Annals of Science

Annals of Science is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering the history of science and technology. It is published by Taylor & Francis and was established in 1936. The founding editor-in-chief was the Canadian historian of science Harcourt Brown.[1]

Annals of Science
Annals of Science 2011 cover
DisciplineHistory of science and technology
Edited byRobert Iliffe; David Miller
Publication details
Publication history
Standard abbreviations
Ann. Sci.
Ann. of Sci.
ISSN0003-3790 (print)
1464-505X (web)
OCLC no.01481407


The journal was established after Brown visited Britain for a year and discussed where he could publish work on the history of science with Henry Robinson of the library of the Royal Society of London. They decided that aside from the Belgian Isis, there were few outlets for such work, and so founded the Annals of Science with Douglas McKie (University College London), who was the main editor.[1][2] The aim was to publish faster than Isis and with a focus on the modern period.[2] The editors chose to have a bright orange cover to make it stand out against the usual blue or grey of periodicals at the time.[1][3]

Around the time of World War II, only three volumes were published over a period of 12 years.[1] From 1956-1958, the Bulletin of the British Society for the History of Science was published as part of the Annals of Science. In 1974, then editor Ivor Grattan-Guinness moved the journal from 4 to 6 issues per year; 100 issues were published from 1936–1969 and a further hundred by 1986. Grattan-Guinness also redesigned the cover and changed the tagline from "The History of Science and Technology since the Renaissance" to "The History of Science and Technology from the Thirteenth Century".[4]


David M. Knight has said that "The major event of the first phase of the development of British journals [of the history of science] is the founding of Annals of Science in 1936."[3] Gordon L. Miller called it a "respected scholarly journal".[5] A review in Astrophysical Journal from the year of the launch noted approvingly that the policy of studying the history of science from the renaissance was "liberally interpreted" to accept papers studying earlier periods.[6]


Robinson was an editor until 1960 and McKie until 1967. Subsequent editors were:

  • Niels Hugh de Vaudrey Heathcote (1952–1974)
  • W.A. Smeaton (1960–1965)
  • F.W. Gibbs (1961–1965)
  • Trevor I. Williams (1966-?)
  • R.E.W Maddison (1966-?)
  • Harold J. Sharlin (1969-)
  • Hans Kangro (1969-)[1]
  • Ivor Grattan-Guinness (1974–81, book review editor until 1987)
  • G.L.E. Turner (1981-?),[4]
  • Trevor Levere (1999–2014)[7][8]
  • Robert Iliffe (2011–present) and David Miller (2014–present).[9]

Grattan-Guinness described his experience in taking on the editorship in an article in the journal in 2010. He had published a biographical article on Georg Cantor in the journal in 1971 and met the-then editor, Heathcote, during the process of publication. Heathcote was overloaded with work — "the journal seemed never to reject anything" — and he invited Grattan-Guinness to join the editorial board. He joined the board and met with the publishers in June 1974, when he told John Cheney, the house editor, that "the journal had acquired a poor reputation in recent years", which surprised Cheney. That same afternoon Cheney rang Heathcote only to find that he was in the process of writing his resignation letter recommending Grattan-Guinness as his successor — the younger man was immediately offered the post of editor. Taylor & Francis would otherwise have closed the journal.[10]

Abstracting and indexing

Annals of Science is abstracted and indexed in:

According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2010 impact factor of 0.222.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e R.E.W. Maddison. Index to Volumes 1 to 25 (1936-1969) Archived August 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Annals of Science.
  2. ^ a b Iliffe, Rob. "History of Science" (PDF). Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b David M. Knight. The Case of Annals of Science in Journals and History of Science. Marco Beretta, Claudio Pogliano, Pietro Redondi. L.S. Olschki, 1998. ISBN 88-222-4678-0
  4. ^ a b Cumulative Index Volumes 26 to 43 (1970-1986) Archived July 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Annals of Science. ISBN 0-85066-892-1
  5. ^ The history of science: an annotated bibliography. p 14. Salem Press, 1992. ISBN 0-89356-675-6
  6. ^ Pogo, A. (1936). "Review: Annals of Science". Astrophysical Journal. 83: 256. Bibcode:1936ApJ....83..256P. doi:10.1086/143725.
  7. ^ Canadian Who's Who 2001, Volume 36, p771
  8. ^ Trevor Levere. Editor's Introduction to the Cumulative Index Volumes 44–64. Annals of Science 2009, 66, Supplement 1.
  9. ^ Levere, Trevor H. (2014-01-02). "A new editorial team". Annals of Science. 71 (1): 1. doi:10.1080/00033790.2013.860275. ISSN 0003-3790.
  10. ^ Grattan-Guinness, Ivor (6 April 2010). "How to take over a journal without trying: Annals of Science, 1974". Annals of Science. 67 (2): 239–42. doi:10.1080/00033790903376116.
  11. ^ "Annals of Science". 2010 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2011.

External links

1615 in science

The year 1615 in science and technology involved some significant events.

1790 in science

The year 1790 in science and technology involved some significant events.

