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ERIC Number: EJ934174
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0046-760X
Playing among the Stars: "Science in Sport, or the Pleasures of Astronomy" (1804)
Keene, Melanie
History of Education, v40 n4 p521-542 2011
In 1804, John Wallis published a game that converted learning about astronomy into a race to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. This essay uses "Science in Sport" to explore the cultures of Georgian recreative science, analysing how the rules and conventions of playing a game affected the gaining of natural knowledge. New familial audiences and markets, a "public culture" of science, and a vogue for rational amusement led to a boom in the publishing of instructive pastimes around 1800, of which Wallis's firm was a leading innovator. Revised and approved by author and educator Margaret Bryan, "Science in Sport" sought to inculcate accurate ideas about the heavens in a domestic setting, and through the penalties and rewards of an entertainment. By investigating the story of "The Pleasures of Astronomy" the author demonstrates the ideas, actions, morals and experiences that were brought into play when astronomical education became a game. (Contains 83 footnotes and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A