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Science in the Service of Empire


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Table of Contents

1. An expanding state; 2. The Royal Society and the emergence of science as an instrument of state policy; 3. The levers of power; 4. Neo-mercantilism and the landed interest; 5. Science in the service of empire; 6. Science in the service of the Republic of Letters; 7. The expansion of empire; Epilogue.

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This 1998 book examines Sir Joseph Banks' role in promoting 'imperial science' in the British State.


Review of the hardback: '... richly detailed. As an insight into the struggles between free trade and protectionism, and into the colonial mentality ... It will find an appreciative audience among students of the British enlightenment.' Michael Cathcart, Australian Book Review
"This superbly illustrated book explains how science advanced the economic and strategic interests of British society. Highly recommended for historians of science and other scholars concerned with the emergence of the modern state, and the role science played in the process." Choice
"The book is well written, skillfully placing Banks in his historical context. This book is extremely valuable....Gascoigne is fast becoming one of the world authorities on this remarkable man." Anna Agnarsdottir, Northern Mariner
"...Science in the Service of an important volume that merits careful and reflective reading." Richard Connors, Albion
"...Gascoigne does an admirable job of combining the history of science with an analysis of high political culture....anyone interested in the role of science in Britain's imperial expansion should read this concise, thoughtful book." Eliga H. Gould, Slavic Review
"...persuasively important contribution to our understanding of Britain's later eighteenth century." Canadian Journal of History
"For a public that today regularly expresses concerns and fears over whether science is operating autonomously, historian John Gascoigne's Science in the Service of Empire : Joseph Banks, The British State and the Uses of Science in the Age of Revolution provides an exhilarating account of one's visionary's attempts to place an unfettered and undirected scientific community under the auspices of governmental control...Gascoigne delivers a well balanced view of British economy, empire, science, and State during the "Age of Revolution." Through a detailed account of the underlying political maneuvering of one influential scientific figure - Joseph Banks- this microhistory suceeds in providing readers a clear lens through which to view many national and international events of this critically important time period." Phillip K. Wilson, Journal of World History

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