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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America


Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America Cover

ISBN13: 9780226733555
ISBN10: 0226733556
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Prior to 1735, South America was terra incognita to many Europeans. But that year, the Paris Academy of Sciences sent a mission to the Spanish American province of Quito (in present-day Ecuador) to study the curvature of the earth at the Equator. Equipped with quadrants and telescopes, the mission’s participants referred to the transfer of scientific knowledge from Europe to the Andes as a “sacred fire” passing mysteriously through European astronomical instruments to observers in South America.
By taking an innovative interdisciplinary look at the traces of this expedition, Measuring the New World examines the transatlantic flow of knowledge from West to East. Through ephemeral monuments and geographical maps, this book explores how the social and cultural worlds of South America contributed to the production of European scientific knowledge during the Enlightenment. Neil Safier uses the notebooks of traveling philosophers, as well as specimens from the expedition, to place this particular scientific endeavor in the larger context of early modern print culture and the emerging intellectual category of scientist as author. 

About the Author

Neil Safier is associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Ascent of Francesurcu


Introduction: New Worlds to Measure and Mime

1 The Ruined Pyramids of Yaruquí

2 An Enlightened Amazon, with Fables and a Fold-Out Map

3 Armchair Explorers

4 Correcting Quito

5 A Nation Defamed and Defended

6 Incas in the Kings Garden

7 The Golden Monkey and the Monkey-Worm

Conclusion: Cartographers, Concubines, and Fugitive Slaves


Notes Bibliography Index

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Adela, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Adela)
A new way of writing history of science! Congratulations!
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Product Details

Safier, Neil
University of Chicago Press
Earth Sciences - Geography
Latin America - General
Latin America - South America
South America - Historical geography
Amazon River Region
History of Science-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
20 color plates, 59 halftones
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » South America
Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America New Hardcover
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Product details 408 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226733555 Reviews:
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