NBA History of Science Seminar – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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NBA History of Science Seminar

H. Otto Sibum
Hans Rausing Professor of History of Science, Uppsala University

Inventing the 'Science of Invention' :
Machines, Models and the Perfection of Civilisations
- a late 19th Century German Perspective.

In 1876 the German engineer Franz Reuleaux published his two volume book “theoretical kinematics” in which he sets out to transform the art of inventing machines into an exact science. In the paper I will not only show how he managed to set up the ‘equation of invention’ but more importantly the important implications for the understanding of the development of science, technology and civilisations.