Tides of History
Ocean Science and Her Majesty's Navy
Analyzing the economic, political, social, and scientific changes on which the British sailed to power, Tides of History shows how the British Admiralty collaborated closely not only with scholars, such as William Whewell, but also with the maritime community —sailors, local tide table makers, dockyard officials, and harbormasters—in order to systematize knowledge of the world’s oceans, coasts, ports, and estuaries. As Michael S. Reidy points out, Britain’s security and prosperity as a maritime nation depended on its ability to maneuver through the oceans and dominate coasts and channels. The practice of science and the rise of the scientist became inextricably linked to the process of European expansion.