"From having no herbarium". Local knowledge vs. metropolitan expertise: Joseph Hooker’s Australasian correspondence with William Colenso and Ronald Gunn
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 14:25 authored by Jim EndersbyJim Endersby
Between 1844 and 1860, Joseph Dalton Hooker, published a series of major floras of the southern oceans, including the first floras of Tasmania and New Zealand. These books were essential to establishing his scientific reputation. However, despite having visited the countries he described, Hooker relied on a large network of unpaid, colonial collectors to supply him with specimens. A study of his relationship with two of these collectors -- Ronald Campbell Gunn and William Colenso -- reveals warm friendships but also complex negotiations over individual authority, plant naming, and the status of local knowledge. The herbarium played a crucial role in mediating these negotiations. Although Bruno Latour’s theory of cycles of accumulation proved useful for analyzing the herbarium’s role, in this article some ways in which his ideas might be refined and modified are suggested.
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