The fortunes of modern oceanography: Naomi Oreskes: Science on a mission: how military funding shaped what we do and don’t know about the ocean. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021, 744pp, $40.00 HB

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Abstract

The modern science of oceanography faces the prodigious challenge of investigating a massive volume of water covering seventy per cent of the Earth’s surface, attaining an average depth of 3.7 km. The traditional historiography emphasises the emergence of the modern ocean sciences in the nineteenth century, with the Challenger voyage beginning in 1872, the slow but steady development of the field in the first half of the twentieth century, and then its rapid development during the Cold War. This narrative trajectory is far from closed, since much public discourse continues to emphasise how little is known about the oceans: just as an example, nearly eighty percent of the seabed remains unmapped. These developments required, as the continued advancement of the domain still requires today, ships, new technologies, scientists, and lots of money.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-454
Number of pages4
JournalMetascience: An International Review Journal For The History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Oceanography
  • Cold War
  • History of science
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Climate Change

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