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The floracrats : state-sponsored science and the failure of the Enlightenment in Indonesia

Author: Andrew Goss, Ph. D.
Publisher: Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, ©2011.
Series: New perspectives in Southeast Asian studies.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Situated along the line that divides the rich ecologies of Asia and Australia, the Indonesian archipelago is a hotbed for scientific exploration, and scientists from around the world have made key discoveries there. But why do the names of Indonesia's own scientists rarely appear in the annals of scientific history? In The Floracrats Andrew Goss examines the professional lives of Indonesian naturalists and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Goss, Andrew, Ph. D.
Floracrats.
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, ©2011
(DLC) 2010012967
(OCoLC)613991156
Material Type: Document, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Andrew Goss, Ph. D.
ISBN: 9780299248635 0299248631 1283077558 9781283077552
OCLC Number: 704294052
Description: 1 online resource (xiv, 256 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: Apostles of enlightenment --
Quinine science --
Treub's beautiful science --
Ethical professionals --
The nationalists' enlightenment --
Technocratic dreams --
Desk science.
Series Title: New perspectives in Southeast Asian studies.
Responsibility: Andrew Goss.

Abstract:

Situated along the line that divides the rich ecologies of Asia and Australia, the Indonesian archipelago is a hotbed for scientific exploration, and scientists from around the world have made key discoveries there. But why do the names of Indonesia's own scientists rarely appear in the annals of scientific history? In The Floracrats Andrew Goss examines the professional lives of Indonesian naturalists and biologists, to show what happens to science when a powerful state becomes its greatest, and indeed only, patron. With only one purse to pay for research, Indonesia's scientists followed a state agenda focused mainly on exploiting the country's most valuable natural resources & mdash;above all its major export crops: quinine, sugar, coffee, tea, rubber, and indigo. The result was a class of botanic bureaucrats that Goss dubs the "floracrats." Drawing on archives and oral histories, he shows how these scientists strove for the Enlightenment ideal of objective, universal, and useful knowledge, even as they betrayed that ideal by failing to share scientific knowledge with the general public. With each chapter, Goss details the phases of power and the personalities in Indonesia that have struggled with this dilemma, from the early colonial era, through independence, to the modern Indonesian state. Goss shows just how limiting dependence on an all-powerful state can be for a scientific community, no matter how idealistic its individual scientists may be.

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A detailed examination of the development of scientific research and institutions in Indonesia since the nineteenth century. . . . Its boldness makes this an important book, one that should be read Read more...

 
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