The Humboldt Scientific Locality Index (currently under preparation by an international team of historians of science) will collect, and make easily accessible, significant information on the early growth of science in representative countries around the world.
Eventually to be constituted as a working grid of social indicators, the Index will provide a comparative analytical framework for examining the globalisation of Western science: its procedures, networks of communication, value systems, and structures of authority. The Index will focus on the historical processes of professionalisation and institutionalisation, documenting the international growth of a common infrastructure for the support of scientific activity. Importantly, the Index hopes to move beyond the Eurocentric focus of many histories of colonial science by identifying distinctive social factors which accompanied the rise of science in culturally diverse localities, often in conditions quite different from those which attended the emergence of science in Europe. At the same time, the project will overcome the nationalistic focus of many local histories of science written with 'vertical' reference to Europe but without 'horizontal' reference to world scientific development.
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This page was created by André M Czausov and Tim Sherratt
for the Humboldt Index Editorial Board.
Last updated on 17 July 1995