dr Melinda Baldwin into writing a guest post
on the history of the term scientist, in particular its very rocky path to
acceptance by the scientific community. *First coined by William Whewell at
the third annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science in 1833 in response to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s strongly expressed
objection to men of science using the term philosopher to describe
themselves*, the term experienced a very turbulent existence before its
final grudging acceptance almost one hundred years later. In her excellent
post Melinda outlines that turbulent path to acceptance, read and enjoy.

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