history of science

Who Cares about the History of Science?

I want to start what I hope will be not only a series of posts but also a discussion about the value of the history of science. We don’t often stop to think about—let alone systematically formulate a set of justifications for—our field. But it matters for things that affect our daily lives. Why do we teach? Why should the NSF, NEH, NIH, or other foundation give us a grant—or our university pay our salary? Who should publish our book? On what basis should we recruit graduate students?