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New Book by Alumnus Simon Werrett


Simon Werrett’s new book, Thrifty Science: Making the Most of Materials in the History of Experiment, looks at the culture of experiment and inquiry that characterized frugal households in the seventeenth and eigteenth centuries. Werrett shows how residents cultivated their knowledge about the natural world by transforming their homes into laboratories, repairing and reusing their material possessions or developing novel ways of repurposing and recycling them. In fact, Werrett shows that many “modern” recycling practices were actually developed during this period of thrifty science.

As scientists today face the challenge of making their work environmentally sustainable, Werrett asks, could thrifty science be making a comeback?

Thrifty Science was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2019.