Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226142067 Published March 2015
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9780226141879 Published March 2015
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Stations in the Field

A History of Place-Based Animal Research, 1870-1930

Raf De Bont

Stations in the Field

Raf De Bont

320 pages | 44 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780226142067 Published March 2015
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9780226141879 Published March 2015
E-book $7.00 to $40.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226141909 Published March 2015
When we think of sites of animal research that symbolize modernity, the first places that come to mind are grand research institutes in cities and near universities that house the latest in equipment and technologies, not the surroundings of the bird’s nest, the octopus’s garden in the sea, or the parts of inland lakes in which freshwater plankton reside. Yet during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a group of zoologists began establishing novel, indeed modern ways of studying nature, propagating what present-day ecologists describe as place-based research. 
           
Raf De Bont’s Stations in the Field focuses on the early history of biological field stations and the role these played in the rise of zoological place-based research. Beginning in the 1870s, a growing number of biological field stations were founded—first in Europe and later elsewhere around the world—and thousands of zoologists received their training and performed their research at these sites. Through case studies, De Bont examines the material and social context in which field stations arose, the actual research that was produced in these places, the scientific claims that were developed there, and the rhetorical strategies that were deployed to convince others that these claims made sense. From the life of parasitic invertebrates in northern France and freshwater plankton in Schleswig-Holstein, to migratory birds in East Prussia and pest insects in Belgium, De Bont’s book is fascinating tour through the history of studying nature in nature.
Contents
Introduction

Chapter 1. Stations and Other Places
Chapter 2. Naples: Indoor Sea Creatures
Chapter 3. Wimereux: Tide Pool Science
Chapter 4. From Wimereux to the Republic: Individuals and Their Environment
Chapter 5. Plön: A Lake Microcosm
Chapter 6. Rossitten: Moving Birds
Chapter 7. Brussels: Fieldwork in a Metropolitan Museum

Conclusion: Residents in the Field

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Review Quotes
Carla Nappi | New Books in Science, Technology, and Society
"While museums, labs, and botanical gardens have been widely studied by historians of science, field stations have received comparatively little attention. Raf De Bont's new book rectifies this oversight, turning our attention to the importance of biological field stations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in generating new scientific practices, theories, and networks. . . . A fascinating study that offers readers a more robust and complex understanding of the spaces of modern science and their entangled histories."
Lynn K. Nyhart, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“This is an outstanding book. Impressively researched and compellingly written, it fills a major gap in the history of biology by showing us how place-based science developed in Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Its five case studies eloquently reveal varied reactions to the dominance of laboratory culture, different sorts of organisms studied (marine invertebrates, freshwater plankton, insects, and birds), and the national scientific cultures and community structures of Italy, France, Germany, and Belgium. We get a strong sense for what it meant to share a commitment to local specificities of place and problem, balanced by at least as strong a sense of how the commitment to specificity drove the station directors and their groups in unique directions.”
Ian Billick, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
"Raf de Bont's Stations in the Field: A History of Place-Based Animal Research provides a fascinating look into the emergence of field stations. Replete with engrossing stories and insights into the history of science, casual readers and historians of scientists alike will be sure to find it delightful."
Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., University of Illinois
"Raf de Bont’s study of European biological field stations transforms our understanding of the settings and strategies of late-nineteenth biological research. With a keen eye to their diverse ecological and socio-cultural contexts, he examines a variety of field stations, each committed to the study of animals in their natural setting. Immensely rich in comparative perspectives, equally insightful in what it adds to our historical understanding of lab work and field work, this book is an important contribution to the history of biology and to the growing literature on geographies of scientific knowledge."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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