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Renaissance

Humanists And Early Scientists

Meanwhile, neither humanist nor reformer ushered in the world of the post-Sputnik generation; government funding of the sciences, including the history of science, has taught historians that the major intellectual shift of modernity occurred in the development of the sciences, especially from Galileo to Newton. Dava Sobel's Galileo's Daughter (1999) illuminates the contrasting mentalities of this shift as represented by the scientist's relationship (through correspondence) with his daughter Maria Celeste, a nun. The interpretation of Copernicus and Galileo as early scientists rather than as "Renaissance men," as well as the seeking of the origins of science in the practices of apprenticeship, the work of artisan workshops, and in the inventions accompanying military battles and world navigation, rivals the outpouring of current scholarship documenting the humanist movement in countries throughout Europe.

In the second half of the twentieth century, the decrease in humanists educated in Greek and Latin letters, the rise in the status of scientists and those educated in "science" or "social science" curricula, and the funding of the history of science encouraged a search for the origins of modernity in the seventeenth-century innovations in science and technology. To create global and multicultural liberal arts curricula, colleges and universities have condensed posts across the disciplines for pre-modern Europe, making it sensible for those doing scholarship on topics from antiquity to the French Revolution to advocate their common interests in the creation of academic centers, funding of journals, and defending posts in premodern studies. For those in the historical profession, "early modern" is the category used globally by the American Historical Association.

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