title ABSTRACT /title The present paper traces the evolution of writing national-oriented histories of science and technology of the Netherlands. Several episodes are distinguished. A first wave of national histories of science and technology was written during the first decades of the 19th century. These histories had a wide scope, which included science, technology, the humanities and the arts. A second wave, which lasted from about 1865 to 1900, was strongly connected to the rise of the scientific professions. Its focus was on the sciences per se, and on the Dutch "Golden Age" of the 17th century. A third wave occurred during and shortly after the Second World War. Its focus was mainly on the "Second Golden Age" of Dutch science (1870-1910), and its major audience were young boys that were to be recruited to the sciences. The second part of the paper discusses the growing influence of "contextualization" in both the history of science and the history of technology from about 1975 onwards. As a result, local factors often received more attention in historical studies of science and technology than national influences. In 1985, Klaas van Berkel undertook a bold attempt to write a new synthesis of the history of Dutch science, but his approach was too strongly influenced by the three previous waves of national histories. From 1989 to 2003 two projects on the national history of technology resulted in 13 volumes on Dutch technology between 1800 and 1970. New research was initiated, and the issue of "national styles" in the development of technology received ample attention. In his conclusions the author points to lessons to be learned from economic history and the history of art, and he concludes with a plea for more historiographical discussion in the history of science and technology.
|Journal||Nuncius : Journal of the material and visual history of science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|