Museums and Collections (1500-2000)

Museums hold a special place in the world of science as sites that prioritize both research and public education. Of course (and increasingly so in recent years), museums are also meant to entertain the general public. Yet the average museum-goer rarely ponders the multiple roles that these institutions have played in generating wealth, promulgating nationalism, and furthering science on the whole. Likewise, concerns about why and how a science museum is funded and the consequent effects on what kind of knowledge it creates and presents are not often at the forefront of one's mind when strolling past displays of dinosaur bones, minerals, or ethnographic artifacts. Nevertheless, such considerations have shaped museums at every stage of their historical development and, to a large extent, have helped form modern science itself. Science museums have also changed how a given society understands the natural world and its own place within it.

At its most basic, a museum requires the collection of things; that is, objects are taken from their original location and put in a "scientific" one. The criteria governing what is and is not worthy of collection, however, have changed considerably since Europeans began hording "curiosities" from the natural and human world during the Renaissance and early modern period. Such early cabinets of curiosity, like the Museum Wormianum in the sources, displayed items meant to fill the visitor with wonder, a cultivated sentiment evoked by such things as stuffed birds, interesting crystals, or weapons from an alien culture. The noticeable differences between such diverse items, though, led collectors and naturalists alike to draw larger and larger distinctions between various curios, a process that was closely tied to the rise of scientific specializations such as botany, zoology, and even anthropology (Bedini 1965; Jenkins 1994).

This process, though, was not limited to Europe. The strange things found in the New World directly inspired European curiosity in nature and the empirical study of it, both of which led Europeans to take things (and, indeed, people) from the Americas to display and study in European capitals. Although a few inhabitants of Latin America, such as Sor Juana, accrued collections of scientific books and instruments in the early colonial period, the region did not see a significant number of scientific collections, museums, or botanical gardens until the late eighteenth century, when creole intellectuals and European scientific expeditions began founding these institutions. Almost immediately after the wars of independence (1808-1820), the governments of the new Latin American nation states made it a priority to promote science and many national museums sprang up with mandates to educate the public, study natural resources, and serve as loci of national pride (Saldana 2006).

Until well into the twentieth century, two main themes have motivated Latin American museums of science: economics and national pride. As institutions that gathered and studied natural resources, especially plants and minerals, governments used museums as a vehicle for bringing hitherto unexploited resources into the service of the state. This was not a novel idea: according to historian Paula S. De Vos, the Spanish and other European empires collected natural specimens from throughout the world in metropolitan museums and botanical gardens in order to further the crown's economic interests (De Vos 2007). While the Latin American nation states were more limited in their geographic scope (usually to the territory within their own borders), many of these areas were but little known and the search for new sources of wealth, especially plants, catalyzed the creation of many museums and botanical gardens that would find economically viable uses for hitherto unknown flora. Even small countries with undeveloped scientific infrastructures like Costa Rica and Venezuela (both considered in the sources) made an effort to build local science through museums. There were, however, often too many economic or political obstacles to overcome and many of these fledgling museums were abandoned (Eakin 1999; McCook 2002).

The other theme, nationalism, manifested itself in several ways in Latin America's science museums. The first and perhaps most important way was their very existence; nationalists who hoped to build countries that would be cultural and intellectual equals to France and England saw national museums as a requisite facet of modernity. National museums (as well as important provincial ones like the Museu Paulista and the Museo de La Plata) could also focus attention on those aspects of science in which a given country prided itself (Lopes and Podrogny 2000). Thus, for example, Argentina's Museo de La Plata displayed the bones of giant Patagonian mammals while Mexico's Museo Nacional (later the Museo Nacional de Antropologia) showed off the glorious artifacts of its pre-Spanish civilizations. Latin American governments also hoped that science museums would promulgate science within the nation that was also for the nation, training specialists that would further develop scientific infrastructures while improving society in practical ways.

Today, Latin America is home to several world renowned museums that educate visitors and publish research, yet much of the material on which various sciences are based (plants, animals, fossils, artifacts) continue to be collected and displayed by scientific powers outside of the region. Recent debates over the repatriation of ethnographic artifacts (like those Hiram Bingham III took from Peru) prove just how touchy this subject can be and how museums--and even local variations of science--are still quite imbued with nationalistic sentiments.

