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Title: Tropical Biology and Research Institutions in South and Southeast Asia since 1500: Botanic Gardens and Scientific Organizations to 1870
Authors: Frodin, David G.
Issue Date: Oct-1998
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Frodin DG. 1998. Tropical biology and research institutions in South and Southeast Asia since 1500: botanic gardens and scientific organizations to 1870. Pac Sci 52(4): 276-286.
Abstract: Tropical biological stations have become in the last half-century
a well-established phenomenon. They are, however, but a modem manifestation
of a long tradition of institutionalized study of tropical biological diversity,
an approach gradually adopted by Europeans as one response to the needs and
challenges of a new environment. This paper describes the growth of early institutions
in South and Southeast Asia (and Mauritius), particularly botanic
gardens, learned societies, and scientific surveys, and examines their relative
successes and failures in relation to their geographical and political circumstances.
The interaction among the Dutch, French, and British spheres is examined
in relation to the appearance of new ideas. It is concluded that although
all these powers were from time to time innovative, the British and Dutch,
though in different ways, became the most successful in their lasting influence
on pure and applied tropical science. The British network, internally strong and
effectively worldwide by the nineteenth century, was notable for its breadth but
featured less autonomy for individual units; the Dutch, fortunately situated in
Indonesia and heir to an autonomous biological tradition, established in Bogor
the beginnings of what became after 1870 a major biological (and, indeed,
academic) center.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 52, Number 4, 1998

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