The Science of Shallow Waters: Connecting and Classifying the Early Modern Atlantic
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Pastore, Christopher L. The Science of Shallow Waters: Connecting and Classifying the Early Modern Atlantic, 2021, Isis, 112, 1
Pastore_Science_of_Shallow_Water_Isis_MARCH2021.pdf (Published (author's copy) - Peer Reviewed) 99.95Kb
Histories of ocean science have emphasized the ways that state-sponsored deep-sea expeditions ushered in a new age of oceanic understanding during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This essay, on the other hand, examines the ways that shallow waters played host to less formal but nevertheless important efforts to create oceanic natural knowledge, often centuries earlier. By documenting the legends and experiences of people who worked on and lived by the ocean—divers, sailors, and fishermen, among others—and corroborating their stories with firsthand observation, seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century natural historians built a nascent science of the sea. In its close focus on “sea beans” and “barnacle geese,” subjects of wide conjecture and earnest curiosity, the essay shows how shallow waters welcomed new actors onto the scientific stage and decentered the geographies of knowledge production, thereby advancing contemporary knowledge of oceanic circulation as well as the taxonomies and ecologies of coastal creatures.
Author: Pastore, Christopher L.
Publisher:History of Science Society
Type of material:Journal Article
Availability:Full text available