Inter-Dependency Between Science and Colonialism

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Science is an aggregation of knowledge used to explain the natural events of the world, and many in the past and present, use it as a means to an end. The application of the knowledge is what people sought after as they seek to further their goals. When Ronald Ross first found out that the malaria parasite was transmitted through infected mosquito bites in 1888, he was stationed in Calcutta for his service to research on malaria as the death toll on the European soldiers in colonial India was rising rapidly due to malaria. The need for a cure during that period gave rise to a conducive environment for the British researchers to conduct their craft as the government was providing the funds and resources that many would not have had otherwise.

It could therefore be argued that the discovery of malaria transmission would never have happened, or would have been discovered significantly later had the British government chose not to support the research for anti-malaria. However, if that were the case, the British would likely have continually suffered from malaria troubles which would have impeded their control of their colonial territories. These statements show how colonialism and science are linked and to a certain extent dependent on each other. This essay seeks to understand how much of the two components were reliant on each other, and how strong of an impact they had as a driving force for the other. Of course, science is a very broad term and covers a wide range of topics, so when it comes to the context of this essay, it is thus important for me to define what I think science is referring to.

As argued by Hellen Tilley in her book, there is no such thing as ‘colonial science’, the study of natural events within colonial territories were all under core science despite the fact that the studies might have been conducted by colonial masters for the issues they faced in their land. It is in fact just as was mentioned at the beginning, an application of the knowledge they have gathered within the colonial space to further the goals of the imperialist masters.

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Inter-Dependency Between Science and Colonialism. (2020, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/inter-dependency-between-science-and-colonialism/

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