Matthias Schemmel

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, modern science is clearly global. It originated in early modern Europe and spread from there all over the world, either through the migration of people who brought it with their culture, as is the case for America and Australia, or through its adoption by non-European cultures, as is the case for China and Japan. It is true that even today not all countries have the same means to produce scientific knowledge or to participate in global scientific communication. It is also true that national science politics and the decisions of local communities have an impact on the subject-matter of scientific research. But on a global scale there are shared bodies of scientific knowledge, shared scientific practices and shared criteria for the evaluation of scientific results, so that one may speak of a global culture of science. In particular, science is not expected to depend on the characteristics of one particular modern culture, such as the native language or the religious beliefs of those doing science.
It is this aspect of the universality of modern science, its compatibility with a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, together with the idea that science produces true statements about the world and the obvious usefulness of science for developing advanced technology, that may lead to the belief that the spread of modern science to non-European cultures was a matter of course, a simple process of adoption, possibly evolving at epidemic speed: cultures once infected by modern science and its merits could not but adopt it.

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1 Response to Matthias Schemmel

  1. shinichi says:

    The Globalization of Knowledge in History

    Chapter 11

    The Transmission of Scientific Knowledge from Europe to China in the Early Modern Period

    by Matthias Schemmel

    11.1 The Global Spread of Modern Science

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