I thank Michael Sokal for his warm praise of my book The Launching of Modern American Science, 1846-1876 (August 10, 1987, p. 25). I should like, however, to answer one mild criticism.

Sokal feels that in alluding to certain scientific doings I should have described and discussed them in greater detail. In response I quote from my opening chapter: “Measured against what Europeans were doing in those years, lAmerican scientific] output was modest. The emphasis of this book will be on the process more than the product, on the internal sociology, economics, and politics of science and on its interaction with the larger society. In these lies the real significance of the period.” Expatiating on the unremarkable and tangential would only have bloated the book and thinned its audience. Perhaps, however, I should have made it plainer to the reader that in almost all such cases, including those specifically cited...

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