Questions for further exploration:

1. How were the earliest European museums (the "cabinets of curiosity") directly influenced by the discovery and exploration of the New World? In your response, consider the new approach to science practiced by the Spanish Empire during the early colonial era (expeditions, empiricism, search for resources, questionnaires, etc.). Give specific examples and consult other topics, especially Scientific Expeditions and Early Colonial Science.

2. Compare the collection efforts of late eighteenth-century Spain, such as its natural history museums and botanical gardens, with the national museums built by Latin American nation states soon after their independence. What was similar or different about the ideologies, motives, items, purpose, organization, scope, etc. of the collections?

3. What are some (two or three) of the problems with museums as scientific institutions? Are these problems shared by museums the world over or do they play out differently in Latin America?


4. Latin America has a natural wealth of plant life, including thousands of genera that exist nowhere else in the world. Look at the history of botanical collecting since the Enlightenment by naturalists both within and outside of the region. How have the methods and goals of botanical collectors changed (or stayed the same) over the last 250 years. Consult the Botany topic for your response.

5. Latin American institutions have used museums and collections to increase their prestige and discover and cultivate new resources, but the instability of many of these institutions has led to the loss of several potentially important specimens that may have been better preserved in scientifically more advanced countries. Make an argument for or against local (Latin American) museums as the best sites to preserve, study, and display local (Latin American) specimens (plant, animal, fossil, ethnographic, etc.).

Further reading:

Bedini, Silvio A. "The Evolution of Science Museums." Technology and Culture. 6: 1, Museums of Technology (Winter 1965): 1-29.

De Vos, Paula S. "Natural History and the Pursuit of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Spain." Eighteenth-Century Studies. 40: 2 (2007): 209-239.

Eakin, Marshall C. "The Origins of Modern Science in Costa Rica: The Instituto Fisico-Geografic Nacional, 1887-1904."  Latin American Research Review. 34: 1 (1999): 123-150.

Jenkins, David. "Object Lessons and Ethnographic Displays: Museum Exhibition and the Making of American Anthropology." Comparative Studies of Society and History. 36: 2 (April 1994): 242-270.

Lopes, Maria Margaret and Irina Podgorny. "The Shaping of Latin American Museums of Natural History, 1850-1990."  Osiris, 2nd Series. 15, Nature and Empire: Science and the Colonial Enterprise (2000): 108-118.

McCook, Stuart. States of Nature: Science, Agriculture, and Environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760-1940. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002.

Saldana, Jaun Jose. "Science and Freedom: Science and Technology as a Policy of the New American States." In Saldana, Juan Jose and Bernabe Madrigal, eds. Science in Latin America: A History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. pp. 151-162.

---. "Science and Public Happiness during the Latin American Enlightenment." In Saldana, Juan Jose and Bernabe Madrigal, eds. Science in Latin America: A History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. pp. 51-92.

Collecting Culture

Date: 1857
Owner: New York Public Library
Source Type: Images

 

In 1825, the newly independent Republic of Mexico established the Museo Nacional de Mexico, an institution that was at once a monument to Enlightenment science and the Mexican nation. It was one of several national museums founded in Latin America circa 1812 to 1830 to facilitate research and the education of the populace. According to historian Juan Saldana, Latin American nation states created these and other scientific institutions in the early independence period for political and ideological reasons, but also because there were no real economic impetuses to generate local science after the devastation of the wars of independence. The government thus made promulgating science one of its priorities; indeed, this goal was written explicitly in many Latin American constitutions (Saldana 2006).

As with other national museums, Mexico's Museo Nacional was focused on natural history, but at this stage of development museologists had not yet completely segregated ethnographic artifacts from this category. As part of the nationalistic enthusiasm for Mexican things, collectors horded artifacts that highlighted the greatness of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by the mid nineteenth century the Museo Nacional possessed many of the items that would eventually be housed in the world famous Museo Nacional de Antropologia, which became a separate institution in the mid twentieth century. Among the items pictured here are bas-reliefs from temples, statues, pots, weapons, and an enormous calendar stone.

