Thesis ID: CBB909704817

Scientific Islanders: Pacific Peoples, American Scientists, and the Desire to Understand the World, 1800-1860 (2019)


Diaz, Roberto Jesus (Author)
Cartwright, Brad J. (Advisor)

The University of Texas at El Paso
Cartwright, Brad J.
Publication date: 2019
Language: English

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 140 pp.

Between 1800 and 1860, Pacific Islanders sought answers to questions about the mechanics and origins of the universe, just as Americans did. But the systems of thought created by Natives addressing these matters generally would not have been considered “scientific” by Americans. Pacific Islanders and Americans, nevertheless, created extensive scientific traditions to systematically perceive, understand, and explain the nature of existence. These systems were rooted in religion, social dynamics, and other cultural norms, and manifested themselves in writing, artwork, explorations, and technologies that benefited their societies. Thus, this thesis argues that the practice of scientific methods was not simply a Western phenomenon. Pacific Islanders, like Americans, sought to understand the universe by asking questions, ascribing causes to wonders, and experimenting with technologies. It further argues that the knowledge yielded by these groups circulated the globe, changing the course of scientific practices in the Pacific and America well into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Authors & Contributors
Hamacher, Duane W.
Leaman, Trevor M.
Orchiston, Wayne
Crowther, Kathleen M.
Douglas, Bronwen
Fuller, Robert S.
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Environment and History
Journal of Black Studies
History and Technology
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Technology and Culture
University of Oklahoma
Palgrave Macmillan
Sense Publishers
The MIT Press
University of California Press
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Indigenous technology
Traditional knowledge
Mabel Cook Cole
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
16th century
17th century
20th century
Islands of the Pacific
United States

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