Nineteenth-Century Popular Science Magazines, Narrative, and the Problem of Historical Materiality

James Mussell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    207 Downloads (Pure)


    In his Some Reminiscences of a Lecturer, Andrew Wilson emphasizes the importance of narrative to popular science lecturing. Although Wilson promotes the teaching of science as useful knowledge in its own right, he also recognizes that the way science is taught can encourage audiences to take the subject up and read further on their own. Form, according to Wilson, should not be divorced from scientific content and lecturers should ensure that not only is their science accurate, but that it is presented in a way that will provoke curiosity and stimulate interest. This paper discusses the influence of narrative in structuring scientific objects and phenomena, and considers the consequences of such presentations for historical research. As scientific journalism necessarily weaves both its intended audience and the objects under discussion into its accounts, these texts demand that we recognize their nature as social relationships inscribed in historical objects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)656-666
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournalism Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


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