© 2016

Domesticity in the Making of Modern Science

  • Donald L. Opitz
  • Staffan Bergwik
  • Brigitte Van Tiggelen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction: Domesticity and the Historiography of Science

    1. Donald L. Opitz, Staffan Bergwik, Brigitte Van Tiggelen
      Pages 1-15
  3. The Estate of Knowledge: Domestic Sites and Scientific Authority

  4. Constructions of Domestic Science and Technology

  5. Familial Science: Sustaining Knowledge across Generations and Distances

  6. Afterword

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 279-279
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 288-299

About this book


The history of the modern sciences has long overlooked the significance of domesticity as a physical, social, and symbolic force in the shaping of knowledge production. This book provides a welcome reorientation to our understanding of the making of the modern sciences globally by emphasizing the centrality of domesticity in diverse scientific enterprises.


Domesticity households families kinship domestic sphere private sphere gender and science women in science professionalization geography of science Darwin Charles Darwin education Familie gender mobility women

Editors and affiliations

  • Donald L. Opitz
    • 1
  • Staffan Bergwik
    • 2
  • Brigitte Van Tiggelen
    • 3
  1. 1.DePaul UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversitySweden
  3. 3.Chemical Heritage FoundationUSA

About the editors

Donald L. Opitz is Associate Professor of the School for New Learning and Affiliated Scholar of History at DePaul University, USA.

Staffan Bergwik is Associate Professor of History of Science and Ideas and Senior Lecturer of Literature and History of Ideas at Stockholm University, Sweden.

Brigitte Van Tiggelen is Director of European Operations of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, USA, and a member of the Centre de Recherche en Histoire des Sciences at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

Bibliographic information


“With Domesticity in the Making of Modern Science, Donald Opitz, Staffan Bergwik, and Brigitte Van Tiggelen provide an excellent and original contribution to the history of modern science. … It is composed of a general introduction, twelve chapters interspersed with good-quality illustrations, and an afterword. … It will be of interest for science and technology studies as well as anthropology, history, and social sciences.” (Pierre Teissier, ISIS, Vol. 108 (4), 2017)