Friday Lunch: Acclimatisation in 18th-Century
Fri 13 Apr, 1pm, No.11 Gordon Street
with Elena Romero-Passerin
The Botanist, the Tea-Bush, and the Scottish Weather;
Tales of Acclimatisation in Eighteenth-Century Edinburgh Botanic Garden
Europeans discovered numerous new species of plants during their exploration of the world in the early modern period. They tried to bring back a lot of them. The story of potato, for example, is quite well known. In the Eighteenth century, the royal botanic garden of Edinburgh was working to continue the importation of new vegetables to Britain.
Some were brought for economic reasons; some were supposed to cure disease. Elena, PhD candidate in the School of History at the University of St Andrews, will tell us how the professor of botany at the time, John Hope, was trying to implement new cultures in Scotland, in particular tea and rhubarb, and how he though they would help develop his country. however, not all vegetables took to the European climate easily… Through these examples, Elena will also talk about the failings of acclimatisation science at the time and what those experiments taught botanists about the world.
All welcome. Suggested donation: £2