To Advance Knowledge

To Advance Knowledge : The Growth of American Research Universities, 1900-1940

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American research universities are part of the foundation for the supremacy of American science. Although they emerged as universities in the late nineteenth century, the incorporation of research as a distinct part of their mission largely occurred after 1900. To Advance Knowledge relates how these institutions, by 1940, advanced from provincial outposts in the world of knowledge to leaders in critical areas of science. This study is the first to systematically examine the preconditions for the development of a university research role. These include the formation of academic disciplines--communities that sponsored associations and journals, which defined and advanced fields of knowledge. Only a few universities were able to engage in these activities. Indeed, universities before World War I struggled to find the means to support their own research through endowments, research funds, and faculty time. To Advance Knowledge shows how these institutions developed the size and wealth to harbor a learned faculty. The book illustrates how arrangements for research changed markedly in the 1920s when the great foundations established from the Rockefeller and Carnegie fortunes embraced the advancement of knowledge as a goal. Universities emerged in this decade as the best-suited vessels to carry this mission. Foundation resources made possible the development of an American social science. In the natural sciences, this patronage allowed the United States to gain parity with Europe on scientific frontiers, of which the most important was undoubtedly nuclear physics. The research role of universities cannot be isolated from the institutions themselves. To Advance Knowledge focuses on sixteen universities that were significantly engaged with research during this era. It analyzes all facets of these institutions--collegiate life, sources of funding, treatment of faculty--since all were relevant to shaping the research role.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 27.94mm | 476.27g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 076580560X
  • 9780765805607

Review quote

-To Advance Knowledge is a valuable book. Mr. Geiger provides the best statement in print of the nation's research system in the early twentieth century.... It is interesting and enlightening and will promote better understanding of American higher education and its relation to research and the nation's welfare.- --Winton U. Solberg, Academe -[T]his book is the most understandable and best account of how and, as important, why our great modern research universities became what they are.- --Joseph C. Kiger, The American Historical Review -Roger Geiger...is to be greatly thanked for having put together the first reliable account of 'The Growth of American Research Universities, 1900-1940.' Now at length we have available between one pair of covers a comprehensive, organized text on how the research university got its start in American society.- --Arnold Thackray, Science -It is one of Roger Geiger's achievements, by virtue of argument and evidence presented with engaging conciseness and strength of expression, that the position of American research universities...becomes secure.- --James M. Banner Jr., New York Times Book Review "To Advance Knowledge is a valuable book. Mr. Geiger provides the best statement in print of the nation's research system in the early twentieth century.... It is interesting and enlightening and will promote better understanding of American higher education and its relation to research and the nation's welfare." --Winton U. Solberg, Academe "[T]his book is the most understandable and best account of how and, as important, why our great modern research universities became what they are." --Joseph C. Kiger, The American Historical Review "Roger Geiger...is to be greatly thanked for having put together the first reliable account of 'The Growth of American Research Universities, 1900-1940.' Now at length we have available between one pair of covers a comprehensive, organized text on how the research university got its start in American society." --Arnold Thackray, Science "It is one of Roger Geiger's achievements, by virtue of argument and evidence presented with engaging conciseness and strength of expression, that the position of American research universities...becomes secure." --James M. Banner Jr., New York Times Book Review "To Advance Knowledge is a valuable book. Mr. Geiger provides the best statement in print of the nation's research system in the early twentieth century.... It is interesting and enlightening and will promote better understanding of American higher education and its relation to research and the nation's welfare." --Winton U. Solberg, Academe "[T]his book is the most understandable and best account of how and, as important, why our great modern research universities became what they are." --Joseph C. Kiger, The American Historical Review "Roger Geiger...is to be greatly thanked for having put together the first reliable account of 'The Growth of American Research Universities, 1900-1940.' Now at length we have available between one pair of covers a comprehensive, organized text on how the research university got its start in American society." --Arnold Thackray, Science "It is one of Roger Geiger's achievements, by virtue of argument and evidence presented with engaging conciseness and strength of expression, that the position of American research universities...becomes secure." --James M. Banner Jr., New York Times Book Review
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 33% (2)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)
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