Abstract

In 1842, British astronomer Sir John Herschel wrote a letter to Carl Friedrich Gauss seeking his advice about how to make data collection more efficient on the Magnetic Crusade, a large-scale initiative to study the earth's magnetic field. Surprisingly, even though Gauss had managed a similar initiative, he refused to give Herschel the advice he wanted, claiming that he needed to see Herschel's results before he could reply. Taking this miscommunication as a point of departure, this article traces the cause of this miscommunication to differences in how each scientist viewed scientific training and the communicability of different kinds of scientific knowledge.

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