ASECS awards the Louis Gottschalk prize annually to the best scholarly book on an eighteenth-century subject. In 2019, the Gottschalk Prize has been given to Paola Bertucci, associate professor of history and the history of medicine at Yale University, for Artisanal Enlightenment: Science and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France, published by Yale University Press. Bertucci’s deeply researched, subtle, and engaging study restores voice and agency to the craftsperson who combined technical skill in the mechanical arts with the intellectual quality of esprit. This study demonstrates the qualities and contributions of craftspeople to the Enlightenment and thus challenges us to rethink our hierarchy of Enlightenment values which divides application from both pure knowledge and creativity, a hierarchy moreover that resonates into our time.
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