New Perspectives on the History of Life Sciences and Agriculture

Springer Verlag (2015)
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This chapter examines biological practice in relation to agricultural management at the Dutch botanical garden at Buitenzorg, Java. Melchior Treub, Buitenzorg’s director from 1880 to 1909, fundamentally transformed the garden by expanding and developing its facilities, partly in response to the need to control diseases of both plants and humans. The Garden attracted foreign scientists from around the world and became a model for biological stations elsewhere. Garden scientists also led in the disciplinary transformation of morphological science around 1900. In response to problems of tropical biology and agriculture, evolutionary morphology developed into a new kind of science that embraced an ecological approach involving both field and laboratory research. This new conception of morphology departed dramatically from the understanding of morphology as the speculative construction of evolutionary trees, the predominant view in the European university. The Garden provides an exceptionally good location to assess the transformations occurring in biological science around 1900. Instead of the idea that there was a “revolt” from morphology at this time, we can see that there was instead a transformation and reinvention of the morphological orientation, one that depended on a cooperative relationship between more academic and corporate approaches to science, parallel to the study of cooperation processes in the environment itself



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Charting the history of agricultural experiments.Giuditta Parolini - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (3):231-241.

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