A prerequisite for the development of contemporary scientific research was the development of instrumentation for precision measurement to a degree of accuracy which was thought impossible prior to the 19th century. In her study, "The Meaning of Precision," Dr. Olesko is examining the objective and subjective significance of precision instruments when they first really began to be systematically developed, i.e. in Prussian science and scientific culture from the late 1810s to the 1870s. The 1810's was the time when the method of least squares was first introduced into physical investigations; the 1860s and 1870s was the time when the consequences of the first state-supported projects requiring precision instruments (weights and measures, triangulation, and heating power of fuels) were felt in Prussian society. Dr. Olesko is examining selected issues concerning precision measurement in science (chiefly physics, but also chemistry and to some extent physiology) and in science teaching (chiefly physics). She is also exploring the utility of exact experiment and precision measurement for the Prussian state. In addition, by looking at images, metaphors and rhetoric, she is including studies of the symbolic and cultural meaning of precision. Finally, she is including a comparative component-- primarily by examining American notions of precision during this period, but also other comparisons are being considered. This study is essential for a proper understanding of the rise of contemporary science.