Science and Technology in World History
[2 volumes]
by William E. Burns, Editor
February 2020, 821pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7116-0
$214, £165, 187€, A294
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7117-7
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Science and technology are often thought of as future-oriented subjects, but the scientific capabilities of the world as it is now are traceable through centuries of global history.

This encyclopedia offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying science and technology within the context of world history. With balanced coverage, a logical organization, and in-depth entries, readers of all inclinations will find useful and interesting information in its contents.

Science and Technology in World History takes a truly global approach to the subjects of science and technology and spans the entirety of recorded human history. Topical articles and entries on the subjects are arranged under thematic categories, which are divided further into chronological periods. This format, along with the encyclopedia’s integrative approach, offers an array of perspectives that collectively contribute to the understanding of numerous fields across the world and over eras of development.

Entries cover discussions of scientific and technological innovations and theories, historical vignettes, and important texts and individuals throughout the world. From the discovery of fire and the innovation of agricultural methods in China to the establishment of surgical practices in France and the invention of Quantum Theory, this encyclopedia offers comprehensive coverage of fascinating topics in science and technology through a straightforward, historical lens.


  • Provides readers with a multicultural view of the evolution of science and technology from prehistory to the present
  • Covers both scientific theory and practical technology
  • Encourages readers to think about science and technology in historical terms
  • Places current conditions within a broad historical framework
William E. Burns is a historian who lives in the Washington, D.C., area. His many books include The Scientific Revolution: An Encyclopedia, Science in the Enlightenment: An Encyclopedia, Science and Technology in Colonial America, The Scientific Revolution in Global Perspective, and Knowledge and Power: Science in World History.


"This set explains scientific achievement over centuries while offering a glimpse at where technology may take us. Middle and high school students will find the subject matter excellent for reports and background research, while nonspecialists and history and science buffs will value the wide selection of topics and authoritative presentation of the authors."—Library Journal, June 1, 2020

"Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates."—Choice, July 1, 2020
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