1815 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1815 in the United Kingdom. 1815 marks the end of years of war between the United Kingdom and France when the Duke of Wellington wins a decisive victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Fighting in the War of 1812 between the UK and the United States also ceases, peace terms having been agreed at the end of 1814. The year also sees the introduction of the Corn Laws which protect British land owners from cheaper foreign imports of corn.


Ambix is a peer-reviewed academic journal on the history of chemistry and alchemy that was established in 1937. It was not published from 1939 to 1945. It was one of the first journals of the history of science in the English-speaking world, preceded by Isis (1912) and Annals of Science (1936). It is currently published for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry by Taylor & Francis, which in 2015 purchased Maney Publishing, the previous publisher of Ambix. The name of the journal comes from the Greek word for a still-head (ἄμβιξ), which later gave rise to the word alembic.

Andreas Libavius

Andreas Libavius or Andrew Libavius (c. 1555 – 25 July 1616) was a German physician and chemist.

Auguste Piccard

Auguste Antoine Piccard (28 January 1884 – 24 March 1962) was a Swiss physicist, inventor and explorer, known for his record-breaking helium-filled balloon flights, with which he studied the Earth's upper atmosphere. Auguste was also known for his invention of the first bathyscaphe, FNRS-2, with which he made a number of unmanned dives in 1948 to explore the ocean's depths.

Piccard's twin brother Jean Felix Piccard is also a notable figure in the annals of science and exploration, as are a number of their relatives, including Jacques Piccard, Bertrand Piccard, Jeannette Piccard and Don Piccard.

Clifford Cunningham

Clifford J. Cunningham (born 1955) is a Canadian-born professional astronomer and author of numerous books on asteroids.

Cocker's Arithmetick

Cocker's Arithmetick, also known by its full title "Cocker's Arithmetick: Being a Plain and Familiar Method Suitable to the Meanest Capacity for the Full Understanding of That Incomparable Art, As It Is Now Taught by the Ablest School-Masters in City and Country", is a grammar school mathematics textbook written by Edward Cocker (1631–1676) and published posthumously by John Hawkins in 1677. Arithmetick along with companion volume, Decimal Arithmetick published in 1684, were used to teach mathematics in schools in the United Kingdom for more than 150 years.

Some controversy exists over the authorship of the book. Augustus De Morgan claimed the work was written by Hawkins, who merely used Cocker's name to lend the authority of his reputation to the book. Ruth Wallis, in 1997, wrote an article in Annals of Science, claiming De Morgan's analysis was flawed and Cocker was the real author.The popularity of Arithmetick is unquestioned by its more than 130 editions, and that its place was woven in the fabric of the popular culture of the time is evidenced by its references in the phrase, "according to Cocker", meaning "absolutely correct" or "according to the rules". Such noted figures of history as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Simpson are documented as having used the book. Over 100 years after its publication, Samuel Johnson carried a copy of Arithmetick on his tour of Scotland, and mentions it in his letters:

In the afternoon tea was made by a very decent girl in a printed linen ; she engaged me so much, that I made her a present of Cocker's Arithmetick.Though popular, like most texts of its time, Arithmetick style is formal, stiff and difficult to follow as illustrated in its explanation of the "rule of three".

Again, observe, that of the three given numbers, those two that are of the same kind, one of them must be the first, and the other the third, and that which is of the same kind with the number sought, must be the second number in the rule of three; and that you may know which of the said numbers to make your first, and which your third, know this, that to one of those two numbers there is always affixed a demand, and that number upon which the demand lieth must always be reckoned the third number

As well as the rule of three, Arithmetick contains instructions on alligation and the rule of false position. Following the common practice of textbooks at the time, each rule is illustrated with numerous examples of commercial transactions involving the exchange of wheat, rye and other seeds; calculation of costs for the erection of houses and other structures; and the rotation of gears on a shaft. The text contains the earliest known use of the term lowest terms.


Crux is a constellation located in the southern sky in a bright portion of the Milky Way. It is among the most easily distinguished constellations, as all of its four main stars have an apparent visual magnitude brighter than +2.8, even though it is the smallest of all 88 modern constellations. Its name is Latin for cross, and it is dominated by a cross-shaped or kite-like asterism that is commonly known as the Southern Cross.

Predominating is the first-magnitude blue-white star of Alpha Crucis or Acrux, being the constellation's brightest and most southerly member. Crux is followed by four dominant stars, descending in clockwise order by magnitude: Beta, Gamma (one of the closest red giants to Earth), Delta and Epsilon Crucis. Many of these brighter stars are members of the Scorpius–Centaurus Association, a large but loose group of hot blue-white stars that appear to share common origins and motion across the southern Milky Way. The constellation contains four Cepheid variables that are each visible to the naked eye under optimum conditions. Crux also contains the bright and colourful open cluster known as the Jewel Box (NGC 4755) and, to the southwest, partly includes the extensive dark nebula, known as the Coalsack Nebula.

Edward Cocker

Edward Cocker (1631 – 22 August 1676) was an English engraver, who also taught writing and arithmetic.

