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2011 | 56 | 3-4 | 37-55

Article title

Outlooks of Bogdan Suchodolski on the issue of popularizing the history of science


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The author of the present article proves the veracity of the postulate, which was formulated by Bogdan Suchodolski and concerned the necessity of popularizing the history of science. The stipulation is still greatly important for many fields of human activity. Bogdan Suchodolski was not the first and the only thinker, who revealed the unquestionable significance of disseminating the history of science as scientific branch. For the first time the problem was noticed in 1900 during International Congress of Comparative History in Paris and in 1903 during International Congress of Historical Sciences in Rome, when the idea of universalizing the history of science was put forward, among others, by: Paul Tannery, Carre de Vaux, Gino Ioria and Karl Sudhoff. All the mentioned participants declared then the necessity of teaching the history of science both in the secondary schools and in the universities. In the article was also included a detailed description of conceptions formulated by Paul Tannery and Michel Lhéritier in the inter-war period that concerned popularizing the history of science, and differed much from each other. Unlike Paul Tannery, Michel Lhéritier advised against separating history of science from the whole of history. On the occasion of describing the inter-war period the author is paying a special attention to the role, which was played by International Conference of Teaching History in Hague in 1932. In that time a representative of International Committee on the History of Sciences and International Academy of the History of Sciences – Aldo Mieli – presented the idea of disseminating the history of science, which resulted in a resolution saying that the discussed branch should be taught in the primary and secondary schools, and in the universities as well. Further, the paper includes the description of the detailed conceptions that were put forward after World War II by the members of Committee on Teaching within International Academy of the History of Science and the participants of International Congress of the History of Science in 1965 and in 1968, and concerned the idea of introducing compulsory lectures on the history of science for prospective teachers and lecturers, and the ways of universalizing the discussed branch. The author is also presenting American conceptions of popularizing the history of science tht were created by George Sarton, Derek J. de Solla Price and by Committee on University Education that was established in the 1970s. In the article one can find a specific reflection of Bogdan Suchodolski on popularizing the history of science through admitting its social role, making it the main element of educating ‘the modern man’ and teaching the branch in Poland. The author describes the above-mentioned stipulations in detail. At the same time, the last part of the paper reveals Polish thought in the field of disseminating the history of science in the inter-war period, so in times, when Bogdan Suchodolski was on the point of building his own idea. The author makes an attempt at showing to what extent Bogdan Suchodolski was inspired by one of the most famous Polish originators and precursors of a new branch ‘science of science’ – Florian Znaniecki. On this occasion the author draws definite conclusions concerning similarities and differences between the conception created by Bogdan Suchodolski, and the ideas that were put forward by his predecessor.








Physical description


  • Instytut Historii Nauki PAN, ul. Nowy Świat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland


Document Type

Publication order reference


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