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Conclusions

During the course of this tutorial you have explored the diverse ideas about the nature of electricity that have been debated by scientists, engineers, and the public. Now that you've reached the end, you should be able to provide an overview of the following issues:

However, what you have learned during this tutorial does not represent the end of the subject. On the contrary, there are a wide range of questions - a number of which will no doubt have occurred to you - that still have to be answered. What, for example, was the nature of the relationship between the physicists and engineers who studied electricity and the public who needed to be convinced to use electricity rather than an alternative power source, such as gas? What role did public opinion play in the debates about the identity of electricity?

You can explore some of these questions in the advanced stages of the other tutorials on this website. However, you might also be interested in pursing these questions in a more extended form - perhaps as a dissertation. Indeed, you might be able to turn any questions you have formulated about these subjects into a proposal for a PhD project. To learn more about these options, take a look at the information about postgraduate study in the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds or contact Prof. Graeme Gooday, author of Domesticating Electricity: Technology, Uncertainty, and Gender, 1880-1914, directly.

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