Yet there are inherent problems with ethnographic displays as science: the process of collecting and displaying ethnographic items fundamentally changes the meaning of those artifacts. Whereas a given statue or tool could have various and multiple meanings for the ethnic group that produced it, the way that it is presented in a museum reduces these meanings to the one (or few) forwarded by a given expert whose opinion is taken as legitimate. Even more limiting were drawings like this one that presented items in two dimensions. Such drawings had to be labeled tersely for organizational purposes and the (often less than accurate) drawings only highlight what the artist considered important thus reducing another observer's ability to empirically study a whole artifact. It is no coincidence that the development of "scientific" anthropology in the late nineteenth century coincided temporally with the specialization of ethnographic exhibits: both were confident in their own ability to know and name alien things objectively, an ethnocentric assumption that has since been seriously called into question.

References: Jenkins, David. "Object Lessons and Ethnographic Displays: Museum Exhibition and the Making of American Anthropology." In Comparative Studies of Society and History, Vol. 36, no. 2 (Apr., 1994), pp. 242-270.

 

Saldana, Jaun Jose. "Science and Freedom: Science and Technology as a Policy of the New American States." In Saldana, Juan Jose and Bernabe Madrigal, eds. Science in Latin America: A History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. pp. 151-162.


CITATION: Castro, C. Antiguedades mexicanas, que existen en el Museo Nacional de Mexico, 1857. Plate 38. In Mexico y sus alrededores. Coleccion de vistas monumentales, paisajes y trajes del pais. Dibujados al natural y litografiados por los artistas mexicanos C. Castro, G. Rodriguez e J. campillo. Bajo la direccion de V. Debray. Published in 1869. Courtesy of the New York Public Library, Humanities and Social Sciences Library/Art, Prints and Photographs. Digital ID: 1519699. 

DIGITAL ID: 13116

 

 

Collecting Plants

Date: 1770
Owner: John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
Source Type: Images

 

The Bourbon monarchs of the eighteenth century Spanish Enlightenment, especially Carlos III (1716-1788), used a network of professional naturalists and interested amateurs to collect natural history specimens from throughout its Atlantic and Pacific empires and send these items back to institutions in Spain for research and development. The crown's emphasis on gathering useful information that could benefit the empire goes back to the sixteenth century Relaciones Geograficas (see the Navigation and Cartography topic) and was even based on the same bureaucratic network as those surveys. Unlike the Relaciones, which simply collected geographic and demographic information, the Bourbons also gathered samples of plants, animals, and minerals to be studied in Madrid's new Royal Botanical Garden and Royal Natural History Museum.

In the eighteenth century, the costs and challenges of transporting specimens across the ocean, especially live plants and animals, were significant. For example, this English source shows some of the many new technologies invented to facilitate the international shipment of plants, an activity that was increasingly important to all of Europe's major empires. Plants had to be given sunlight, fresh water, and cargo space, all of which were hard to come by on a ship, and they took up valuable space that could have been used for a more obviously useful product, like sugar or silver. Yet the Spanish crown was willing, even eager, to make this investment because natural specimens, especially plants, had the potential to be useful and make the empire economically stronger. The Spanish already had a long tradition of focusing on useful science, and New World plants like dyes, fibers, food, and medicine would be directly beneficial to its people.

Indeed, this kind of bioprospecting was integral to the idea of development (fomento) that was crucial to economic theory in late eighteenth century Spain. Developing new resources would be a foundation for building new national industries and lessening reliance on foreign (extra-imperial) imports. The Bourbon collections, then, were far more than just the pursuit of curiosities for a casual museum-going population in the capital; collecting was to be a new basis for imperial wealth.

Reference: De Vos, Paula S. "Natural History and the Pursuit of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Spain." In Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 40, no. 2 (2007), pp. 209-239.


CITATION: Diagrams on how to pack seeds and plants. In: Ellis, John. Directions for bringing over seeds and plants from the East-Indies and other distant countries in a state of vegetation. London: Printed and sold by L. Davis, printer to the Royal Society, 1770. Accession no. 9939. Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

DIGITAL ID: 13115

 

Map of Venezuela

Date: 1920
Owner: Liografia del Comercio, Caracas
Source Type: Images

The Commercial and Industrial Museum, which was located in Caracas' Plaza Bolivar, was a Venezuelan institution meant to promote national economic growth through scientific study of natural resources found within the country's borders. This museum focused almost exclusively on collection, research, and publication, leaving the duty of public education and display to the Museo Nacional, built in 1875. As part of a regional trend of inviting foreign specialists to bolster national scientific institutions, the government hired Henri Pittier, the Swiss naturalist and former director of Costa Rica's Instituto Fisico-Geografico, as the museum's director.

