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"Agricultural Chymistry is at present in it's infancy": The Board of Agriculture, The Royal Institution and Humphry Davy

James, FAJL; (2016) "Agricultural Chymistry is at present in it's infancy": The Board of Agriculture, The Royal Institution and Humphry Davy. Ambix , 62 (4) pp. 363-385. 10.1080/00026980.2015.1107953. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper I sketch the institutional interactions between the Board of Agriculture and the Royal Institution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This includes analysing the composition of memberships and committees of both bodies in which, inter alia, I challenge Morris Berman's account of their institutional relations. A key figure was Humphry Davy who, because of his career ambitions, occupied a slightly uncomfortable position as Professor of Chemistry to both organisations. Davy's lecture notebooks and his subsequent publication Elements of Agricultural Chemistry reveal that he drew almost all his direct knowledge of the subject from Britain and Ireland. Yet, despite such parochial shortcomings that might be expected of an infant science at time of war, the popularity of his book, particularly in North America, provided continuity between the end of the Board of Agriculture in 1822 and the start of the impact of Justus Liebig's work in the 1840s.

Type: Article
Title: "Agricultural Chymistry is at present in it's infancy": The Board of Agriculture, The Royal Institution and Humphry Davy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00026980.2015.1107953
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/00026980.2015.1107953
Language: English
Additional information: © Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry 2016. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ambix on 26 Feb 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00026980.2015.1107953
Keywords: Arts & Humanities, History & Philosophy Of Science, History & Philosophy of Science, BRITAIN
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472128
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