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Culture of open knowledge in early modern England: pop-science and laughing gas

Lisovich I.I.


The article is devoted to the culture of open knowledge and the phenomenon of the popular science, which arises and develops in Modern period. Based on the caricature of J. Gilray, depicting the public lecture in 1802 at the Royal Institution on the characteristics of laughing gas, the stategies and modes of openness of knowledge, as well as the reaction of the public to the scientific show, are analyzed. The etching depicts an audience that is diverse in social origin, professions, and gender identity. Popular science, despite its shortcomings, instills confidence in scientific knowledge, the desire not only to use the results of scientific re-search, but also to engage in them. The representation of the research environment, scientists, scientific knowledge and practices in the field of artistic culture is also a marker of the openness and accessibility of scientific knowledge, the degree of trust in scientific institutions and scientists, which is an important component of the culture of knowledge.


popular science; the culture of open knowledge; Royal Institution of Great Britain; public lectures; James Gillray; Humphry Davy; laughing gas.

DOI: 10.31249/hoc/2022.01.03

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