Venezuelan scientific institutions faced several financial and political challenges, and Pittier knew that--like the Instituto Fisico-Geografico--the Museum was in constant danger of loosing funding or government patronage. Yet Pittier also knew the potential wealth (both scientific and economic) in Venezuela and thus strove to repair what he considered the deplorable state of national science. Organization and classification were key to this effort and Pittier led a campaign to reorganize national museums, find and study natural resources, and publish the findings in academic journals.

The museum published the Commercial and Industrial Bulletin, but despite Pittier's arguments that such journals were necessary for building national science, the government terminated the publication after only one issue. While working for the museum, Pittier also made this Mapa Ecologico de Venezuela, a clear representation of just how many potential sources of wealth existed within the nation's boundaries. Plants, Pittier's special interest, dominate this economic and ecological landscape, and he collected several new specimens that he later sent to experts in Germany and the U.S. for classification.

Despite the obvious benefit that such publications would have for the nation, the government was often at odds with Pittier and fired him as the museum's director in 1933. The dictator Juan Vincente Gomez and his ministers were upset with how Pittier criticized their lack of attention to natural conservation and modernizing agriculture because they refused to tolerate any negative portrayal of government policies. Furthermore, the state was growing more interested in exporting petroleum and saw less and less need for the museum's plant collections, a clear example of how science often depends on the whims of political and economic circumstances. Pittier remained in Venezuela where he continued to do botanical work until his death in 1950.

Reference: McCook, Stuart. States of Nature: Science, Agriculture, and Environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760-1940. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002.


CITATION: Pittier, Henri. Mapa Ecologico de Venezuela que demuestra las zonas naturales, los cultivosm las vias de communicacion y los principales centros mineros, etc.. Caracas: Liografia del Comercio, 1920. 

DIGITAL ID: 13117

 

Museo Nacional de Costa Rica

Date: 1889
Owner: Andy Rusch
Source Type: Images

 

Costa Rica's Museo Nacional was one of the country's few nineteenth century scientific institutions, created as part of their efforts to promote public education in order to modernize through the tenets of positivism. Anastasio Alfaro, a self-taught Costa Rican naturalist, had convinced the government to fund the museum and, despite very modest beginnings, developed a respectable collection of animal and mineral samples as well as many pre-Colombian artifacts.

The Museo became important to Costa Rican science on a national level when, in 1889, it was merged with the meteorological observatory recently founded by Swiss polymath Henri Pittier. These two institutes joined into the Instituto Fisico-Geografico Nacional (IFG), an effort by Costa Rica to create a foundation for national science ex nullius. Although the IFG's projects included meteorology, ethnography, and geology, its major initiative was creating a map of Costa Rica. Yet due to divisions within the institute (Alfaro and Pittier had trouble seeing eye to eye) and insufficient funding, the mapmaking was perpetually being postponed.

The problem was that Costa Rica's economy (and thus the IFG's funding) was dependent on agriculture, especially the export crops of coffee and bananas. Thus, after the IFG had been temporarily shut down, Pittier focused his research on botany and, persuaded by the economic potential of this work to enrich the nation, the government reopened the IFG in 1901. Yet Pittier soon became disillusioned and quit the Instituto (though he did eventually finish the map), which came under the control of Alfaro until its dissolution in 1910.

Actual science depends on research and, despite its short life, the IFG was an exceptional center for generating knowledge in a country that has long been outside of the world's scientific centers. The IFG, however, illustrates the inherent difficulties of trying to buildup science in developing nations, where funding often depends on unstable mono-crop agriculture.

Reference: Eakin, Marshall C. "The Origins of Modern Science in Costa Rica: The Instituto Fisico-Geografic Nacional, 1887-1904." In Latin American Research Review, Vol. 34, No. 1. (1999), pp. 123-150.


