Networks of Knowledge

Mark Harrison

in India and the British Empire

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199259885
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744587 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series

Networks of Knowledge

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter explores some of the less familiar aspects of science, medicine, and empire in early colonial India, examining some of the many informal networks which overlapped with those created by the East India Company and key metropolitan institutions like the Royal Society. It looks both at knowledge gathering within British India and at the circulation of ideas between India, Britain, and other countries. Among other things, it considers the great variety of projects in which medical practitioners and natural philosophers participated, as well as their various interests and motives. The chapter attempts to show that men of science made use of their time in India to pursue a variety of intellectual agendas, some of which were surprisingly radical in nature.

Keywords: anatomy; astronomy; dissent; enlightenment; medicine; networks; orientalism

Chapter.  8808 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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