The development of a publication community: nineteenth-century mathematics in British scientific journals

Despeaux, Sloan Evans, Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia
Parshall, Karen, Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia
Ward, Harold, Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia
Thomas, Lawrence, Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia
Kett, Joseph, Department of History, University of Virginia

This study traces the development of mathematics in nineteenth-century Britain through the analytic tool of a publication community. Specifically, we consider the nineteenth-century British mathematical publication community to consist of those who authored or read and responded in print to mathematical papers published in nineteenth-century British scientific journals. We examine this community through three different but complementary points of view: the journals, the people, and the mathematical contributions themselves.

At the level of the journals, we trace the development and structure of British scientific society-supported, independent, and university-centered journals that contained mathematical work. At the next level, we investigate the extent of professionalization and stratification in this publication community through the use of prosopography. We further trace the extent of internationalization in the community by examining the factors behind international participation in British journals and British participation in foreign journals. Finally, focusing on the journal articles themselves, we trace the" intellectual contours of the community. In tracking the mathematical developments in their initial form of presentation, we highlight memorable, forgettable, and forgotten contributions, reveal topics that contemporary mathematicians viewed as popular or important, explore the theorems and theories produced by British mathematicians, and indicate trends of mathematical research in nineteenth-century Britain.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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