August 21, 2017
65 b&w illus.
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7.00 Inches (US)
1.65 Pounds (US)
$40.00 USD, £31.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Patrons of Paleontology

How Government Support Shaped a Science

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.

About the Author

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.


"This slim book, graced with beautiful facsimile reproductions of gorgeous paleontological folio art, is a treasure trove of vertebrate paleontological history, sacred and arcane."—The Quarterly Review of Biology

" Patrons of Paleontology is a good introduction to the ambitious individuals and institutions that pursued their own, national, and institutional interests over centuries in a variety of contexts. "—Journal of American History

"Who pays for palaeontological research and why? Patrons of Paleontology will be a useful reference guide for anyone interested in the early history of the subject and some of the social and historical context in which it occurred."—Paul Barrett, Priscum, The Newsletter of the Palentological Society
Indiana University Press
Life of the Past

9780253025715 : patrons-of-paleontology-davidson
256 Pages
$40.00 USD

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