History of science
The history of science is the study of the development of science and scientific knowledge, including both the natural and social sciences. Science is a body of empirical and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by scientists who emphasize the observation and prediction of real-world phenomena. Historiography of science, in contrast, studies the methods employed by historians of science; the English word scientist is recent—first coined by William Whewell in the 19th century. Investigators of nature called themselves "natural philosophers". While empirical investigations of the natural world have been described since classical antiquity, the scientific method has been employed since the Middle Ages, modern science began to develop in the early modern period, in particular in the scientific revolution of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Traditionally, historians of science have defined science sufficiently broadly to include those earlier inquiries. From the 18th through the late 20th century, the history of science of the physical and biological sciences, was presented as a progressive accumulation of knowledge, in which true theories replaced false beliefs.
More recent historical interpretations, such as those of Thomas Kuhn, tend to portray the history of science in terms of competing paradigms or conceptual systems within a wider matrix of intellectual, cultural and political trends. These interpretations, have met with opposition for they portray the history of science as an incoherent system of incommensurable paradigms, not leading to any actual scientific progress but only to the illusion that it has occurred. In prehistoric times and technique were passed from generation to generation in an oral tradition. For example, the domestication of maize for agriculture has been dated to about 9,000 years ago in southern Mexico, before the development of writing systems. Archaeological evidence indicates the development of astronomical knowledge in preliterate societies; the development of writing enabled knowledge to be stored and communicated across generations with much greater fidelity. Many ancient civilizations systematically collected astronomical observations.
Rather than speculate on the material nature of the planets and stars, the ancients charted the relative positions of celestial bodies inferring their influence on human society. This demonstrates how ancient investigators employed a holistic intuition, assuming the interconnectedness of all things, whereas modern science rejects such conceptual leaps. Basic facts about human physiology were known in some places, alchemy was practiced in several civilizations. Considerable observation of macroscopic flora and fauna was performed; the ancient Mesopotamians had no distinction between magic. When a person became ill, doctors prescribed magical formulas to be recited as well as medicinal treatments; the earliest medical prescriptions appear in Sumerian during the Third Dynasty of Ur. The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the Diagnostic Handbook written by the ummânū, or chief scholar, Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa, during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina. In East Semitic cultures, the main medicinal authority was a kind of exorcist-healer known as an āšipu.
The profession was passed down from father to son and was held in high regard. Of less frequent recourse was another kind of healer known as an asu, who corresponds more to a modern physician and treated physical symptoms using folk remedies composed of various herbs, animal products, minerals, as well as potions and ointments or poultices; these physicians, who could be either male or female dressed wounds, set limbs, performed simple surgeries. The ancient Mesopotamians practiced prophylaxis and took measures to prevent the spread of disease; the ancient Mesopotamians had extensive knowledge about the chemical properties of clay, metal ore, bitumen and other natural materials, applied this knowledge to practical use in manufacturing pottery, glass, metals, lime plaster, waterproofing. Metallurgy required scientific knowledge about the properties of metals. Nonetheless, the Mesopotamians seem to have had little interest in gathering information about the natural world for the mere sake of gathering information and were far more interested in studying the manner in which the gods had ordered the universe.
Biology of non-human organisms was only written about in the context of mainstream academic disciplines. Animal physiology was studied extensively for the purpose of divination. Animal behavior was studied for divinatory purposes. Most information about the training and domestication of animals was transmitted orally without being written down, but one text dealing with the training of horses has survived; the Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet Plimpton 322, dating to the eighteenth century BC, records a number of Pythagorean triplets... hinting that the ancient Mesopotamians might have been aware of the Pythagorean theorem over a millennium before Pythagoras. In Babylonian astronomy, records of the motions of the stars and the moon are left on thousands of clay tablets created by scribes. Today, astronomical periods identified by Mesopotamian proto-scientists are still used in We
The Central Artery/Tunnel Project, known unofficially as the Big Dig, was a megaproject in Boston that rerouted the Central Artery of Interstate 93, the chief highway through the heart of the city, into the 1.5-mile Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnel; the project included the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge over the Charles River, the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the space vacated by the previous I-93 elevated roadway; the plan was to include a rail connection between Boston's two major train terminals. Planning began in 1982; the Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in the US, was plagued by cost overruns, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests, one death. The project was scheduled to be completed in 1998 at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion. However, the project was completed in December 2007 at a cost of over $14.6 billion as of 2006. The Boston Globe estimated that the project will cost $22 billion, including interest, that it would not be paid off until 2038.
