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title SUMMARY /title

In the last third of the nineteenth century, astrospectroscopy played a prominent part in orchestrating transitions undergone by three sites of knowledge production: the observatory, the laboratory, and the field expedition. Early astrophysicists carved out for themselves a specific social space by adopting experimental techniques and practices stemming out of the laboratory, and adapting them to the observatory and the field traditions, and more generally by easing the back-and-forth transfer of practices from one site to another. Taking advantage of the circulation culture constitutive of the observatory sciences, the 'new astronomy' provides a useful standpoint from which historians can examine anew the 'institutional revolution' in the laboratory sciences in chemistry, physics, and physiology. To exemplify this process, the French reception of Bunsen and Kirchhoff's work and Jules Janssen's trip to Italy in 1862-1863 are here discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Max-Planck-Institut fur Wissenschaftsgeschichte Berlin My thanks to participants of the Munich workshop and to Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Charlotte Bigg, and Simon Schaffer for their comments. Permission to quote from archival ma- terials was granted by the Bibliotheque de l'Institut de France (BIF), the Archives de l'Acadmie des sciences (AdS) and the Archives nationales de France (AN). Author's present address: Uni- versite Pierre-et-Marie_Curie (Paris 6);, Email:


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