Science in the Household: Collection and Experimentation in Eighteenth-Century Natural History

7 Feb 2011
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Mary Terrall
University of California, Los Angeles

Much of the work of natural history in the eighteenth century took place in domestic settings. This talk reconstructs some features of the household of René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, a prolific naturalist, collector, scientific author, and academician in Paris in the middle decades of the century. I show how making natural historical knowledge — what we might call doing science — involved not only numerous kinds of people (artists, assistants, technicians) but different kinds of spaces (work rooms, laboratories, libraries, cabinets for the display of specimens, gardens, fields and woods). A few examples will illustrate the layers of social and personal relations that went into making natural history in Réaumur’s household.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Office for the History of Science and Technology

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