As a result of a death and other design flaws and Parsons Brinckerhoff—the consortium that oversaw the project—agreed to pay $407 million in restitution and several smaller companies agreed to pay a combined sum of $51 million. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a 1.5-mile-long series of parks and public spaces, which were the final part of the Big Dig after Interstate 93 was put underground. The Greenway was named in honor of Kennedy family matriarch Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was dedicated on July 26, 2004; this project was developed in response to traffic congestion on Boston's tangled streets which were laid out long before the advent of the automobile. As early as 1930 the city's Planning Board recommended a raised express highway running north-south through the downtown district in order to draw traffic off the city streets. Commissioner of Public Works William Callahan promoted plans for an elevated expressway, constructed between the downtown area and the waterfront. Governor John Volpe interceded in the 1950s to change the design of the last section of the Central Artery putting it underground through the Dewey Square Tunnel.
While traffic moved somewhat better, the other problems remained. There was chronic congestion on the Central Artery, an elevated six-lane highway through the center of downtown Boston, which was, in the words of Pete Sigmund, "like a funnel full of slowly-moving, or stopped, cars." In 1959, the 1.5-mile-long road section carried 75,000 vehicles a day, but by the 1990s, this had grown to 190,000 vehicles a day. Traffic jams of 16 hours were predicted for 2010; the expressway had tight turns, an excessive number of entrances and exits, entrance ramps without merge lanes, as the decades passed, had continually escalating vehicular traffic, well beyond its design capacity. Local businesses again wanted relief, city leaders sought a reuniting of the waterfront with the city, nearby residents desired removal of the matte green-painted elevated road which mayor Thomas Menino called Boston's "other Green Monster". MIT engineers Bill Reynolds and Frederick P. Salvucci envisioned moving the whole expressway underground.
Another important motivation for the final form of the Big Dig was the abandonment of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works' intended expressway system through and around Boston. The Central Artery, as part of Mass. DPW's Master Plan of 1948, was planned to be the downtown Boston stretch of Interstate 95, was signed as such; the Inner Belt District was to pass to the west of the downtown core, through the neighborhood of Roxbury and the cities of Brookline and Somerville. Earlier controversies over impact of the Boston extension of the Massachusetts Turnpike on the populated neighborhood of Brighton, the additional large amount of housing that would have had to be destroyed led to massive community opposition to both the Inner Belt and the Boston section of I-95. Building demolition and land clearances for I-95 through the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale led to secession threats by Hyde Park, Boston's youngest and southernmost neighborhood. By 1972, with only a minimum of work done on the I-95 right of way and none on the massively disruptive Inner Belt, Governor Francis Sargent put a moratorium on highway construction within the MA-128 corridor, except for the final short stretch of Interstate 93.
In 1974, the remainder of the Master Plan was canceled, leaving Boston with a overstressed expressway system for the existing traffic. With ever-increasing traffic volumes funneled onto I-93 alone, the Central Artery became chronically gridlocked; the Sargent moratorium led to the rerouting of I-95 away from Boston around the MA-128 beltway and the conversion of the cleared land in the southern part of the city into the Southwest Corridor linear park, as well as a new right-of-way for the Orange Line subway and Amtrak. Parts of the planned I-695 r
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999; the city is the economic and cultural anchor of a larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area, this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England, it was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Siege of Boston.
Upon gaining U. S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation, its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston's many firsts include the United States' first public park, first public or state school and first subway system; the Boston area's many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education, including law, medicine and business, the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 startups. Boston's economic base includes finance and business services, information technology, government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States; the city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings.
Boston's early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine but renamed it Boston after Boston, England, the origin of several prominent colonists. The renaming on September 7, 1630, was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest for fresh water, their settlement was limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC. In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history. Over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in North America. Boston was the largest town in British America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century.
Boston's oceanfront location made it a lively port, the city engaged in shipping and fishing during its colonial days. However, Boston stagnated in the decades prior to the Revolution. By the mid-18th century, New York City and Philadelphia surpassed Boston in wealth. Boston encountered financial difficulties as other cities in New England grew rapidly. Many of the crucial events of the American Revolution occurred near Boston. Boston's penchant for mob action along with the colonists' growing distrust in Britain fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city; when the British government passed the Stamp Act in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of Andrew Oliver, the official tasked with enforcing the Act, Thomas Hutchinson the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists; this did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the Boston Massacre, the army killed several people in response to a mob in Boston.
The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America. In 1773, Britain passed the Tea Act. Many of the colonists saw the act as an attempt to force them to accept the taxes established by the Townshend Acts; the act prompted the Boston Tea Party, where a group of rebels threw an entire shipment of tea sent by the British East India Company into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a key event leading up to the revolution, as the British government responded furiously with the Intolerable Acts, demanding compensation for the lost tea from the rebels; this led to the American Revolutionary War. The war began in the area surrounding Boston with the Battles of Concord. Boston itself was besieged for a year during the Siege of Boston, which began on April 19, 1775; the New England militia impeded the movement of the British Army. William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe the commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, led the British army in the siege.
On June 17, the British captured the Charlestown peninsula in Boston, during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British army outnumbered the militia stationed there, but it was a Py