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American Philosophical Society
Francisco Jose de Caldas: A Scientist at Work in Nueva Granada (Transaction 84-5)
John Wilton Appel
Transaction 84 No. 5
A study of Francisco Jose de Caldas y Tenorio, who was born in 1768 in the Spanish colony Nueva Reino de Granada. In the first half of the 18th cent. France sent an expedition to the equator to learn the true figure of the Earth. However, Spain maintained strict control over the colonies’ access to books & other Europeans’ access to the colonies. Caldas, with a fervent interest in science & lacking the educational resources & personal contacts available in Europe, developed a scientific program based on what was available to him. The arrival of the Prussian naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt, brought to a head Caldas’s discontent with his own isolation from the European community. Black & white illustrations.
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