I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Ronán M Conroy

The Birth of Frankenstein

Both irrationalism and rationalism have fallen out of favour as modes of scientific knowledge – though rationalism has resurfaced as qualitative research, and the debates about the scientific status of qualitative research are lively reminders about the uncertainty within science as to what sorts of shared knowledge constitute science anyway. However, it is precisely during the period that Holmes chronicles that science began to ask this very question. Linnaean science was concerned with ordering and cataloguing. It was founded on an unproblematic view of the nature of knowledge which suffered badly at the hands of the British empiricists. It was left to André-Marie Ampère (1775-1836) to formulate a response which summed up the new science: that science does not study things but relationships.