In A People?s History of Science, Cliff Conner demystifies science by locating its origins and development in the productive activities of working people. His thesis is that sciencethe knowledge of naturedid not emerge from the brains of ?Great Geniuses? with ?Great Ideas,? but from the collective experience of working peopleartisans, miners, sailors, peasant farmers, and otherswhose struggle for survival forced them into close contact with nature on a daily basis. He points out that:
? Medical science began with knowledge of plants? therapeutic properties discovered by preliterate ancient people.
? Chemistry and metallurgy originated with ancient miners, smiths, and potters; geology and archaeology were also born in the mines.
? Mathematics owes its existence and a great deal of its development to surveyors, merchants, clerk-accountants, and mechanics of many millennia.
? The emergence of computer science from the garages and attics of college dropouts demonstrates that even in recent times the most important scientific innovations have not always been produced by a professional scientific elite.
? The mystique of modern science proclaims it to be a superior form of knowledge, but in fact its trustworthiness has been thoroughly undermined by the self-interest of corporations that hire the scientists and manipulate their research findings.
Clifford D. Conner has published a number of articles on the history of science in scholarly journals and has participated in international colloquia on various subjects. Conner worked as a proofreader and taught history in the CUNY system before becoming a full-time author of books on historical subjects.
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Added by jcrocamo on January 18, 2006