Learned Patriots: An Interview

What were Ottomans talking about when they talked about science? In posing and answering that question (spoiler: they were talking about people), M. Alper Yalcinkaya’s new book Learned Patriots: Debating Science, State, and Society in the 19th-Century Ottoman Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2015) introduces the history of science as discussed and debated by nineteenth-century Turkish-speaking Muslim Ottomans in Istanbul. The book compellingly argues that these discussions and debates were not so much about the nature of science than the characteristics of the “man of science” and his relationship to Ottoman identity, and you can listen to us talking about it for the NBSTS podcast by heading over to this link.