Colonial Technology: Science and the Transfer of Innovation to Australia (Studies in Australian History)

Colonial Technology: Science and the Transfer of Innovation to Australia (Studies in Australian History)

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Jan Todd
Cambridge University Press, 11/16/1995
EAN 9780521461382, ISBN10: 0521461383

Hardcover, 314 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
Language: English

Australia has always imported overseas technology, largely out of necessity, but has this been exploitative, fostering a relationship of dependence, or used to Australia's advantage? Jan Todd explores this question in the context of nineteenth-century science. In her important study, Todd argues that the technology transfer was far more complex than has been widely acknowledged. She shows that technology systems reflect national characteristics, institutions and priorities, drawing general conclusions about Australian science and technology in an imperial context. Much of the book is devoted to two fascinating case studies: the anthrax vaccination for sheep and the cyanide process of gold extraction, both transferred from Europe. In both cases, considering a range of economic, political and cultural factors, she traces a process of creative adaptation to these technologies.

Part I. Overview
1. Dependency at the periphery
debates and questions
2. Cross-currents of change
Part II. Microbes, Rabbits and Sheep
3. Microbes versus poisonous plants
4. Contagion, conflict and compromise
5. From Paris to Narrandera
6. From foreign to domestic capability
Part III. Rocks, Cyanide and Gold
7. Australian gold, British chemists
8. Transfer agents and colonial connections
9. A challenge for technological imperialists
10. governments, experts and institutional adjustment
11. From Glasgow to Kalgoorlie
12. Out of the hands of 'rule-of-thumb' men
Part IV. Linkages, Learning and Sovereignty
13. Transfer, diffusion and learning
14. Colonial science
an intellectual bridge
15. Toward an Australian system

"...an incisive, innovative challenge to conventional theories of colonial dependency....engaging and informative." Choice

"...in a field where theoretical forays are in need of more substantiation, this is an exemplary work." Robert Kubicek, Pacific Affairs

"Todd's book...is a welcome addition..." Lionel Frost, American Historical Review

"...the writing is clear and never dull. The literature relating to technological change in Australia is sparse and this is a welcome addition." Lionel Frost, American Historical Review