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December 23, 1988

The Launching of Modern American Science 1846-1876

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University Medical School Chicago

Northwestern University Medical School Chicago

JAMA. 1988;260(24):3676-3677. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410240146053

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Bruce has excluded medicine from this informative and well-written book because "Medical science in this period cannot be easily separated from medical intuition and skill." However, the medical reader will find much of interest (including some physician profiles) and much that may stimulate further investigation of some nonmedical areas.

Why select the period from 1846 to 1876? The first year saw the formation of the Smithsonian Institution and the Yale Scientific School, as well as the arrival of Louis Agassiz; the last contained the founding of the American Chemical Society and the Johns Hopkins University, as well as the publication of J. Willard Gibbs' book, On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances, a fundamental work for several sciences not only in the 19th century but also in the 20th. Technology also made major advances in each of these years. This 30-year period, however, was not rigid, and Bruce also deals with