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Forging Nature at the Republican Muséum

Spary, EC; (2003) Forging Nature at the Republican Muséum. In: Daston, L and Pomata, G, (eds.) The Faces of Nature in Enlightenment Europe. (163 - 180). Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag: Berlin.

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Type:Book chapter
Title:Forging Nature at the Republican Muséum
Additional information:Disciplinary subfields: museology, history of art, history of natural history In this essay, I use archival materials on the early years of the Paris Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, founded in 1793, to demonstrate the explicit way in which the professors distinguished between proper and improper modes of displaying natural objects in their collections. The aim, I argue, was to begin a post-Republican construction of a disempowered "public" for natural history quite distinct from the legitimate scientific practitioners. Such active construction of characteristics for "the natural" is a typical feature of all attempts to assert scientific authority over nature.
Keywords:natural history, museums, French Revolution
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of) > UCL Centre for the History of Medicine

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