The Routledge Handbook of Science and Empire introduces readers to important new research in the field of science and empire. This compilation of inquiry into the inextricably intertwined history of science and empire reframes the field, showing that one could not have grown without the other.

The volume expands the history of science through careful attention to connections, exchanges, and networks beyond the scientific institutions of Europe and the United States. These 27 original essays by established scholars and new talent examine: scientific and imperial disciplines, networks of science, scientific practice within empires, and decolonised science. The chapters cover a wide range of disciplines, from anthropology and psychiatry to biology and geology. There is global coverage, with essays about China, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, India, the Middle East, Russia, the Arctic, and North and South America. Specialised essays cover Jesuit science, natural history collecting, energy systems, and science in UNESCO.

With authoritative chapters by leading scholars, this is a guiding resource for all scholars of empire and science. Free of jargon and with clearly written essays, the handbook is a valuable path to further inquiry for any student of the history of science and empire.

chapter 1|9 pages


An imperial turn in the history of science
ByAndrew Goss

chapter 2|11 pages

Situating the empire in history of science

ByPratik Chakrabarti

chapter 3|14 pages

Cartography and empire from early modernity to postmodernity

ByThomas Simpson

chapter 4|12 pages

Racial science

ByJames Poskett

chapter 5|12 pages

Meteorology and empire

ByMartin Mahony

chapter 6|11 pages

Colonial psychiatry

ByMatthew M. Heaton

chapter 7|10 pages

Anthropology and empire

ByFenneke Sysling

chapter 8|7 pages

Natural history collections and empire

ByAndreas Weber

chapter 10|10 pages

Energy and empire

ByNathan Kapoor

chapter 11|17 pages

Science, empire, and the old Society of Jesus, 1540–1773

ByMaria Pia Donato, Sabina Pavone

chapter 12|14 pages

Networks of knowledge in the Indo-Pacific, 1600–1800

ByDorit Brixius

chapter 13|10 pages

Between transimperial networking and national antagonism

German scientists in the British Empire during the long nineteenth century
ByUlrike Kirchberger

chapter 15|10 pages

The dynamic trajectory of French colonialism and science

ByMichael A. Osborne

chapter 16|12 pages

Another empire

Science in the Ottoman lands
ByDaniel A. Stolz

chapter 17|13 pages

The planting of “colonial” science in Russian soil

ByAnna Kuxhausen

chapter 18|13 pages

Scientific knowledge in the Qing Empire

Engaging with the world, 1644–1911
ByJames Flowers

chapter 19|8 pages

Empire, cultivation, and the environment in Southeast Asia since 1500

ByTimothy P. Barnard

chapter 20|10 pages

Science and its publics in British India

ByCharu Singh

chapter 21|10 pages

From history of science to history of knowledge?

Themes and perspectives in colonial Australasia
ByJames Beattie, Ruth A. Morgan

chapter 22|15 pages

Empires and science

The case of the sixteenth-century Iberian Empire
ByAntonio Barrera-Osorio

chapter 23|11 pages

Science in early North America

ByCameron B. Strang

chapter 24|11 pages

Science, the United States, and Latin America

ByMegan Raby

chapter 25|11 pages

Arctic science

ByNanna Katrine Lüders Kaalund

chapter 26|14 pages

Science and decolonisation in UNESCO

ByCasper Andersen

chapter 27|14 pages

Decolonising science and medicine in Indonesia

ByHans Pols