CITATION: Andy Rusch. National Museum of Costa Rica. January, 2011. San Jose, Costa Rica.

DIGITAL ID: 13074

 

Museo de la Plata

Date: 1884
Owner: Patricia Lorente
Source Type: Images

 

The Museo de La Plata, founded in 1884, has acted as both as an internationally renowned paleontological research center and as a locus of Argentine scientific nationalism. It was designed to be architecturally grand, not only so as to be a visible spectacle of Argentina's progress but also because it had to be large enough to house the assembled skeletons of huge prehistoric animals. Indeed, the giant glyptodonts and megatheria displayed in the Museo de La Plata were themselves symbolic of Argentina's glorious past and present scientific abilities. Although this museum focused on ancient and extinct species, it was through-and-through an institution of progress and the prevailing ideas of positivism.

The museum was the brainchild of Francisco Moreno, a young man who dreamt of creating a natural history museum that would rival those of Paris and London. (The Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires had already existed for over fifty years, but many did not consider it worthy of Argentina's natural and national heritage). Upon the Museo de La Plata's completion, Moreno became its first director and the museum reflected his own positivism and that of the Generation of 1880. In large part, the museum was a monument to evolution, a belief widely shared among positivists, and it sought to display how Argentina had developed from long-extinct mammals, to "primitive" peoples, and ultimately to a modern western state. From the 1890s, the museum began taking on more of the functions of elite European institutions, including scientific education and publication of research journals.

In his quest for more fossils, Moreno hired Florentino Ameghino as the museum's vice director.  In 1887, the museum sponsored an expedition to Patagonia led by Florentino's brother, Carlos, in which he made the important discovery that the entire region of Patagonia had once been undersea and he collected many marine fossils for the museum. Florentino and Moreno, however, soon had a falling out, and by the end of the expedition, the newly discovered fossils had to find a different home.

Today, the Museo de La Plata is one of the world's foremost centers of paleontology, especially paleomammology focusing on the many strange mammals that once inhabited the Southern Cone. The museum has sponsored many expeditions to Patagonia and has made important recent finds in Argentina's western province of Jujuy.

Reference: Lopes, Maria Margaret and Irina Podgorny. "The Shaping of Latin American Museums of Natural History, 1850-1990." In Osiris, 2nd Series, Vol. 15, Nature and Empire: Science and the Colonial Enterprise (2000), pp. 108-118.


CITATION: Frente del Museo de La Plata. Foto tomada el 3 de noviembre de 2005. Patricia Lorente. 

DIGITAL ID: 13095

 

Museu Paulista

Date: 1894
Owner: Library of Congress
Source Type: Images

 

Brazil's Museu Paulista, built in Sao Paulo in 1894, was a provincial natural history museum meant to be larger, grander, and more scientifically specialized than the older state-sponsored museum of the national capital, the Museu Nacional (1818). The Museu Nacional was one of several national natural history museums built by the newly independent nations of Latin America in the early nineteenth century that acted as both scientific institutions and symbols of national identity. At first, these national museums were used mainly for displaying and studying a country's mineral resources, but their focus broadened in the late nineteenth century to include the entire spectrum of sciences. Indeed, Ladislau Necco (1838-1894)--the director of the Museu Nacional during this period--aimed at an almost universal scope, expanding the museum to include teaching and research centers, artifacts from around the world, and fossils.

The Museu Paulista, though, focused exclusively on the natural sciences of South America and argued that this specialization made it more scientific than the Museu Nacional. Sao Paulo had grown rich on coffee agriculture and the Museu Paulista's first director, the German Herman von Ihering, used wealthy growers as financiers for the majestic building and its rapidly growing collections. As with Argentina's Museo de La Plata, both the collection and the grandeur of the building itself were meant to be monuments of national science.

The Museu Paulista was part of an explicit--though mutually beneficial--rivalry with other natural history museums throughout Brazil and Argentina. The "South-South" links established between these scientific centers helped Brazil and Argentina shed many of the nationalistically-demeaning ties to the U.S. and Europe while also serving as an example for other Latin American countries as to how a national scientific infrastructure could be built. One conspicuous example of the cooperation between Brazilian and Argentine natural history museums was the correspondence between Florentino Ameghino (see the Paleontology topic) and von Ihering, who both tried to use mineral and fossil evidence to create a new (and nationalistic) geological history of South America. Similarly, the museums worked together to study the bones, artifacts, and languages of the region's "primitive" peoples to support the theory about the South American origin of human life.