Cocker was the reputed author of the famous Arithmetick, the popularity of which has added a phrase ("according to Cocker") to the list of English proverbialisms. He is credited with the authorship and execution of some fourteen sets of copy slips, one of which, Daniel's Copy-Book, ingraven by Edward Cocker, Philomath (1664), is preserved in the British Museum. Samuel Pepys, in his Diary, makes very favourable mention of Cocker, who appears to have displayed great skill in his art.

Cocker's Arithmetick, the fifty-second edition of which appeared in 1748, and which passed through over 100 editions in all, was not published during the lifetime of its reputed author, the first impression being dated 1678. Augustus De Morgan in his Arithmetical Books (1847) argues that the work was a forgery of the editor and publisher, John Hawkins. Ruth Wallis, in 1997, wrote an article in Annals of Science, claiming De Morgan's analysis was flawed and Cocker was the real author.

Elly Dekker

Elly Dekker (born 1943, Haarlem, Netherlands) studied theoretical physics and astronomy at Utrecht University and obtained her PhD in 1975 at Leiden University on a thesis ‘Spiral structure and the dynamics of galaxies’ (Physics Reports, 24C (1976), pp. 315–389). From 1978-88 she was curator at the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. After 1988 she worked as an independent scholar on the history of astronomical models and instruments, such as astrolabes, quadrants, globes, and planetariums. From 1993-1995 she was Sackler fellow of the Royal Museums Greenwich. She was awarded the Caird Medal for her work on the museum's globe collection in 1998. More recently, she worked on celestial maps and globes made before 1500.

Ethel M. Elderton

Ethel Mary Elderton (1878–1954) was a British eugenics researcher who worked with Francis Galton and Karl Pearson.

Fulminic acid

Fulminic acid is a chemical compound with a molecular formula HCNO. Its silver salt was discovered in 1800 by Edward Charles Howard and later investigated in 1824 by Justus von Liebig. It is an organic acid and an isomer of isocyanic acid, whose silver salt was discovered one year later by Friedrich Woehler. The free acid was first isolated in 1966.Fulminic acid and its salts (fulminates), for instance mercury fulminate, are very dangerous, and are often used as detonators for other explosive materials, and are examples of primary explosives. The vapors also are toxic.

Fyens Stiftstidende

Fyens Stiftstidende is a daily newspaper in Denmark and has its headquarters in Odense. The paper serves for Funen.

Gay-Lussac's law

Gay-Lussac's law can refer to several discoveries made by French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778–1850) and other scientists in the late 18th and early 19th centuries pertaining to thermal expansion of gases and the relationship between temperature, volume, and pressure.

It states that the pressure of a given mass of gas varies directly with the absolute temperature of the gas, when the volume is kept constant.Mathematically, it can be written as: P/T=constant,

Gay-Lussac is most often recognized for the Pressure Law which established that the pressure of an enclosed gas is directly proportional to its temperature and which he was the first to formulate (c. 1808). He is also sometimes credited, rightfully according to many modern scholars, with being the first to publish convincing evidence that shows the relationship between the pressure and temperature of a fixed mass of gas kept at a constant volume.

These laws are also known variously as the Pressure Law or Amontons's law and Dalton's law respectively.


Hafnium is a chemical element with symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray, tetravalent transition metal, hafnium chemically resembles zirconium and is found in many zirconium minerals. Its existence was predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, though it was not identified until 1923, by Coster and Hevesy, making it the last stable element to be discovered. Hafnium is named after Hafnia, the Latin name for Copenhagen, where it was discovered.Hafnium is used in filaments and electrodes. Some semiconductor fabrication processes use its oxide for integrated circuits at 45 nm and smaller feature lengths. Some superalloys used for special applications contain hafnium in combination with niobium, titanium, or tungsten.

Hafnium's large neutron capture cross-section makes it a good material for neutron absorption in control rods in nuclear power plants, but at the same time requires that it be removed from the neutron-transparent corrosion-resistant zirconium alloys used in nuclear reactors.

Hydraulic telegraph

A hydraulic telegraph (Greek: υδραυλικός τηλέγραφος) is either of two different hydraulic-telegraph telecommunication systems. The earliest one was developed in 4th-century BC Greece, while the other was developed in 19th-century AD Britain. The Greek system was deployed in combination with semaphoric fires, while the latter British system was operated purely by hydraulic fluid pressure.

Although both systems employed water in their sending and receiver devices, their transmission media were completely different. The ancient Greek system transmitted its semaphoric information to the receiver visually, which limited its use to line-of-sight distances in good visibility weather conditions only. The 19th-century British system used water-filled pipes to effect changes to the water level in the receiver unit (similar to a transparent water-filled flexible tube used as a level indicator), thus limiting its range to the hydraulic pressure that could be generated at the transmitter's device.While the Greek device was extremely limited in the codes (and hence the information) it could convey, the British device was never deployed in operation other than for very short-distance demonstrations. The British device could, however, be used in any visibility within its range of operation so long as its conduits, if unheated, did not freeze in sub-zero temperatures —which contributed to its impracticality.

Klaus Hentschel

Klaus Hentschel (born 4 April 1961) is a German physicist, historian of science and Professor and head of the History of Science and Technology section in the History Department of the University of Stuttgart. He is known for his contributions in the field of the history of science.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1859

Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1859.

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