Gender And The Practice Of Scientific Research Essay

914 Words Oct 5th, 2015 4 Pages
In 1905 the Oxford University Press published Bonnie Smith’s article Gender and the Practice of Scientific Research: The Seminar and Archival Research in the Nineteenth Century in the American Historical Review. Smith’s article is able to demonstrate to the reader what factors led to historical science becoming such a male dominated profession in the nineteenth century. Smith’s article argues, among other things, that the two practices in scientific history, the seminar and archival research, were fundamental as well as influential in the profession as the ideals of truth and objectivity. Smith also argues throughout her article that gender was a fundamental aspect of procedures in scientific history. Smith uses a variety of sources and quotations in order to argue her thesis in a complete and exceptional manner.
Before looking at and examining Smith’s arguments, it would be best to explain how historical seminars began, what they consisted of, and their importance. The seminar, which began in the home of Leopold von Ranke, consisted of only a small number of men who would read the document, present his findings and then be critiqued by the other men in the seminar. Eventually the seminar would take place on a university campus as it became more popular. Because of its popularity, the historical seminar came to provide an imperative basis for transforming the entire system of teaching history in the Western world. Furthermore, the acceptance of the seminar across the…

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