This project began to take shape during a wonderful year as a Mellon Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). I also benefited from the Walter Hines Page Fellowship at the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park). I am very grateful to both institutions, and especially to their amazing librarians, for their support of my work. Karen Merikangas Darling at the University of Chicago Press has been a splendid editor, and I am enormously thankful for her constant support over so many years.
Early versions of some of the passages in this book were published in the following articles: “Trying Again and Again: Multiple Repetitions in Early Modern Reports of Experiments on Snake Bites,” Early Science and Medicine 15 (2010): 567–617; “Scientists’ Methods Accounts: S. Weir Mitchell’s Research on the Venom of Poisonous Snakes,” in Integrating History and Philosophy of Science: Problems and Prospects, edited by Tad Schmaltz and Seymour Mauskopf, (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011): 141–61; “The Significance of Re-Doing Experiments: A Contribution to Historically Informed Methodology,” Erkenntnis 75 (2011): 325–47; and “What Does History Matter to Philosophy of Science? The Concept of Replication and the Methodology of Experiments,” Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2012): 513–32.
I have presented portions of my work at a number of conferences and colloquia on both sides of the Atlantic. I thank the various audiences for their helpful and sometimes challenging feedback. I am especially grateful to the following people, who provided valuable advice as well as comments, critique, encouragement, suggestions, support, and workouts: Gar Allen, Meagan Allen, Theodore Arabatzis, Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Geoffrey Brown, (p.230) Jed Buchwald, Richard Burian, Jordi Cat, Hasok Chang, Klodian Çoko, Uljana Feest, Peter Finn (above all!), Yves Gingras, Sander Gliboff, Amit Hagar, Gary Hatfield, Don Howard, Jane Maienschein, William Newman, Heinrich von Staden, Friedrich Steinle, and Robert Wright. Warmest thanks to you all.