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The publication strategies of Jons Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848): negotiating national and linguistic boundaries in chemistry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2016 (English)In: Annals of Science, ISSN 0003-3790, E-ISSN 1464-505X, Vol. 73, no 2, 195-207 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

This article follows the publication strategies of the Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848). It focuses on the role of language and translation in Berzelius' efforts to strengthen his own reputation, and that of Swedish science. As an author and editor, Berzelius encouraged the translation of his own works into several languages, while endeavouring to preserve the status of Swedish as a language of scientific publication in the face of French, and increasingly German and English, dominance. Reforming the Transactions of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and launching several new scientific periodicals, Berzelius also attempted to influence the publication practices in other countries. Recent scholarship on the history of scientific publication has drawn attention to the practical difficulties of determining and getting hold of the relevant publications in one's field, the 'malleability' of the journal medium, and the common practice of reprinting and summarising papers published elsewhere. Berzelius' publication strategies highlight translation - time-consuming, unreliable and problematic in terms of authorisation and ownership - as one aspect of the wider problem of communicating across national and linguistic boundaries. Berzelius' struggles with the practicalities of communicating across borders in times of war, the choice of language and its consequences, and national standards of publication, demonstrate the importance of a transnational perspective on the history of scientific publication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 73, no 2, 195-207 p.
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300578DOI: 10.1080/00033790.2016.1138503ISI: 000379698600006PubMedID: 27391669OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300578DiVA: diva2:951632
Available from: 2016-08-09 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2016-08-09Bibliographically approved

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