Innocent Experiments by Rebecca Onion
Childhood and the Culture of Popular Science in the United States (Studies in United States Culture)

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Synopsis

From the 1950s to the digital age, Americans have pushed their children to live science-minded lives, cementing scientific discovery and youthful curiosity as inseparable ideals. In this multifaceted work, historian Rebecca Onion examines the rise of informal children's science education in the twentieth century, from the proliferation of home chemistry sets after World War I to the century-long boom in child-centered science museums. Onion looks at how the United States has increasingly focused its energies over the last century into producing young scientists outside of the classroom. She shows that although Americans profess to believe that success in the sciences is synonymous with good citizenship, this idea is deeply complicated in an era when scientific data is hotly contested and many Americans have a conflicted view of science itself.

These contradictions, Onion explains, can be understood by examining the histories of popular science and the development of ideas about American childhood. She shows how the idealized concept of "science" has moved through the public consciousness and how the drive to make child scientists has deeply influenced American culture.

 

About Rebecca Onion

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Rebecca Onion is a visiting scholar of history at Ohio University and staff writer at Slate.com.
 
Published October 4, 2016 by The University of North Carolina Press. 240 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Innocent Experiments

Slate

Public Domain Review.

Dec 16 2016 | Read Full Review of Innocent Experiments: Childho...

Slate

These watercolors of herbs and plants useful to doctors are from an Italian edition of ancient Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides' De Materia Medica, reissued with commentary, additional material, and new illustrations sometime between 1564 and 1584.

Sep 18 2015 | Read Full Review of Innocent Experiments: Childho...

Slate

In the letter below, dated early November 1934, she wrote to her suitor: “Everybody is so constantly urging me to ‘wait two or three months,’ ‘wait-wait,’ ‘two months isn’t long enough to have known the man you’re to marry.’ ”.

Feb 14 2013 | Read Full Review of Innocent Experiments: Childho...

Slate

Kipnis wonders why Bennett doesn't even address sexual harassment, pay equity, or child care, choosing instead to coin a raft of unwelcome neologisms: “bropriator,” “menstruhater,” “himitator.” “A lot of this book is taken up with small bore issues,” Kipnis writes.

Sep 07 2016 | Read Full Review of Innocent Experiments: Childho...

Slate

In addition to co-writing The Way Things Work with Neil Ardley, Macaulay has also published a primer on the human body (The Way We Work) as well as shorter books on individual masterworks of human engineering (books about cathedrals, pyramids, toilets).

Oct 04 2016 | Read Full Review of Innocent Experiments: Childho...
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