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Sunday, August 19, 2018

George Sarton and the history of science


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons


George Sarton (1884-1956) was a Belgian chemist and historian best known for establishing the history of science as its own discipline. Wikipedia says,


"[Sarton's] most influential work was the Introduction to the History of Science, which consists of three volumes and 4,296 pages and the journal Isis. Sarton ultimately aimed to achieve an integrated philosophy of science that provided a connection between the sciences and the humanities, which he referred to as 'the new humanism'." (Wikipedia: George Sarton, 7.27.21 UTC 22:40)


This post is some quotes from Sarton.


History of science


"...[the history of science] should be used only for its own purpose, to illustrate impartially the working of reason against unreason, the gradual unfolding of truth in all its forms..." (


"Scientific achievements seem evanescent because the very progress of science causes their supersedure; yet some of them are of so fundamental a nature that they are immortal in deeper way." (


"It is childish to assume that science began in Greece; the Greek 'miracle' was prepared by millennia of work in Egypt, Mesopotamia and possibly other regions... Greek science was less an invention than a revival." (A History of Science, Volume 1, 1952)




"In a sense, this is still true today; the real pioneers are so far ahead of the crowd (even a very literate crowd) that they remain almost alone..." (A History of Science, Volume 2, 1959 posthumous)