Focusing on the two seventeenth-century pioneers of microscopic dicovery, the Dutchmen Jan Swammerdam and Antoni van Leewenhoek, Ruestow demonstrates that their uneasiness with their social circumstances spurred their discoveries. Though arguing that aspects of Dutch culture impeded serious research with the microscope, Ruestow also shows, however, that the culture of the period shaped how Swammerdam and Leewenhoek responded to what they saw through the lens. He concludes by emphasising how their early microscopic efforts differed from the institutionalised microscopic research that began in the nineteenth century.
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