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Science, Colonialism and Ireland
Science, Colonialism and Ireland

Our Price:59.00
Authors: Nicholas Whyte
Publication Year: Hardback 1999
Pages: 224
Size: 216 x 138mm

ISBN: 9781859181843


Science, Colonialism and Ireland represents the first detailed assessment of the role of science in Ireland. Looking at the activities of Irish scientists between 1890 and 1930, at the very moment of independence, revolution and civil war provides an opportunity to explore how the activities of science are shaped by the society which supports them. The different fates of the Royal Dublin Society, Trinity College, the Royal College of Science and the Royal Irish Academy are used to illustrate the decisive impact which political events had on Irish science and upon scientists in Ireland. Irish science is compared with other research on 'colonial' or 'imperial' science. Using the case studies of the Atlantic slope crustacea, the Tyrone trilobite and the Wright forami.nifera, the author demonstrates the complex relationship between Imperial and Irish science. There is very little evidence to support the view that the Catholic Church restricted the practise of scientific research in Ireland. Nor was the relationship between Irish nationalism and science as hostile as some writers have suggested. The continued Protestant dominance of science and of scientific institutions until independence was much more due to the legacy of the Ascendancy than to any reluctance from Catholics or Nationalists to engage. Nicholas Whyte succeeds in presenting a unique evaluation of a long misunderstood topic, and positions his study firmly in the existing realms of discourse on public policy, gender studies, Irish cultural studies and the history of ideas.

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