Exploring the creation of a common European textbook of the history of science. Challenges and Promises


This paper outlines the issue of the challenges and promises in the creation of a common European textbook of the History of Science.
On the one hand, we could agree that there is no such textbook. One that describes the history of European science in a balanced way. To support this thesis, we could mention several studies that prove that the European history of science was written from the perspective of one nation (often, a politically dominant one) / nations that use the same language or, of one ideological perspective; e.g. Marxian or, the so-called western culture perspective.
However, it is not easy to write such a textbook. We can see many different kinds of problems in composing it. For example, there is the fundamental question “whether one universal or common European history of science exists or only national histories of science?” (It is the reflection of a pair of concepts known very well throughout history, namely, that of “general history” and “national history”.) Furthermore, this is a problem in regards to the choice of narration of such a textbook.
On the other hand, the idea to write a textbook of the common European history of science is very promising. It is true that European nations do not know each other’s histories of science well. Thus, preparing such a textbook would be an opportunity to correct the one-sided point of view in regards to certain facts, and to reveal previously concealed information, including such matters as the true authors of certain achievements.


Michal Kokowski