Empires of Knowledge charts the emergence of different kinds of scientific networks – local and long-distance, informal and institutional, religious and secular – between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries as one of the important phenomena of the early modern world. It seeks to answer what role these networks played in making knowledge, how information travelled, how was it transformed by travel and who were the brokers of this world?
This book brings together an international group of historians of science and medicine to explore the changing relationship between knowledge and community in the early modern period through case studies connecting Europe, Asia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Americas. It explores a landscape of understanding (and misunderstanding) nature through examinations of well-known intelligencers such as overseas missions, trading companies and empires while incorporating more recent scholarship on the many less prominent go-betweens, such as translators and local experts, which made these networks of knowledge vibrant and truly global institutions.
Empires of Knowledge is the perfect introduction to the global history of early modern science and medicine.
Paula Findlen is Ubaldo Pierrotti Professor of Italian History and Co-Director of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Stanford University, USA. Her previous works include Early Modern Things (2012), Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy(1996), which was awarded the Pfizer Prize in the History of Science, and (co-edited with Pamela Smith) Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science and Art in Early Modern Europe (2001).