Linnaeus in Italy. The Spread of a Revolution in Science

Linnaeus in Italy. The Spread of a Revolution in Science Book Reviews / Early Science and Medicine 13 (2008) 509-530 529 Marco Beretta and Alessandro Tosi, eds. Linnaeus in Italy. The Spread of a Revolution in Science (Uppsala Studies in the History of Science 34) (Sagamore Beach, MA: Sci- ence History Publications/USA, 2007), pp. xxiii+340, $60.00, ISBN 0 88135 393 0. Linnaeus in Italy brings together twenty papers on the reception of Linnaean natural history in the kingdoms and principalities of eighteenth-century Italy. In many and varied situations Italian study of natural history was shaped by old traditions and linked to botanical gardens, medical faculties, and scientific institutions. Linnaeus’s radical ideas generated a broad range of reactions, from stubborn resistance and piece- meal compromise to fervent conversion and institutional instauration. Since institu- tional responses are at the heart of this story, I will concentrate on two important centers of study, Bologna and Florence. An enduring characteristic of Bologna’s scientific milieu, says Marta Cavazza, was a conservatism that manifested itself in “the cautious and deliberate evaluation” (234) of innovations of all sorts. At the university plant study focussed on identification and medical uses, as it had done since the sixteenth century. After the founding of an insti- tute of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early Science and Medicine Brill

Linnaeus in Italy. The Spread of a Revolution in Science

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1383-7427
eISSN
1573-3823
D.O.I.
10.1163/157338208X345849
Publisher site
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Abstract

Book Reviews / Early Science and Medicine 13 (2008) 509-530 529 Marco Beretta and Alessandro Tosi, eds. Linnaeus in Italy. The Spread of a Revolution in Science (Uppsala Studies in the History of Science 34) (Sagamore Beach, MA: Sci- ence History Publications/USA, 2007), pp. xxiii+340, $60.00, ISBN 0 88135 393 0. Linnaeus in Italy brings together twenty papers on the reception of Linnaean natural history in the kingdoms and principalities of eighteenth-century Italy. In many and varied situations Italian study of natural history was shaped by old traditions and linked to botanical gardens, medical faculties, and scientific institutions. Linnaeus’s radical ideas generated a broad range of reactions, from stubborn resistance and piece- meal compromise to fervent conversion and institutional instauration. Since institu- tional responses are at the heart of this story, I will concentrate on two important centers of study, Bologna and Florence. An enduring characteristic of Bologna’s scientific milieu, says Marta Cavazza, was a conservatism that manifested itself in “the cautious and deliberate evaluation” (234) of innovations of all sorts. At the university plant study focussed on identification and medical uses, as it had done since the sixteenth century. After the founding of an insti- tute of

Journal

Early Science and MedicineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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