'La solubilité dans le réactif de Wagner' : histoire d’un fait scientifique et d’une norme dans le commerce des engrais, Allemagne 1886-1914
Title: 'La solubilité dans le réactif de Wagner' : histoire d’un fait scientifique et d’une norme dans le commerce des engrais, Allemagne 1886-1914
Other Title(s): 'The solubility in the Wagner's reagent' : history of a scientific fact and a norm in fertilizer's trade, Germany 1886-1914
Author: JAS, Nathalie
Citation: Annales histoire & sciences sociales, 1998, Vol. 53, No. 4-5, pp. 887-913.
This article is an illustration of some sociologists', philosophers' and historians' claim that Science and Society are not clearly delimited worlds; that they rather are linked together by numerous, complex and necessary relationships. It tries to shaw how impossible it is to retrace the history of scientific knoweldge explaining the fertilizing value of a very common fertilizer in the end of nineteenth-century Germany, the so-called Thomas meal - which are supposed to belong to the world of Science - without also writing the history of norms of selling and analysing used in thisfertilizer's trade - which one would describe as a social phenomenom - Thus, the history of the so-called sobubility in the Wagner's reagent, which this article is in the last resort dealing with, could not be understood without a very detailed and careful analysis of the complex, often conflict-provoking relationships, which German agricultural chemists, German Thomas meal industrialists and some German agricultural organisations are keeping up during the elaboration of the scientific interpretation of the Thomas meal's fertilizing value and of the way to estimate it. Indeed this interpretation and this way to estimate are of great importance in the establishment of norms of selling and analysing in a commercial framework.
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