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A Temperate EmpireMaking Climate Change in Early America$
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Anya Zilberstein

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190206598

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190206598.001.0001

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Transatlantic Networks and the Geography of Climate Knowledge

Transatlantic Networks and the Geography of Climate Knowledge

(p.53) 2 Transatlantic Networks and the Geography of Climate Knowledge
A Temperate Empire

Anya Zilberstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconstructs the geography of scientific expertise in early America, in particular the transatlantic scientific networks through which learned elites in the Northeast established their credibility as naturalists to communicate authoritative information about the local climate. Before the rise of professional science and its institutions, American naturalists, like their counterparts elsewhere in the Atlantic world, were officials, clergymen, physicians, lawyers, merchants, or large landowners—governing elites and learned gentlemen and women who, in addition to their primary occupations or other pursuits, also studied, described, and managed local environments. As this chapter argues, the contacts they established with British and European naturalists before the American Revolution were not disrupted by it, but rather persisted through the late eighteenth century as part of the increasingly interconnected scientific community of the wider Atlantic world.

Keywords:   American Revolution, networks, Atlantic history, history of science, natural history, Enlightenment, Republic of Letters

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