Science at the 'Core'

The classical 'national attitudes to science', fit for analysis within the Gellner paradigm, are to be found in France and Germany, where streets are named after famous scientists, and priorities are hotly disputed, as a matter of national pride.

This is less the case in Britain, where the 'gentleman-amateur' tradition prevailed, science was late in professionalising, and the State was late to take an interest in modern terms.

The early English State interest in funding the Royal Society, which consciously set out to implement the 'Bacon Plan' for the development of science as a source of power, undoubtedly however contributed to the Industrial Revolution taking place first in Britain.

The interaction between contemporary science and the Industrial Revolution has been the subject of extensive study; see for example Inkster, who attempts to quantify the intellectual capital held in the form of organised knowhow by the skilled and literate artisans of the labour aristocracy.

Much of this knowhow, incidentally, was in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall; also the north of England; London and the imperial elite tended to look down on scientific culture, and this eventually led to Britain's relative decline, the leadership of the core going first to France and then to Germany, to the extent that the First World War caught Britain unprepared scientifically.

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