What Do Maps Map? Finding the Way in Early Nineteenth-Century British Botany

This abstract has open access
Abstract Summary
Early nineteenth-century discoveries of rare and new plants by artisans in the north of England brought learned botanists to this relatively unknown region of Britain. However, travelling to the areas in which particular plants were known to have been found did not ensure that the desire of visiting collectors to see these plants in their native habitats was fulfilled. Not only were there few reliable maps of the wilder northern lands, but also no guarantee that the exact spot of a rare plant would be easy to find even if a traveling botanist managed to get to the correct locality. Botanists from outside the area were therefore reliant on artisans to act as guides. Historical evidence of this form of social interaction shows that it goes beyond a simple model of the appropriation of local knowledge. Instead, it brings to light different practices for knowing the land and different conceptions of what counted as knowledge of nature. Learned botanists tended to view not only the land but also knowledge itself as a form of mapping: they argued that information as well as the terrain required to be seen as if from a pinnacle in order to produce scientific generalisations. In contrast, artisans had little conception of maps either as geographical or conceptual tools. Instead, the forms of spatial knowledge they cultivated were more like itineraries. In my paper, I will investigate how mapping and maps provided both advantages and limitations in the attainment of botanical knowledge.
Abstract ID :
HSS849
Submission Type
Chronological Classification :
19th century
Self-Designated Keywords :
botany, plants, maps, artisans

Associated Sessions

Similar Abstracts by Type

Abstract ID
Abstract Title
Abstract Topic
Submission Type
Primary Author
HSS575
"A Place for Human Inquiry": Lomonosov’s Mineral Science
Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Organized Session
Prof. Anna Graber
HSS355
"Atomic Spaghetti": Nuclear Energy and Agriculture in Italy, 1950s-1970s
Technology
Organized Session
Francesco Cassata
HSS320
"Beginning of the Entomological Enterprise in China": Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Entomology and Its Locust Control, 1922-1931
Biology
Organized Session
Dr. Yubin Shen
HSS339
"Black Strokes upon White Paper": Changing Attitudes Towards Symbolic Algebra from the 19th into the 20th Century
Mathematics
Organized Session
Dr. Christopher Hollings
HSS587
"Despite the Asylum, Not Instead of It": Community Psychiatry in West Germany (1960-1980)
Medicine and Health
Organized Session
Chantal Marazia
HSS872
"Development" and Disarmament: The Twin Track of Pugwash in the Early 1970s
Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Organized Session
Dr. Alison Kraft
HSS776
"Ideal Specimens": Butterfly Nature Prints, Entomology, and the Decorative Arts in Early 20th Century Japan
Biology
Organized Session
Ms. Kerstin Pannhorst
HSS5847
"Imago": Stories from the Margins of Global Insect Studies, 18th to 20th Centuries
Biology
Organized Session
Dr. Dominik Huenniger
HSS512
"Journalization" of Science Publishing: Periodicity of Book Formats at Springer, North-Holland, OUP, and Interscience, 1950-1965
Aspects of Scientific Practice/Organization
Organized Session
Alrun Schmidtke

Similar Abstracts by Topic

Abstract ID
Abstract Title
Abstract Topic
Submission Type
Primary Author
HSS231024
A Musical Story of Time ♬
Tools for Historians of Science
Contributed Paper
Susanna Bloem
HSS618
A Note on Tone: Carl Stumpf’s Tone Psychology and the Violin
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Julia Kursell
HSS880
Behavior (Un)Archived: Research Films in East German Bioacoustics
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Sophia Gräfe
HSS623
Between Signal and Symbol: Sound, Speech, and the Data of Language
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Dr. Xiaochang Li
HSS328
Children of Science
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Carola Ossmer
HSS921
Diversity and Biodiversity: Applying Oral History to Community, Ecology, and Archeology in America’s Amazon
Tools for Historians of Science
Contributed Paper
Kathy Cooke
HSS583
Exploring New "Histories of Nature" with Marine Microbes: Living Matter at the Edge of Life
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Dr. astrid schrader
HSS73
Fact-Checking Herodotus across the Disciplines
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Prof. Suzanne Marchand
HSS658
From Analog to Digital: What Happens When a Historic Film Archive is Stored Electronically?
Tools for Historians of Science
Organized Session
Dr. Anja Sattelmacher