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Scientists and Scholars in the Field

Studies in the History of Fieldwork and Expeditions

A part of the subject areas and

Edited by
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With contributions by
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475 pages, ill.
ISBN 978 87 7124 014 6


More about the book

About the book

For centuries the practice of undertaking fieldwork and expeditions has been adopted as an essential part of research by scientists and scholars from diverse disciplines. As a method of collecting on-site data through observation, the practice is shared by disciplines ranging from biology and botany, through geology, geography, and archaeology to anthropology, linguistics, and folklore studies.

Presenting 17 essays by 17 scholars from almost as many disciplines of knowledge, this volume contains a rich tapestry of stories from - and about - 'the field', from early modern times until the present day.

Taking us around the globe, from Europe to Asia, from the Arctic to Africa and America, this book investigates the entanglement of scientific, political, social, cultural, and personal interests and agendas that have shaped, and still shape, our effort to explore, explain, and exploit the world.

Table of contents

Studying Scientists and Scholars in the Field

An Introduction

Fieldwork avant la lettre

Practicing Instructions in the Eighteenth Century

Surveying the Field of State Territory

Subterranean Fieldwork

Marsili's Survey on the Biogeography and Ecobiology of Truffles in Eighteenth Century North and Central Italy

Exploring the Republic of Letters

German Travellers in the Dutch Underground, 1690-1720

The Civil-Military Enlightenment in Britain

Links between the Royal Society of London and the British Military, 1761-1790

Entangled Experiences, Disentangling Disciplines

Antoine and Arnauld d'Abbadie's Voyages in Ethiopia

Explorer-Engineers Take the Field

Imperial Engineers, Africa, and the Late Victorian Public

From Collection to Fieldwork

The Field Research of Danish Folkloris Evald Tang Kristensen, 1870-1890

Field Life in the American West

Surveys, Networks, Stations, and Quarries

Before Creation

Competing Excavators, Imperial Interests, and the Making of the Indus Civilization in the 1920s India

The Rolling Field Station

Danish Explorations of Central Asia in the Late Nineteenth Century

Exploring the Disciplinary Significance of Fieldwork Methods

A Case from the History of Swiss Anthropology

Armchairs, Dogsleds, Ships, and Airplanes

Fiels Access, Scientific Credibility, and Geological Mapping in Northern and North-Eastern Greenland 1900-1939

Expedition "Live"

Science, Media, and Politics on the Galathea 3 Expedition 2006-2007

Press reviews

Jean-Baptiste Gouyon, The British Journal for the History of Science (Cambridge University Press)

"As a kind of scholarly expedition through time and space, it encourages movement through multiple perspectives on, and approaches to, the history of the practices of science in the field. And the reader, helped by these diverse cartographies of discrete scholarly territories, gets a better sense of the size and qualities of the very big object that fieldwork is."