Johann Friedrich Blumenbach was one of the most important and influential naturalists of the Late Enlightenment. For many years, Blumenbach was a forgotten figure in the historiography of the Enlightenment. But there has been a more recent revival of interest in Blumenbach that makes his anthropologic and ethnographic views very controversial. Over and above Blumenbach's anti-racist conceptions of human variety, what has often been overlooked is his wide-ranging vision of what ethnographic research should do beyond discovering or demonstrating the existence of the physical differentiations of the peoples in the world. His ethnographic research agenda incorporated the established Gottingen tradition of learned travel, a wide-ranging view of the intimate interconnections between humans and the environment in which they were nourished, and the cultural world they inhabited. Maximilian's critical stance toward colonial empires was reinforced and magnified by his commitment to Blumenbach's ethnographic agenda focusing on the equality of all peoples, a stance Maximilian often referred to in his travel accounts.