Reference: Lopes, Maria Margaret and Irina Podgorny. "The Shaping of Latin American Museums of Natural History, 1850-1990." In Osiris, 2nd Series, Vol. 15, Nature and Empire: Science and the Colonial Enterprise (2000), pp. 108-118.


CITATION: Foto do Museu Paulista (Museu do Ipiranga) provelmente no inicio do seculo XX. c. 1900. Library of Congress (Bain News Service).

DIGITAL ID: 13114

 

Museum Wormianum

Date: 1655
Owner: Smithsonian Institution
Source Type: Images

 

The earliest European scientific collections were begun at roughly the same time that European explorers, naturalists, and colonizers were first discovering the wonders of the New World. This was no coincidence. Scientific collections and the exploration of the Americas were both intrinsically tied to the Renaissance and the emergence of early modern science. Furthermore, the animals, plants, and peoples of the Americas were so strange to Europeans that they helped inspire an age of curiosity in which intellectuals began to collect nature so as to examine it more closely and, eventually, systematically. Similarly, early museums took an interest in "artificial curiosities," manmade objects like globes, navigation tools, automata (clockwork robots), weapons, and machines. The eventually segregation of human technology from natural history collections was the root of modern museums of science.

Early European museums like this one, Ole Worm's (1588-1654) seventeenth century Museum Wormianum in Copenhagen, were at the forefront of creating the subdivisions that, by the Enlightenment, were fundamental to how European naturalists like Carol Linnaeus organized the world. The elementary classification systems developed by collectors at these early cabinets of curiosity split natural history specimens into minerals, plants, and animals. Ole Worm's museum has a similar system of classification, but it is obvious that the collective trait of curiousness shared by all of these items was more important than their particular characteristics. Thus while boxes of shells, animal parts, salts, and metals are placed in their own boxes, they are scattered among statues, skulls, and various human artifacts. Many of the items to which the most attention is drawn are of New World provenance, such as the Eskimo kayak on the ceiling, the stuffed alligator on the wall, an armadillo, and a variety of Indian tools and weapons.

Reference: Bedini, Silvio A. "The Evolution of Science Museums." In Technology and Culture, vol. 6, no. 1, Museums of Technology (Winter, 1965), pp. 1-29.


CITATION: Ole Worm's Cabinet of Curiosities, from Museum Wormianum, 1655.

DIGITAL ID: 13113

 

Source References

Web Sites

Palacio de Mineraia (undefined)

Museo nacional de Colombia (undefined)

Publications

Bedini, Silvio A. "The Evolution of Science Museums." Technology and Culture. 6: 1, Museums of Technology (Winter 1965): 1-29.

De Vos, Paula S. "Natural History and the Pursuit of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Spain." Eighteenth-Century Studies. 40: 2 (2007): 209-239.

Eakin, Marshall C. "The Origins of Modern Science in Costa Rica: The Instituto Fisico-Geografic Nacional, 1887-1904." Latin American Research Review. 34: 1 (1999): 123-150. 

Jenkins, David. "Object Lessons and Ethnographic Displays: Museum Exhibition and the Making of American Anthropology." Comparative Studies of Society and History. 36: 2 (April 1994): 242-270.

Lopes, Maria Margaret and Irina Podgorny. "The Shaping of Latin American Museums of Natural History, 1850-1990." Osiris, 2nd Series, 15, Nature and Empire: Science and the Colonial Enterprise (2000): 108-118.

McCook, Stuart George. States of Nature: Science, Agriculture, and Environment in the Spanish Caribbean, 1760-1940. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. 

Saldana, Jaun Jose. "Science and Freedom: Science and Technology as a Policy of the New American States." In

Saldana, Juan Jose and Bernabe Madrigal, eds. Science in Latin America: A History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. pp. 151-162.

Saldana, Juan Jose. "Science and Public Happiness during the Latin American Enlightenment." In Saldana, Juan Jose and Bernabe Madrigal, eds. Science in Latin America: A History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006. pp. 51-92.