PhD ceremony: Ms. W.D. Daling, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Stofwisselingen. Nederlandse uitgevers en de heruitvinding van het natuurwetenschappelijke tijdschrift, 1945-1970
Promotor(s): prof. K. van Berkel, prof. G.J. Dorleijn
In the second half of the 20th century Dutch publishers acquired a substantial share of the world market for scientific literature. Dorien Daling investigated the question of how this was possible, given the size of the country’s population. Her dissertation focuses on two early examples of the type of journal which laid the foundation for the leading positions of the commercial publishers, especially the Dutch, after the Second World War: Elsevier’s Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, founded in 1946 under the editorship of Hendrik Westenbrink, and North-Holland’s Nuclear Physics, founded in 1955 under the editorship of Léon Rosenfeld.
In the first two parts of the dissertation Daling discusses the foundation and character of both journals, their editorial boards and publishers, their role in respectively biochemistry and nuclear physics, and their place in the ongoing historical process of the (re)invention of the scientific journal. She further explains the success of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta and Nuclear Physics and the concomitant rise of the two most important Dutch scientific publishers. She argues that both periodicals were well adapted to the postwar development of science. In their respective fields, both were the first journals with a fully international editorial board. But apart from their contribution to the internationalization of science, they helped change the conventions of scientific publishing in other respects as well. In doing so, they represented both innovation and tradition: an ‘essential tension’ in science.
The third part of the book addresses more general considerations connected with factors responsible for the Dutch success as well as the postwar development of science, scientific publishing and scientific communication. To what extent was the form of postwar science influenced by editors and publishers? How did science and commerce relate to each other? What strategies did the publishers use to enter the international market for scientific literature? What was the effect of the postwar information explosion on scientific publishing and communication?
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