Art, Science, and Medicine inside and outside the Paris Academy of Sciences during the Old Regime

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Abstract Summary
Scholarship on French science during the Old Regime has given considerable attention to the Royal Academy of Sciences, founded in Paris in 1666. This is not surprising, since the Academy quickly became one of the preeminent scientific institutions in Europe, until it was disbanded during the French Revolution. However, such a focus hinders our understanding of the broader contours of French science and medicine during this period, which was hardly limited to the Academy: artists, doctors, apothecaries, surveyors, and engineers (to name only a few groups) devoted considerable interest to scientific topics. Further, even academicians or close collaborators of the Academy were usually active in other fields, from the medical marketplace to the Parisian world of publishing. By focusing on the interactions among academicians, collaborators, and what the French call “fellow travelers,” this panel aims to examine French science in the period 1650-1750 through studies that tackle academicians, artists, and other mediators as they negotiated the boundaries of the Academy and other formal institutions, such as the Royal Manufactures at the Gobelins. Collectively, we argue, an understanding of the activities of such mediators is crucial for putting into perspective the role of the Academy, and of science more broadly, in French culture and society during the Old Regime.
Abstract ID :
HSS630
Submission Type
Chronological Classification :
17th century
Self-Designated Keywords :
Art, Medicine, Mathematics, Collections, Paris, Old Regime, Academy of Sciences, Publications, Skills, Artists and Artisans, Patents

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