Chapter

An Imperial Laboratory

in Africa as a Living Laboratory

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226803463
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226803487 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226803487.003.0002
An Imperial Laboratory

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This chapter addresses the multifaceted preoccupations of geographical societies and the field expeditions they sponsored in tropical Africa, showing the longevity of concern for the development of Africa and the integral part scientists played in forming its epistemological content. It is believed that naturalists and scientists of all sorts would be important players in the “opening up” of Africa. Complicating the inherent tensions between multinational and national rights was the problem of how to set limits on geographical expeditions and scientific activities. The national jealousies and the impetus to seize lands that British officials had feared soon materialized. The African Society's objective to assess “indigenous” culture and institutions would thus help to “disperse many errors and dispel many illusions”.

Keywords: tropical Africa; multinational rights; national rights; geographical expeditions; national jealousies; African Society

Chapter.  15882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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