Reading: ‘Kapers van kennis. De rol van een boekaniersgeleerde in de circulatie van kennis over ziekt...

Download

A- A+
dyslexia friendly

ARTIKELEN / ARTICLES

‘Kapers van kennis. De rol van een boekaniersgeleerde in de circulatie van kennis over ziekten en geneesmiddelen in de tropen

Author:

Stephen Snelders

NL
X close

Abstract

‘Piracy of kowledge’ – the role of a buccaneer-scientist in the knowledge circulation around diseases and drugs in the tropics


Knowledge circulation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was not only stimulated by the mutual interaction of trade and science. In the context of territorial expansion, war, and the activities of privateers and pirates, knowledge of diseases and drugs in the tropics was increased as well. An important part in this process was performed by so-called 'buccaneer- scientists': adventurers with medical and scientific backgrounds and/or interest who operated on the cultural borders in different parts of the hemisphere. The characteristics of this type of contributor to Early Modern knowledge circulation are explored and analyzed in the example of Scottish surgeon and pirate Lionel Wafer (c. 1660 - c. 1705).

The buccaneer scientist had to share the passions of other scientists, resulting in accurate and detailed empirical observation; be able to judge the relevance of observations and 'facts'; be part of a context that stimulates these observations; be capable of describing of these observations; and be part of a network of dissemination of observations. His activities should have an important practical and pragmatic component stimulating trade, expansion and even piracy. And he should possess personal characteristics such as perseverance, a healthy constitution, and ruthlessness, to work and survive in a violent and traumatic environment.

Wafer is typical for other 'buccaneer-scientists' of this period – not only pirates and privateers, but also physicians and natural explorers operating in other and more 'respectable' areas of the European overseas expansion.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/studium.1475
How to Cite: Snelders, S., (2012). ‘Kapers van kennis. De rol van een boekaniersgeleerde in de circulatie van kennis over ziekten en geneesmiddelen in de tropen. Studium. 2(2), pp.55–64. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/studium.1475
Published on 01 Mar 2012.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)