Did industry and commerce affect the concepts, values and epistemic foundations of different sciences? If so, how and to what extent? This book suggests that the most significant influence of industry on science in the two case studies treated here had to do with the issue of realism. Using wave propagation as the common thread, this is the first book to simultaneously analyse the emergence of realist attitudes towards the entities of the ionosphere and of the
earth's crust. However, what led physicists and engineers to adopt realist attitudes? This book suggests that a new kind of realism -a realism of social and cultural origins- is the answer: a preliminary, entity realism responding to specific commercial and engineering interests, and a realism that was
neither strictly instrumental nor exclusively operational. The book has two parts: while Part I focuses on the study of the ionosphere and how the British radio industry affected ionospheric physics, Part II focuses on the study of the Earth's crust and how the American oil industry affected crustal seismology.
Aitor Anduaga is an Ikerbasque research professor at the Basque Museum of History of Medicine and Science, University of the Basque Country, Spain. He holds a Ph.D. in physics and a bachelor in philosophy. He has been a visiting scholar at the Universities of Oxford, Sydney, Montreal and Toronto, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science of Berlin and the Smithsonian Institution of Washington. He has published extensively on the social history of geophysics, physics and technology. His main work is: 'Wireless and Empire: Geopolitics, Radio Industry and Ionosphere in the British Empire, 1918-1939' (Oxford University Press, 2009).
PART I: IONOSPHERIC PHYSICS AND THE BRITISH RADIO INDUSTRY; PART II: CRUSTAL SEISMOLOGY AND THE AMERICAN OIL INDUSTRY