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Prizes, Publications, and Transnational Communication at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the Nineteenth Century

In: Nuncius
Jenny Beckman Uppsala University Department of History of Science and Ideas

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The paper examines the prizes and publications of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as part of a transnational system of scientific communication. Nationally and internationally, prizes and publications served as currency in systems of recognition and benchmarking, and could be converted into international reputations as well as honours and positions in national systems of research, education, and administration. The institutional and linguistic conditions for this exchange changed significantly during the nineteenth century. For Swedish scientists, the symbolic translation of scientific capital depended on the literal translation of texts, from Swedish as well as into Swedish. I focus on two cases that highlight the complex and changing relations between prizes and publications in Swedish science, approaching them from the perspective of language and translation: the judgements delivered by the chemist Berzelius in his journal Annual Survey of Progress in the Sciences (1821–1848), and the Letterstedt Prizes of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1862–).

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