Communicating “Natural knowledge” for the “common benefit” of England: Science, Trade and Colonial Expansion in Philosophical Transactions 1665-1700

by Manuela D’Amore

This paper concentrates on the early Royal Society, on its idea of Nature, and on the impact that it had on the advancement and circulation of agricultural knowledge. Rich in descriptions of beautiful landscapes, in “Enquiries” on “curious” geologico-botanical phenomena and innovative plantation systems, Philosophical Transactions, the prestigious journal founded by Henry Oldenburg in 1665, effectively contributed to Britain’s techno-scientific progress as well as its openness to Europe and far-off lands. Still neglected by academic criticism, and ideally divided into two macro thematic areas, the articles which appeared in the years 1665-1700 will represent this paper’s textual and structural basis: our aim is to show that the Fellows and their correspondents also changed the idea of learned travel as they linked natural knowledge, trade and imperialism.

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