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The answer given is very good. There is one other that should be given briefly, and that is the question of the Great Man Theory vs the Mass Man Theory. The basic idea is that some scholars believe that history is made by great men who come along and lead, and that without these people, the Mass would just be an impotent Blob. On the other hand, the ...


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One important innovation in 21 century is the use of DNA analysis for historical and pre-historical research. Here is the book which lists some recent achievements: Nicholas Wade, Before the dawn. Discovery of the lost history of our ancestors, Penguin Press, NY 2006. It is mostly about pre-history, but there are some amazing examples from history as well. ...


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I'm going to flip this question around and first answer whether scientists-in-training need to study their field in a historically rigorous context. The answer is that they don't. One does not need to read On the Origin of Species to gain an understanding of evolutionary biology, nor does one have to read PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica to ...


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A scientist learns the history of their science out of interest or because it is considered didactically useful. Chemists for example learn quite a few of the older, long disproved atomic models because many chemistry educators think it helps to understand the concepts (I tend to agree). To learn chemistry, the chemist needs to understand the logical or ...


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This is an extended comment. The words "need" and "can" in the question have no precise meaning. There are various types of historian of science. Some go into details, with various degrees of rigor, some don't. Both types of history can be interesting in principle. However unfortunately there is a large class of historians of science who simply do not ...


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In my experience, as a general rule, local historians tend to be superior to foreign historians. The reasons for this are that local historians generally tend to be a lot more detailed about their local history and they often have access to local data sources which are unavailable to a foreign scholar. Whenever I go to Europe I am always amazed by how ...



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