Research report 2012 - Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Science in the nursery: Milicent Shinn’s observations of early childhood development, 1890 to 1910
von Oertzen, Christine
MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Abt. II (Lorraine Daston)
SummaryAs the nineteenth century drew to a close, the development of infants garnered unprecedented scholarly enthusiasm, with men of science discovering in their own offspring, to borrow Charles Darwin’s phrase, “objects of natural history.” In the USA, college-educated women emerged as key interpreters of infants’ mental faculties. Exploring the at-home observations of Milicent Shinn, a University of California, Berkeley graduate, reveals how she and her female network of observers performed fieldwork in the nursery, producing groundbreaking work on the evolving of the human mind.