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The Cavendish and the invention of the modern laboratory

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A traditional definition of the laboratory was as a place of seclusion and withdrawal, carefully guarded from outside disturbance. In fact, the new Cavendish Laboratory was met with some resistance when it was established in Cambridge in the 1870s. There was scepticism about the value of linking academic and industrial research within the traditional university. The early decades of the Laboratory’s existence reveal much about the origins and development of the modern notions of how laboratories work and what their function should be in industrial society.

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