This volume explores problems in the history of science at the
intersection of life sciences and agriculture, from the mid-eighteenth
to the mid-twentieth century. Taking a comparative national perspective,
the book examines agricultural practices in a broad sense, including
the practices and disciplines devoted to land management, forestry, soil
science, and the improvement and management of crops and livestock. The
life sciences considered include genetics, microbiology, ecology,
entomology, forestry, and deal with US, European, Russian, Japanese,
Indonesian, Chinese contexts. The book shows that the investigation of
the border zone of life sciences and agriculture raises many interesting
questions about how science develops. In particular it challenges one
to re-examine and take seriously the intimate connection between
scientific development and the practical goals of managing and improving
– perhaps even recreating – the living world to serve human ends.
Without close attention to this zone it is not possible to understand
the emergence of new disciplines and transformation of old disciplines,
to evaluate the role and impact of such major figures of science as
Humboldt and Mendel, or to appreciate how much of the history of modern
biology has been driven by national ambitions and imperialist expansion
in competition with rival nations.
Chap 4 : Cristiana Oghina-Pavie, Rose and Pear Breeding in Nineteenth-Century France: The Practice and Science of Diversity.