An American Scientist on the Research Frontier is the first scholarly study of the nineteenth-century American scientist Edward Williams Morley. In part, it is the long-overdue story of a man who lent his name to the Michelson and Morley Ether-Drift Experiment, and who conclusively established the atomic weight of oxygen. It is also the untold story of science in provincial America: what Hamerla presents as science on the "American research frontier".
This important examination of Morley's struggle for personal and professional legitimacy extends and transforms our understanding of science during a foundational period, and leads to a number of unique conclusions that are vital to the literature and historiography of science. By revealing important aspects of the scientific culture of the American heartland, An American Scientist on the Research Frontier deepens our understanding of an individual scientist and of American science more broadly. In so doing, Hamerla changes the way we approach and understand the creation of scientific knowledge, scientific communities, and the history of science itself.
The Morleys.- Edward Morley: Education, Civil War, and the Western Reserve.- Making a Place.- Kindred Spirits: The Ether Drift.- Intellectual Heritage, Prout's Hypothesis.- Oxygen.
Shows the ways scientists and scientific communities developed, communicated, and contributed to knowledge during a transitional period in history
Describes American communities beyond those normally associated with the history of science.
Explores the relationships between communities and social environments in which the scientist practiced his trade
An illustrative and interesting account of what it was like to be a scientist in the American West