Abstract:The production of big pictures is arguably the most significant sign of the intellectual maturity of a field. It suggests both that the field's broad contours, refined over several generations of scholarship, enjoy the approval of practitioners, and that audiences exist with an interest in or need for overviews. The situation is somewhat more complicated in the history of science, since the existence of big historical pictures precedes that of a well-defined scholarly field by about two centuries. Broadly conc… Show more
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