While in modern times excellence in science is often acknowledged with a prize medal, this was not the case in the Renaissance. Despite the fact that the Italian Renaissance saw a remarkable revival of medal casting, there were no medals to be won in the Renaissance for originality and scientific priority. Rather, professional success was determined by the ability to win public disputations and debate contested topics. This article illustrates how this mode of knowledge production, which reached its peak in the second half of the sixteenth century, was deeply rooted in the culture of verbal and physical duelling that developed in Italy around that time. Transforming the culture of academic disputation into one of public spectacle, the sixteenth century saw scientific practitioners make careers out of controversy and polemical exchange. From the mid-seventeenth century onwards, this model of knowledge production was slowly superseded by more moderate exchanges and collaborations.

There were no medals to be won: Scientific duels in the Italian renaissance

Azzolini M.
2019

Abstract

While in modern times excellence in science is often acknowledged with a prize medal, this was not the case in the Renaissance. Despite the fact that the Italian Renaissance saw a remarkable revival of medal casting, there were no medals to be won in the Renaissance for originality and scientific priority. Rather, professional success was determined by the ability to win public disputations and debate contested topics. This article illustrates how this mode of knowledge production, which reached its peak in the second half of the sixteenth century, was deeply rooted in the culture of verbal and physical duelling that developed in Italy around that time. Transforming the culture of academic disputation into one of public spectacle, the sixteenth century saw scientific practitioners make careers out of controversy and polemical exchange. From the mid-seventeenth century onwards, this model of knowledge production was slowly superseded by more moderate exchanges and collaborations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/704478
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