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Colonial Technology
Science and the Transfer of Innovation to Australia

$57.95 (G)

Part of Studies in Australian History

  • Date Published: April 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521109840

$ 57.95 (G)
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About the Authors
  • 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.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "...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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521109840
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 5 maps 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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
    Notes
    Index.

  • Author

    Jan Todd

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