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Why scientists should do history

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Abstract

Scientists often say that only a practicing scientist can understand certain things vital to the workings of science, things that often escape historians. Scientists, more often than not, believe that the sense required to understand how science is done can be gained only by doing it. They suggest that history written by historians, especially internal history, which is based on critical examination of the scientific ideas themselves, will be wanting.

The historian, on the other hand, through the methods and techniques of history, social studies and philosophy— tools not often possessed by scientists—can show scientists how their discipline has come to be, how it is bedded in society, and how it derives its esteem and support for being.

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