What we know today as the science of botany had its beginnings in the fires of alchemy and the apothecaries of ancient medical physicians. While history books have led the majority of people to believe that science was practiced by exceptionally brilliant men through sudden inspiration, many recent publications have brought to light the role of women in the development of the sciences, especially botany. This paper presents selected historical antecedents to the development of botany and its spread from the Mediterranean through Southern Europe to Western and Northern Europe, and across the Atlantic. It concentrates on the development of botanical education in Europe and North America using the view of science as a product of female - and male - endeavors set within a social, economic, cultural, and political milieu. This paper focuses on women on both sides of the Atlantic who wrote botany textbooks in order to teach botany in such a way that their students could learn the nature of science and society through the study of plants.
|Keywords:||Botany Education, Women in Science, History of Science, Nature of Science, Gender Bias|
Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Science, Metropolitan Center, Staten Island Unit, State University of New York, Staten Island, New York, USA
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