Appropriating the Weather



Technology, it is said, is more parochial than science. In this view, technology is constructed by specific cultures to fit specific needs: while the science of physics is universal, there are a thousand ways to dig dirt from the ground or to build a house. But is this true? In his book, Friedman shows us that at least the study of science is approached differently from one culture to another and that social, political, and economic aspects lead one people or nation or world region to emphasize different areas of science. From Per Kalm (a Swedish naturalist who collected auroral observations before 1750) to Hannes Alfven, the Scandinavians have studied the Northern sea and the Northern sky.