The New York Botanical Garden Science & Humanities Seminar: “Food, Poisons, and Medicines: The Culture and Commerce of Plants in the Early American Republic”

March 13, 2015, The New York Botanical Garden

To all HSS Members,

It is with great pleasure that I send you an invitation for the upcoming presentation by our esteemed, first Mellon Visiting Fellow, Daniel Kevles, Professor of American Studies at Yale University.  Daniel is continuing his research at the Humanities Institute–the LuEsther T. Mertz  Library, The New York Botanical Garden–since the beginning of the year.

Due to important new discoveries in the Library and Archives, Daniel will add an extra chapter to his book, entitled Vital Properties (to be published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.), describing the innovation, commerce, and intellectual property protection in living organisms since the colonial era, and also give a talk about his research.

Here is more detailed information:

The New York Botanical Garden Science & Humanities Seminar:

“Food, Poisons, and Medicines:

The Culture and Commerce of Plants in the Early American Republic”

Daniel Kevles, Stanley Woodward Professor of History, History of Medicine & American Studies, Yale University, Mellon Visiting Scholar

The Humanities Institute, The New York Botanical Garden

  • Host: Vanessa Sellers, Humanities Institute Coordinator
  • Friday, March 13th, 2015
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm
  • Watson 307
  • Post-seminar refreshments will be served.

Abstract:

Following the end of the American Revolution, many of the new nation’s leaders saw a need for improvements of the country’s plants for agricultural and medical purposes. To that end, gentlemen farmers, garden enthusiasts, seed- and nurserymen promoted fresh approaches in the cultivation of plants. Like their colonial forebears, they imported new plant varieties, but, unlike them, they initiated programs to encourage indigenous innovation in plants and their safe, productive use. They drew on the knowledge, methods, and practices of the Biological Enlightenment, especially as it had developed in England. This talk will explore the important efforts that were mounted by individual plantsmen and local societies in Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina.

Please  RSVP at:  vsellers@nybg.org

Sincerely,

Vanessa Sellers

Posted: February 27, 2015