Predicting the Weather: Victorians and the Science of Meteorology

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2010 - Science - 376 pages
Victorian Britain, with its maritime economy and strong links between government and scientific enterprises, founded an office to collect meteorological statistics in 1854 in an effort to foster a modern science of the weather. But as the office turned to prediction rather than data collection, the fragile science became a public spectacle, with its forecasts open to daily scrutiny in the newspapers. And meteorology came to assume a pivotal role in debates about the responsibility of scientists and the authority of science.

Studying meteorology as a means to examine the historical identity of prediction, Katharine Anderson offers here an engrossing account of forecasting that analyzes scientific practice and ideas about evidence, the organization of science in public life, and the articulation of scientific values in Victorian culture. In Predicting the Weather, Anderson grapples with fundamental questions about the function, intelligibility, and boundaries of scientific work while exposing the public expectations that shaped the practice of science during this period.

A cogent analysis of the remarkable history of weather forecasting in Victorian Britain, Predicting the Weather will be essential reading for scholars interested in the public dimensions of science.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction Science of the Weather
1
Chapter One Prediction Prophecy and Scientific Culture
15
Chapter Two Weather Prophets and the Victorian Almanac
41
Chapter Three Weather in a Public Office
83
Chapter Four Precision anda Science of Probabilities
131
Chapter Five Maps Instruments and Weather Wisdom
171
Chapter Six Science State and Empire
235
Conclusion
285
Bibliography
295
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 310 - Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion derived from the Literal Fulfilment of Prophecy. By ALEXANDER KEITH, DD 37th Edition, with numerous Plates, in square 8vo.
Page 300 - The Principles of Mental Physiology. With their Applications to the Training and Discipline of the Mind, and the Study of its Morbid Conditions.
Page 305 - Meteorographica, or Methods of Mapping the Weather. Illustrated by upwards of 600 Printed Lithographed Diagrams. By FRANCIS GALTON, FRS 4to.
Page 301 - On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God as manifested in the Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man.
Page 303 - MORGAN -AN ESSAY ON PROBABILITIES, And on their Application to Life Contingencies and Insurance Offices.
Page 307 - Polar World ; a Description of Man and Nature in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions of the Globe, Maps, Plates & Woodcuts. 8vo. i or. 6d. Hartwig's Subterranean World. With Maps and Woodcuts.
Page 297 - Essays on the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar ; the invasion of Britain by Plautius, and by Claudius Caesar ; the early military policy of the Romans in Britain ; the battle of Hastings.

References to this book

About the author (2010)

Katharine Anderson is associate professor in the science and society program at York University.

Bibliographic information