Patrons of Paleontology

Patrons of Paleontology

How Government Support Shaped a Science
Jane P. Davidson
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/15/2017
Format: cloth 328 pages, 65 b&w illus.
7 x 10
ISBN: 978-0-253-02571-5
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Description

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, North American and European governments generously funded the discoveries of such famous paleontologists and geologists as Henry de la Beche, William Buckland, Richard Owen, Thomas Hawkins, Edward Drinker Cope, O. C. Marsh, and Charles W. Gilmore. In Patrons of Paleontology, Jane Davidson explores the motivation behind this rush to fund exploration, arguing that eagerness to discover strategic resources like coal deposits was further fueled by patrons who had a genuine passion for paleontology and the fascinating creatures that were being unearthed. These early decades of government support shaped the way the discipline grew, creating practices and enabling discoveries that continue to affect paleontology today.

Author Bio

Jane P. Davidson is Professor of Art History at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is author of The Bone Sharp: The Life of Edward Drinker Cope, A History of Paleontology Illustration, and Early Modern Supernatural: The Dark Side of European Culture 1400-1700.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Cost of Doing Business
1. The Beginnings of Government Support for Paleontology
2. Eighteenth-century and Early Nineteenth-century Paleontologists and Patrons
3. Developments in Government Support for Paleontology in the United States Between 1830 to About 1880
4. Paleontology in Mid Nineteenth-Century Surveys Outside the United States
5. Government Support for Paleontology in the Late Nineteenth Century and the Turn of the Twentieth Century: 1880 to about 1940
Conclusion: The Chain of Paleontology
Appendix: Glossary of Prominent Patrons and Paleontologists
Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources
Bibliography of Secondary Sources
Index
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